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College PR teams: integrate and thrive

May 20, 2014

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Post provided by Pressvine

College PR teams: Integrate and thrive – by adopting the Content Marketing ideology

We are now well into the ‘age of Content Marketing’, which many recognise to be the link that connects PR, SEO and Social Media marketing.

The content marketing approach is intended to provide an integrated solution around the creation and distribution of an organization’s content, utilising these communication channels together in order to maximise the relevant reach of content, such as good news.

There exists huge potential for College marketing teams to benefit greatly from this philosophy, whilst many of the most successful already are.

The key is to reverse the perception that broadcasting positive news is a ‘one way’ dissemination of press releases to media contacts.

content_marketingWhy care?

So why should you care? And what benefits would you gain from adopting the Content Marketing philosophy as opposed to a ‘traditional PR only’ philosophy?

Firstly, Public Relations itself is defined as the practice of managing the spread of information between an organisation and its publics, often with the desired outcome to better influence these publics, whether that is to make a buying decision, create awareness or improve perception of a brand.

Earned media (coverage), SEO optimised news content and a social strategy to drive relevant sharing of this content are all tools available to achieve this – so are these channels not also an equally relevant component within your PR tool kit as the traditional press release? Of course, the answer is yes.

Staying with the example of ‘good news content’, a press release intends to create earned media. However, so too would an easily searchable and shareable blog post, or a well optimised article within an organisation’s newsroom.

With the decline in print media and a significantly higher proportion of a college’s employer and student target market now finding content online and via social media, this has never been so important.

I have also seen innovative college marketing teams re-market their news to employers, local headteachers of schools and internal heads of department, on a case by case basis as eshots, highlighting that there is ‘more than one way to skin a cat’.

If the content within your news article is something that your target audience cares about and are actively searching for, it stands to reason that, should your article be well optimised for search (easy to find) and well optimised for social sharing, this will also succeed in reaching and influencing your target audience.

The key is to integrate and utilise all of these tools as part of your daily PR practices.

The most successful in house communications teams have long since embraced the integrated approach to communications.

This could be a useful checklist in your quest for success:

(1) Know what your target audience care about. Listen to conversations on social media, find out what are the most frequently searched terms in your area of expertise, the top ranking blog posts within your sector as well as the topical issues hitting headlines

(2) Create informative, valuable content for this audience. Think beyond a ‘salesy’ press release, look to inform, educate and add value in your quest for influence

(3) Integrate various relevant communication channels at the same time to maximise relevant reach of your content. For example, press release to target media, optimised article within your organisations newsroom, dissemination of content via social media or sharing of the article to key influencers

(4) Always measure your success. In addition to earned media, how many web hits did your news post get? Where did they come from? How many social shares? What demographic? Analyse, tweak (if needed) and repeat.

Pressvine PR software now enables over 15 UK Colleges to maximise relevant audiences for their great news across all communication channels, empowering their communications staff to hit key trade press, social media, online search and even stakeholders at the right time with the right news content. Our experience working with these lead me to write this article, which I hope will help you too.

For more information as to how the Pressvine PR platform helps innovative College Marketing & PR professionals achieve success through integrating PR tasks, or for a demonstration, drop me a line on the details below.

adam@pressvinepro.com

Adam Tipper, Commercial Director, Pressvine Worldwide

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Note:

The College Marketing Network is very grateful for Pressvine’s time and support in providing this feature. Please note however that the College Marketing Network does not endorse or recommend individual suppliers and that any services members may subsequently purchase should be as a result of their own research and satisfy their own belief that any supplier will meet their needs.

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