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For something that is discussed so frequently in marketing and public relations, it sure is difficult to know what makes content any good. “Content” refers to the subject or ideas contained in something written, said, created or represented, and any marketer has probably had the saying “content is king” drilled into their heads. We all know it is especially true in our profession, but how do we go from a generalized, vague definition to something that is truly strategic and impactful for our marketing goals?
While how much content you produce and how it gets distributed can be subjective, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure you are always creating qualitycontent.
The human attention span is short and it’s only getting shorter with each generation as technology gives us more and more instant gratification. If you want to convey your message, whether it’s in an Instagram caption, blog post or instruction manual, the best way to do so is by being as brief as possible.
This doesn’t mean to leave out information. On the contrary, drafting content with brevity in mind helps you to be strategic about the channels you use and the information included. You may even find that the information you’re trying to impart might be better suited for another format. You’ll always be sure that you include only the most pertinent information if you keep conciseness at the top of your consciousness.
Relevance is another term that can be hard to define, but it is oh so important when it comes to having high quality content. When I think of relevance, I like to start with my audience and work backwards from there. Determining if something is relevant is all about the WIFM – What’s In It For Me? Or in this case it’s actually What’s In It For Them (WIFM)? I ask myself several questions before I even begin typing:
Other things that make a subject or its content relevant for your audience might be that it’s timely. Sometimes it may make sense to tie a newsworthy theme into your content. Is everyone still talking about how they hated the Game of Thrones ending and you’re developing content around managing overbearing managers in the workplace? Go ahead and throw in a line or two about Daenerys to grab their attention. But if your content has nothing to do with a recent event or that story has gotten tired (GOT is on its way!), then it’s likely best to stick with your WIFT and keep it short and sweet.
Otherwise, you run the risk of being cliché or outdated and that’s the furthest thing from relevant.
Finally, the most important thing you can do with your content is to make it interesting. What does that mean? It means you should have a point of view, be engaging and make your target audience WANT to read it.
In a world where we are inundated with content at each turn, it is critical to be unique. Developing content for the sake of SEO and having a presence gets you nowhere if you don’t have something of value to say and an interesting way to say it.
The key to successful content marketing is obvious – it starts with quality content. Determine who your audience is and make your content relevant to them, keep it concise so people can absorb the information and, please, please, please – for the love of good PR – keep it interesting!
It’s a crowded content world out there. Create thoughtfully.
Chabad of Nashville had an exciting opportunity to bring Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s childhood friend and stepsister, to Middle Tennessee for a speaking opportunity to share the unimaginable experience of living through the fear and panic that was the Holocaust. The event was an opportunity to raise awareness of the atrocities of genocide, persecution and hatred that persist today from the perspective of a Holocaust survivor.
Reed Public Relations (RPR) was approached four weeks ahead of the event to assist with creating and executing a community-wide awareness campaign to drive ticket sales. Because Nashville is consistently saturated with ticketed event options, time of was of the essence to get the word out, but RPR rose to the challenge.
The goal of the campaign was to sell at least 500 tickets to the “A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss” event while also raising Chabad of Nashville’s profile in the Nashville community. To get results quickly, RPR hit the ground running with a strategy combining earned and paid media promotion, influencer partnerships and community outreach efforts to directly lead to ticket sales.
Our efforts culminated in buzz that permeated Middle Tennessee through a variety of tactics, including social media, radio, TV, print, digital, community calendars, e-marketing and ultimately word-of-mouth.
Valuable earned media included an opinion piece published in both The Tennessean and The Jewish Observer, along with a feature interview with Eva Schloss by The Tennessean’s storytelling columnist Jessica Bliss that was shared in print and online. These hits were amplified by appearances on WSMV News 4’s premier talk show “Today in Nashville,” a feature broadcast segment with NewsChannel 5 and pre-event coverage by WKRN News 2.
Additionally, RPR coordinated paid promotion with both the Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management (MTSHRM) and WPLN Nashville Public Radio. This strategic outreach to major employers via HR executives and the radio station’s culturally-engaged listeners and online audience base yielded a reach to thousands of potential attendees in Chabad’s target audience.
To further ensure the event was a success, RPR also helped with general operations and event support. This included securing Mayor David Briley as an opening speaker, managing on-site media opportunities, assisting with ticket check-ins, book sales, event flow and set-up, photography coordination and more.
Ultimately, RPR achieved the event objectives in spite of limited time for planning and execution, securing more than 11 million media impressions highlighting Chabad of Nashville and its mission through the “A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss” event.
In total, 787 tickets were sold, exceeding Chabad’s original goal of 500 tickets.
The night was a success both in terms of operations and in sparking thought-provoking community dialogue about a topic that remains relevant more than 70 years after the Holocaust.
yogasoul is more than just a yoga studio. It takes what yogis love about the practice and elevates it so that proper form and optimal results are at the forefront. Located off of Wedgewood Avenue, yogasoul was founded and is led by Cindy Lunsford and her incredible “Soul Squad” of experienced and diverse yoga instructors.
Because yogasoul isn’t an average yoga studio, their marketing couldn’t be average either. RPR’s three-month-long campaign introducing yogasoul into the Nashville market culminated in one furry, fun event: Bunny Yoga benefitting the Nashville Bunny Rescue. Cue the collective “aww!!”
The concept for this event stemmed from yogasoul’s commitment to give back to the local community while celebrating Easter weekend in a unique way. Our team worked to secure media announcing the event, drive RSVPs, create promotional flyers and coordinate attendance from some of Nashville’s top digital influencers.
It was as adorable as it sounds and served as a great way for yogasoul to connect with local yogis and animal lovers alike.
In total, RPR secured more than 6.8 million media impressions for yogasoul to raise awareness for their opening. Be sure to pick up the May issue of Nashville Lifestyles to read more about their yogi-centric approach and see inside the studio.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but is it worth $1,000? That depends on who the post is coming from.
Influencer campaigns have proven to be extremely effective even when traditional media has struggled to gain its footing in the digital world. While working with influencers can produce similar results to that of traditional media coverage, especially for consumer-focused campaigns, the process of working with influencers can be quite different and the rules are often hazy.
Marketing and advertising pros have long since tapped influencers as spokespeople for brands dating back to the Queen and the Pope promoting the use of general medicine to common people. The concept of a digital influencer, however, has only become popular in recent years and it’s still developing. What qualifies someone as a digital influencer is up for interpretation – is it the number of followers? Anyone can buy those. Level of engagement? That’s all relative to their follower count. Is it quality of content shared? Yeah, that seems important.
It’s some combination of those things, but the truth is there is no industry standard so anyone can claim to be a digital influencer. There is no professional society of influencers, no set of ethical standards to abide by and, because there isn’t a ton of information out about influencers and their results, there’s no set pricing structure or market for advertising or working with them.
Recently, the FCC put regulations into place requiring influencers to post any endorsements with #ad, although, this is rarely regulated.
The cost of working with influencers can vary greatly from person to person. Some may only request a trade for product or services, while others always require payment. It’s important to remember that just like traditional media, influencers are dedicating their time and efforts to generate content and they expect to eventually monetize what they are doing.
Once we understand that influencers don’t have set standards for how they work with brands or even set pricing, how can you know what to expect from them and the best way to get results that help your bottom line? It all boils down to strategy and budget.
As with traditional media and public relations, always start with the story and the audience you are trying to reach. At RPR, we first dig deep into what we want to convey for a client and then match that goal with a relevant publication or target outlet. The process is similar for influencers because many influencers focus on very specific subjects so we are able to directly reach people interested in those topics through strategic targeting.
For example, in 2018 we worked with an environmentally-focused brand that sold toilet paper from recycled materials. Through a targeted campaign that utilized micro-influencers with followings who showed interest in sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives, we were able to track direct sales that resulted from partnership posts.
When it comes to budget, we have to be realistic. These days almost any influencer worth their salt is charging or expecting something in return for sharing content so a budget should always be set aside for influencer payments. Pricing can vary greatly and there is no set science to knowing if a specific partnership will work, but we advise clients to be flexible with budget and understand that part of influencer marketing is trial and error. With so many algorithms and other factors at play on social media, it can be difficult to pinpoint when is exactly the best time, message, etc. to post for an influencer.
The positive side to the chaos is everything is negotiable. In a good partnership, the influencer will want your team to see results so you want to work with them again and again. Select partners who will allow you to tweak messaging or change the timing of posts to improve results and get confirmation that they will do this in writing – but also give them the freedom to make creative decisions they know their audience will respond to best.
Although it may seem like the Wild Wild West when it comes to digital influencers right now, in some ways it’s not all that different from a traditional public relations and marketing approach. Starting with the end goal in mind and developing a strategy around that is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship that earns you results.
We’ve got a new gal on our team. Erin Horne is a foodie, a triathlete and she once took a “goldfish shot” – which is exactly what it sounds like and exactly what you don’t want it to be.
Here’s everything you need to know about the newest member of our crew.
Name: Erin Horne
Job Title: Account Manager
Enneagram Number: 3
Where is home for you?
This is a tough question for me now! My hometown is Chicago, but I have lived in five states (Illinois, Indiana for college, California for an internship with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Georgia, and now Tennessee). I’ve found it takes about 3 months to start calling a new state my “home.”
What are you most looking forward to about living in Nashville?
I’ve become a huge food and drink enthusiast in the past couple of years. I have a list with more than 75 bars and restaurants to try. I’m looking forward to checking out each one!
I’m also a triathlete, so I can’t wait to explore Middle Tennessee through open water swimming, road biking and running.
If you could be a superhero, which one would you be?
Does Buffy the Vampire Slayer count? I’m a bit of a television nerd (one of my majors was Film Studies), so I love a powerful female lead. Buffy did a lot for “women’s films” and females on television—not to mention she had the best friend crew. She was ahead of her time!
What is a crazy story you love to tell at cocktail parties?
I once took a “goldfish shot.” I had to fish for a live goldfish out of a pond, put it in a vodka shot, and then swallow it whole! People love that story at parties, hah.
Here’s another one—while I was working at Ellen, I got to stand in as a band member during Shawn Mendes’ sound check. I was about 10 inches away while he serenaded an empty room and me! This is definitely one of my favorite Ellen memories.
What do you do for fun?
I love to read, especially magazines. I have a huge stack of Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and more waiting for me to dig in at home. I also love competitive sports. You can usually find me training for some sort of race or playing on a sand volleyball team.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
I’ll go with a dolphin— I love water, I’m social by nature, and I’m always on the move.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
As much as I love a good chocolate chip cookie, I have to go with pretzels. They’ve been my favorite snack for as long as I can remember.
My current favorite is this lyric from Lucius’s song Dusty Trails:
‘If we skip to our pre-fulfilled dreams, we’d be lost without our own advice.’
From the moment I decided to move to Nashville, Reed Public Relations was on the top of my list of places to work! I’m thrilled to be here.