Back in 2007-2008, when Twitter was really taking off, the PR industry faced a pivot point. It was no longer effective to cold email as many relevant journalists as possible. Going to lunch with them helped, but it was not scaleable.
With the onset of social media and the ability to go directly to the source, journalists had a whole new world of information at their fingertips. Although the Internet had already been around for 19 years, the playing field changed dramatically — it was the very beginning of the “everyone is a publisher” era.
Rather than panic, PR practitioners had to quickly adapt their strategy to the fast-changing industry. They had to shift their objectives from “find a hook and email as many journalists to write about their clients as possible” to “find where their audience is, build meaningful relationships with them, prove value with relevant and interesting content, then pretty much deliver it to their doorstep.”
However, no matter what the PR strategy was, the overarching business goals remained the same:
- Gain awareness
- Establish thought leadership
- Build a relevant and loyal community or brand ambassadors
- Recruit new customers
What PR practitioners found was four key elements to getting their stories out there:
- Tell a story
- Help journalists stand out among their competitors
- Create captivating content that customers and journalists are going to find valuable
- Do extensive research to find where the audiences are, and distribute your content there
In other words, they began doing content marketing. There are several other ways content marketing has changed the way we “do PR.”