ViewPoint

May 10

PR and Content: Two Sides of the Same Coin

By Debora Almeida

“Content is king.”

In 1996, Bill Gates infamously predicted that content would be a driving source of revenue for businesses in the Internet era. A recent Axios article found that Gates was right: the number of people who work in content or editor roles has increased by 32 percent across non-media companies in the past decade.

Version 2.0 clients are no exception to this trend. In fact, one of our clients recently brought on a vice president of corporate storytelling, who oversees PR, content marketing and social media to create a unified vision for the brand’s storylines. As V2 grows our own content practice, we are thrilled to see storytelling prioritized on a corporate level. By aligning communications across teams and departments, companies strengthen their stories.

V2 isn’t a siloed organization that aligns content and PR efforts at the end of the planning process. Our teams work seamlessly together to create targeted communications campaigns with fully integrated PR and content strategies and tactics. As communications experts, we guide our clients to make the most of PR and content in a world where original content is increasingly important.

V2’s Approach to Content

At the core of every communications campaign is the brand’s story—which is why the V2 team sees content and PR as two sides of the same coin. Our content team doesn’t function in a vacuum. They are seamlessly integrated into our account teams, where content writers work alongside our PR pros so every team member is plugged into clients’ missions, messaging and business goals. This way, every content asset and every campaign are tightly coordinated—cohesively furthering our clients’ progress towards their goals.

We’ll let you in on our secret: when we incorporate PR campaigns as leverageable assets or use content to inspire our PR efforts, we’re doubling the value and impact of our work. And just as the best PR campaigns creatively interpret clients’ messaging to captivate media and key audiences, the same can be said for well-developed content assets.

Different types of content support various kinds of business, demand generation and PR goals. As content pros, it’s our job to know which content formats match the message and the intended targets. We ask ourselves, what structure and channel will best communicate what we want to say to the audiences that matter most? One way of thinking about content is as a hub and spoke model—creating a holistic hub piece of content that covers a particular topic or angle in an in-depth manner. We then break apart and restructure that detailed piece into smaller assets in different formats for use across different platforms and with different audiences to further extend a campaign and our clients’ messages.

Here are some examples of how we choose and use content assets to drive client business goals:

Case Studies

Oftentimes brands’ most powerful stories are the proof points that come directly from their customers. Case studies capture these stories and turn them into demand generation and sales tools. Prospective customers get a realistic understanding of what it is like to work with a company, its products or services from others who have done so successfully. These assets are not only important tools for sales teams, but media and influencers are often looking for customer success stories. Whether living on a gated webpage, in the hands of sales pros or in the next piece of client coverage, case studies epitomize good corporate storytelling.

Thought Leadership Pieces

Thought leadership content positions the company and its leadership as experts and industry influencers. It can take various forms, sometimes starting as a short blog post tied to a key theme and transforming into an in-depth article pitched to press. Case studies, eBooks and whitepapers can reveal the company’s personality and priorities. It’s important that the thought leadership themes permeate through various forms of content—in the media and on the client’s website. The company website and blog should reflect content that reinforces strategic messaging, key influencer and media relationships.

Social Media

Drafting a 280-character tweet may feel completely different than writing a multi-chapter eBook or designing an infographic, but they serve similar purposes. Our social media programs increase brand awareness and visibility. Social channels reinforce clients’ messaging and campaigns by amplifying them in an accessible way. When a company engages with audiences talking about relevant topics on social it keeps them top-of-mind for potential customers. Understanding how a company’s target audiences use social media and tailoring content and platforms accordingly is critical. It’s important to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook uniquely and strategically to capture the attention of each channel’s audience. They’re different platforms with different content needs.

With more channels to distribute content available than ever before, it’s important to understand the types of content, the purposes they serve, and the audiences they appeal to. The V2 team takes clients’ messages and makes sure there are comprehensive integrated communications strategies to ensure those messages are packaged to reach their target audiences in the most effective ways, leveraging both sides of the PR-content coin to drive maximum value to our clients.

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