Why should people care about your viewpoint? This is the question that PR must answer before embarking on any campaign.
Last week, I had the opportunity to blog about three of the core areas shaping PR for PR Week. The first was thought leadership – it’s more than having a unique point of view. Yes, it must be unique, but it also must be rooted in authority and tie back to your organization’s objectives. As I wrote, “Done properly, thought leadership stimulates demand for companies’ products and services by teaching the industry about what is needed and what the future will require.”
Rooting this point of view in authority is job #2. This can be daunting to many organizations. After all, consider that last year, we created enough data globally for one person to watch 200 billion, two-hour HD movies for 47 million years straight (TechAmerica Big Data Report). I focused on my second PR Week piece on how to mine for newsworthy data – your own proprietary data or commissioned data. The key to success is produce credible and valid data that sheds light on your unique viewpoint. And importantly, it must have broad implications that can be benchmarked over time.
A validated viewpoint will only get you so far though. My third post for PR Week focused on how to use content – beyond the press release – to engage in meaningful conversations with your audience. Content is your currency. Why? As I wrote, “According to a May 2011 Nielsen/AOL report, 23 percent of social media messages and 47 percent of industry-specific social messages contain links to content.” A successful social content campaign must be based in amazingly good content. No sales collateral allowed. Then you need to make the content findable. We often recommend hosting it on your blog. This provides an anchor for your viewpoint from which to engage in social conversations. Establish a listening post to find the right people and the right conversations. Then follow the rules of social media: give credit where it’s due and share others’ content generously.
Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”