Are silos causing you friction? 5 ways to connect your content and PR strategies
Working in silos is all too easy – especially when you’re busy and have targets to meet. But collaborating across teams can be game-changing, says Connective3’s Elle Pollicott.
Integrating content and PR teams is crucial to a high-performing, creative campaign / Chris Barbalis via Unsplash
It’s a problem when PR and content teams don’t work together. Ideas can stagnate, SEO opportunities can be missed, and your campaigns can suffer. Here’s how to connect your PR and content strategy to drive even greater results.
1. Invite content and SEO teams to ideation sessions
When you’re strategizing for your next round of campaigns, it’s helpful to send out a detailed brief which includes product focuses, target keywords, and any search insights. These will give your ideation session a clear focus, helping all campaign ideas to feed into your client’s wider organic strategy.
While your PR team know the best hooks and types of campaigns that’ll work, other team members will provide a fresh pair of eyes, and bring ideas to the table that you might never have thought of.
2. Identify internal linking & SEO keyword opportunities
Once you’ve analyzed your ideas and picked the ones you think will work, one of your content strategists should comb through before you pass them over to the client. Make sure you conduct both keyword research and internal linking analysis at a campaign level; this can form the basis of content.
For example, for a recent PR campaign, we wanted to analyze whether celebrities received more engagement on Instagram when they were wearing a suit, as opposed to casual clothing.
While we knew that this would perform well from an outreach perspective, we knew there wasn’t going to be search volume for that angle. However, after doing some keyword research and looking at the search engine result pages (SERPs), we saw search volume for how to pick the perfect suit. We used that insight to create a top tips section on the blog.
For internal links, find out if there are any products or services you need to push and try to naturally weave in an internal link to the relevant category page. Make sure to identify other link opportunities, and provide optimized anchor text, to support your overall digital strategy.
3. Assign the blog writing to the experts
PRs are amazing at coming up with creative ideas and securing links in top publications; content teams have the expertise in creating engaging and insightful content that ranks. So, when it comes to creating content for the blog or landing page that your campaign is going to link back to, get your content team to write it.
Keep press releases retained by your PR team as they know the hooks that will get journalists to open them. But make sure you send any creative assets (press releases, design assets, or anything else related to the campaign) to the content team for proofreading.
A rogue comma or a spelling error may not seem a big deal, but it can be ‘make or break’ and cause concern for clients.
4. Report on ‘secondary’ KPIs
We’ve touched on the fact that if you’re working in PR you’re likely reporting back on the number and quality of shared links that each campaign has driven. If you loop in your content team, they can look at ‘secondary’ KPIs: the result of the optimized content created.
Because you’ll have brought in a content strategist earlier at the ideation stage and had them identify keyword and internal linking opportunities, they will have been able to optimize the content to perform better.
So, before your monthly/quarterly meeting with your client or internal stakeholders, work with your content team to add in a slide or two that talks through organic traffic, conversions, and keyword rankings for each campaign, as well as older campaigns in case you’ve picked up some featured snippets or seen positive movements on the SERPs.
This is a great way to cross-sell a content and/or SEO retainer – especially if the content strategist has noticed topic gaps, or over-optimized content on a site that needs refreshing.
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5. Share content roadmaps with the PR team
If you have a mixture of pure PR clients and clients that sit across a range of services (with retainers for both content and PR), then sharing roadmaps is invaluable. If it’s not something you’re currently doing, then it’s time to start now.
This gives the content strategist visibility of upcoming campaigns, and it means that your PR team can plan ahead with their proactive campaigns, choosing which blogs they’ll want to outreach over the coming months to ensure a constant stream of high-quality links.
Ultimately, if you’re good at what you do, you can drive good results. But it’s collaboration that will help you to take your campaigns one step further.
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