PR ON THE GO October 27, 2023

The Art of Influence: Using Creative Content to Dominate PR

Leverage creative content to gain a competitive edge in PR: We asked industry experts, including publicists, creative directors, and content strategists, about exceptional or surprising content that got a lot of attention. From leveraging authentic voices to prioritizing readability, discover these top twelve strategies for gaining a competitive edge.

  • Treat Content As Your Currency
  • Use Data And Tap Into The Right Influencers
  • Leverage Authentic Voices
  • Add Extra Value to Content
  • Engage Users Through Holistic Content
  • Combine Storytelling and Interactive Content
  • Utilize Explainer-Style Video Content
  • Build an Emotional Connection
  • Allow Unfiltered Customer Stories
  • Maximize Content Value with Repurposing
  • Tailor Unique Content for a Specific Audience
  • Prioritize Readability

1) Treat Content As Your Currency

Emily Reynolds-Bergh, R Public Relations

"In creative industries, content is your currency. To gain a competitive edge, focus on storytelling and authenticity. Create low-fi behind-the-scenes content, share your unique creative process, and engage with your audience on social media regularly. A surprising recent example is the indie game "Hades," which gained massive exposure through its engaging narrative and community interaction. Unique, compelling content sets you apart from competition and helps to build a loyal following."

2) Use Data And Tap Into The Right Influencers

Rakesh Bisht, Gleexa

"Entrepreneurs and startups in PR can get ahead by using data-driven insights and collaborating with influencers. First, pay attention to what's trending in your industry. Use data to figure out what your audience really likes. Let's say you're in fashion, and you notice people are into sustainable clothing. Talk about how your brand is eco-friendly in your content. This can get you some serious attention. Second, team up with people who are already popular and loved by your target audience. If you're in the food business, think about partnering with a well-known food blogger. This collaboration can help you reach more people and build trust, which gives you a competitive edge in your field."

3) Leverage Authentic Voices

Michael Yuasa, Antarctic

"At Antarctic, a creative agency specialized in the nonprofit sector, we've produced creative content that showcases the voices of real people who have been helped by our clients. For example, for the Food Bank of NYC, we initiated a campaign during NYC Pride titled "Food is a Powerful Ally."

We invited queer clients of the Food Bank to create a series of short and enjoyable videos in which they discussed how the Food Bank had alleviated their food insecurity—a significant issue within the LGBTQI community. With the involvement of real individuals, we could strike an especially authentic and emotional chord."

PR ON THE GO Media Lists: Carefully curated journalist contacts and verified email addresses.

4) Add Extra Value to Content

Sofie Couwenbergh, Let Me Write That Down for You

"When trying to rank for a keyword, a lot of companies will try to produce an article that's like the ones already ranking on the first page of Google, just better. That works a lot of times, but when you're competing with much more authoritative sites, you need to add something extra.

When creating an article on content brainstorming for my client, Flow SEO, I approached the topic from more angles than the ranking articles were. So instead of just going deeper, I also went wider. This made the article different from the very similarly looking top 10... and with just one backlink and a much lower DA, we were able to rank it at #1 above articles from sites such as Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, and Content Marketing Institute."

5) Engage Users Through Holistic Content

Eric Hoover, Eric Hoover Digital

"Crafting engaging content for users is a surefire way to attract visits from across the consumer journey. I've worked with teams to develop a strategy that covers a holistic approach to engaging with a user base.

For a major pharmaceutical client, I helped craft multiple articles that spoke to the causes of, treatments for, and management of specific illnesses. This helped drive upper, mid, and lower-funnel traffic based on user queries and the types of information they were looking for. In fact, some of these articles not only ranked in top positions for organic search results, but several ended up winning "position zero" results like Featured Snippets and Quick Answers/People Also Ask boxes.

It's not about just giving users' information; it's about helping them through a journey of discovery. Having that creative, informative piece of content will help others feel they were able to achieve a goal of discovering information on their own, even though it was us helping along the way."

6) Combine Storytelling and Interactive Content

Jessica Shee, iBoysoft

"Creative content can transform public relations if handled strategically. Narrative has been used successfully. Interesting stories were written about how products and services solved genuine consumer problems, rather than just marketing them.

Others can learn from this how to emotionally connect with their audience. Stories are remembered better than facts or numbers. Attention is grabbed and a lasting impact is left by weaving a brand's message into an engaging story.

Also, consider interactive material. Quizzes, polls, and interactive films encouraged participation. The audience spent more time on the site, and crucial targeted data was gained.

Content marketing creativity is going beyond typical ads and making a brand unique. Building relationships rather than selling can give an edge in today's competitive digital market."

7) Utilize Explainer-Style Video Content

Mike Vannelli, Envy Creative

"Leveraging creative video content to gain a competitive edge in public relations can be achieved in several ways.

Standing out by taking an explainer-style approach with videos versus typical corporate promos is one method. Providing value-driven stories, insights, and inspiration builds deeper connections with viewers.

Short explainer videos on processes or spotlighting notable brands have performed exceptionally well, driving engagement, links, and conversions. Thinking beyond the typical use of video in marketing to entertain and inform in a fresh way can really make content memorable."

8) Build an Emotional Connection

Tanya Gagnon, Miss Details

"Connecting with your audience on an emotional level is key to being memorable in a crowded digital landscape. With limited space in people's minds and fierce competition, creating a unique and authentic brand gives you the foundation to build that connection.

To emotionally connect, it's vital to convey your company's core values and personality. This helps your audience categorize your company in their minds, making it easier for them to remember you in the future.

At Miss Details, we have dedicated years to refining the content-marketing strategy, and nothing is more exciting than when a reader has that "a-ha" moment while connecting with something that's been written, knowing that it genuinely helps them.

We often emphasize the importance of drawing inspiration for design from core values. These values provide a wealth of creative insights and, if they are unique and authentic, they can help give that competitive edge through differentiation and connection."

9) Allow Unfiltered Customer Stories

Neil Hodgson Coyle, PRLab

"Back when I led a marketing campaign, we shied away from polished, big-budget ads. Instead, we showcased real customers, their stories, and their unfiltered opinions about our product. This honest approach made our brand more relatable and trustworthy.

Let authenticity be your secret weapon. People crave genuine connections, and they'll reward brands that provide it with their loyalty."

10) Maximize Content Value with Repurposing

Tom Miller, Fitness Volt

"Maximizing the value of creative content through repurposing and multi-channel distribution is a key strategy for obtaining a competitive advantage in public relations. Detailed blog posts about market trends and perspectives were initially written.

We then transformed the content into visually appealing infographics, engaging videos, and educational podcasts. We shared this content across multiple platforms, such as social media, email newsletters, and guest essays on industry websites, increasing our brand's authority as a thought leader and reaching a larger audience.

To replicate this, examine existing content for repurposing potential and ensure it's personalized to each channel for optimal impact."

11) Tailor Unique Content for a Specific Audience

Kevin Hall, Webserv

"Effective public relations hinges on the competitive edge provided by creative content. In our experience, pinpointing and catering to a specific target audience with unique content ensures it resonates deeply. When you offer something distinctively tailored, engagement invariably rises.

Another inherent benefit of standout content is its ability to attract valuable backlinks. Such organic links not only augment search engine rankings but also extend the content's reach, solidifying its authority in the digital landscape.

Yet, the potency of creative content isn't solely in its inception. Its strategic placement on the right platforms, coupled with effective promotion, determines its ultimate success. Positioning and promoting our content on platforms where our audience congregates has been a cornerstone of our strategy, magnifying both reach and impact."

12) Prioritize Readability

Marco Genaro Palma, TechNews180

"At TechNews, we've found that by breaking information down into shorter paragraphs and using bulleted lists, we cater to the reader's scanning habit.

We advocate for shorter paragraphs with no more than three sentences or five lines. Use everyday words, and avoid cliches and jargon. Plenty of white space on the screen breaks down technical information for our readers. Subheadings also make it straightforward and visually engaging, so readers share our content and infographics."


This expert panel was published in collaboration with Featured.

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