Smart content – what’s new about that?

Smart content – what’s new about that?

There seems to have been a raft of news stories, articles and general buzz about the importance of smart content strategies recently.

It’s true that technology and social media channels have made it easier than ever for anyone to publish content but frankly that doesn’t necessarily equate to powerful and compelling content. The ability to write good content is not a skill that everyone possesses and naturally we’d argue that it’s best to put it in the hands of the experts – in our view, that should be PR practitioners because writing and story-telling is our domain. Engaging with and influencing audiences is surely what public relations is all about?

At Firework, we put story creation and compelling content at the heart of everything we do. The ability to create unique content that tells a story relevant to the target audience is, we believe, at the centre of a successful communications campaign. Whether you’re talking finance, technology, food and drink or sports, the challenge is to ensure the story is relevant, accurate and interesting enough to ensure people read it; ideally it will also be persuasive to influence and impact target customer behaviour. Of course, it also helps to avoid typos…

PR is all about identifying the influencers, publications, media and bloggers that will reach your desired audience and engaging with them through strong content and relevant story telling. With our clients, we find it’s about working with them to uncover the hidden stories that have appeal, identifying the industry issues on which they can credibly comment on for thought leadership opportunities and helping to develop the messaging that will resonate. We then set about creating content, story ideas and information that will appeal to each journalist/influencer/analyst and ultimately, to their target customers. We work to identify angles for content that will interest and engage. We increasingly work directly with sales team to map and develop content for direct marketing communications to new business targets and for up-selling to existing customers.

Our experience has proven that this formula of story creation and message development, usually combined with some media training, is most effective in achieving content that engages whilst accurately communicates the key messages that businesses also want to get across. But that is only half the challenge. To gain independent media coverage, it’s then a further balancing act between translating this to the news agenda in terms of what is relevant and topical, what a company wants to talk about and what a journalist wants to write about; this is where the skill of a good consultant really comes to fruition to being successful with PR…

Andrea Hounsham
Director of Firework PR

Follow Firework PR @fireworkpr

Posted: 16 April 2013

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