Content Marketing 101

From crafting excellent, timeless content, to combining different mediums and materials and finally to distributing the content using the channels the intended audiences are most likely to use in order to achieve the desired impact, content marketing has evolved significantly in the past ten years, transcending various fields of human knowledge and talent.

Find below contributions from PR-ists and specialists ranging from starters and technical writers to seasoned and highly experienced specialists who have been shaping the public relations industry for more than 20 years.

Also be sure to check our Tips and Checklists sections.


This post was first published by Blaise Lucey on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Email sign-up forms are everywhere these days. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the website for a bookstore or a Big Data analytics company – email newsletters are still very much in fashion. Mobile devices have guaranteed that people are checking their email more than ever, too.

An email address is the cornerstone o
f a content marketing strategy. A blog post that gets traffic is great, but the odds are good that those visitors will never stop by the website again, unless another blog post catches their attention. Read more

This post was first published by Sarah Love on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Last week, I attended a Pub Club panel event, The Evolving Relationship of Brands and Bloggers: What It Means for Your Content Strategy, which shed light on how blogging (and bloggers) can support a brand’s goals or mission.

The panelists, which included a mommy blogger, agency employees and a corporate blogger, discussed a number of topics related to blogging, from creating relationships with influential voices online to writing meaningful content for your own corporate site. Read more

Public Relations, PR

Public relations has always been about communicating a message in the best way possible, but the channels PR firms can use to do that have changed. A lot.  The digital revolution has opened countless new opportunities and blurred the once-distinct lines separating PR, marketing and advertising ownership.  Here’s an overview of what paid, owned and earned media are, what’s changed across these channels and how they should be approached today.

Paid Media

In the most basic definition, paid media is advertising. Whether it be print, direct mail, TV or radio etc., if you pay for impressions to positively show your product and service off, then it falls under this channel. While the more traditional avenues of paid media have remained, a number of new forms have opened up courtesy of Google, social media and content syndication networks. No matter its form, though, advertising allows companies to easily control their message and get in front of their target audience, but the channel is seen with skepticism.

Tech companies looking to take advantage of paid media should consider how it can be used to amplify their earned media or owned media efforts. Secured a great piece of press coverage? Push the third-party validation out to add some credibility and reach more eyeballs with native advertising platforms like Outbrain. Want to extend high quality content like an eBook to your buyers? Run a targeted LinkedIn Sponsored Update campaign to showcase your thought leadership and support downloads and lead generation.

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This post was first published by James Young on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

It is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing

My intention in starting with this particular Macbeth reference is certainly not to lambaste my fellow writers. It’s not easy to work in journalism, marketing or PR, and when trying to tell our own tales, we all have moments of idiocy from time to time — those times when the stories we tell aren’t quite as compelling as we’d hoped when we’d drawn up an initial outline. Those times when a deadline or creative lapse cannot be overcome.

Then there’s the added pressure of quantity. Content marketing has created an expectation among audiences that anyone who can tell them something of value, and has a platform to do so, should churn out content at an assembly line rate.

But just how much is too much for our audiences? Are they to the point of being so inundated by content that they tune it out? Read more

Piano Practice

Just as practice is the way for musicians and other entertainers to get to Carnegie Hall, writers need to consistently practice in order to both improve and maintain their skills. A Publicity Club of New England member pointed out in a blog post: “Unlike remembering to ride a bike when you were a kid, writing requires practice to maintain your skills. You’re never going to become a better writer overnight. It takes practice, constant re-writing and more practice to excel.”

The author of that blog post also notes (correctly) that members of the public relations industry are, in fact, writers: “Whether we realize it or not, we are writers at heart in the PR profession. Between drafting pitches, writing new business proposals, sending client emails, editing press releases or writing entire whitepapers—a majority of our time is spent communicating through our writing, and your writing can always use improvement.” Read more

This post was first published by Martin Jones on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the future of online search is a new, unexplored frontier. Google will eventually refine its algorithms so that the search giant can “actually understand the content of the Web pages,” instead of simply matching user-entered keywords with highly optimized pages. He predicts that search engines will reach “human-like” levels of comprehension within five to eight years. All of this is leading toward what the content marketing world labels “semantic search.” Read more

Clichés in PR WritingThis post was first published by James Young on March Communications’ blog.

Anyone with extensive academic or professional writing experience has been warned about the hazards of using clichés. In the world of tech PR, we’ve explained why jargon and mumbo jumbo in particular are more common than they should be.

The cliché is a distant cousin. One journalism professor of mine thought so little of clichés that if you dared to use one in an assignment, you would, in his words “suffer the ignominy of an F.” That was not an empty threat, either. I did fail a few assignments.

That professor is not alone in his harsh assessment of clichés. Read more

Think outside the box. Open the kimono. Circle back. Best practices. Innovative solutions.

460135665What do these phrases all have in common? They’re staples of business-speak (AKA workplace jargon) and they have plagued corporate prose for years. Business-speak worms its way into boilerplates, resumes and even live conversations like an invasive species attacking the collective vocabulary of the professional world. We cringe and poke fun at its stuffy emptiness, and yet it persists – even thrives. Read more

In PR, Story Has to Dictate the Format

Technology and storytelling go hand-in-hand more than most people realize. When you think about it, it is the perfect marriage of art and science. As technology evolves, we’re able to complete more tasks more easily and efficiently. The impact that has on the quality of personal and professional lives — that’s where the storytelling comes in. This holds true whether you’re in the telco industry, cloud hosting, IT security or design and engineering.

Every single piece of compelling content is, at its heart, a human interest story. Why should people care what your brand has to say? How will it improve their personal lives? Their professional lives?

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Linkedin logo

Jay Leno only recently signed off The Tonight Show for the final time, and I’m already missing his “Jaywalking” segment. In this classic “man-on-the-street” bit, Jay would walk up to unsuspecting passers-by to ask questions about hot-button issues of the day. Most didn’t know what he was talking about and responded with hilariously uninformed answers. In one of the more recent “Jaywalking” segments, Leno asked people about their social media behaviors. There was a lot of talk about selfies, Facebook and Twitter, but nothing about LinkedIn.

Granted, NBC would likely only air humorous responses from people who don’t know what they’re talking about – you know, everything from “LinkedWhat?” to “It’s sort of like Facebook for rich people, right?” But most of those interviewed, if they were familiar with LinkedIn, would probably have described it as “the social network for professionals.”

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