Content creation is now a mainstream PR tactic, as it should be. Content is a necessary part of a communication and PR program but there is a problem with how some PR pros approach content creation. The problem is that is a lot of content out there offering tips isn’t really insightful or inventive.
To create meaningful content for an expert, PR pros and communication leaders need to write things of substance that demonstrates their client's expertise and lays the foundation for solid content program. At the risk of people commenting that this piece is a no-brainer, I offer four rules for creating well-informed content.
1. Get the details.
As a rule of thumb, anyone creating content on behalf of a company or another person needs to spend the time to get to the details. What is important to that spokesperson? What truly makes them an expert in a certain area? What insights can they provide that others can’t?
All of us look at company messaging and bios for background, but do this in a different context as a way to give your spokespeople a certain tone that is unique and effective. As an example, if a spokesperson is really into customer service, make sure their content is always about customer interfacing and how that can help business growth. It can, and should, add a unique aspect to what you are saying on their behalf. Interview your contact and pinpoint the details to make each piece specific and unique.
2. Look for a contrarian view on what is already being said.
If there is a certain topic that is being played out such as tips for start-ups, look for a voice for your expert that says something that goes against what is being said. Should entrepreneurs look for a mentor? Maybe not. It might cloud their first instinct on how to approach the launch of their business. What other ways might they look for insight and feedback? What can your expert say differently that still gives sound advice, but doesn’t mirror what is already being said?
3. Make a point to be authentic.
Ask yourself “Why would anyone care?” as a way to set the tone for the piece and not come off as a sales pitch. Encourage people to create content based on the main goal of creating a community that is interested in the same type of topic. I don’t want to sell an idea to my community; I want to start a conversation. This is a really good rule of thumb when coming up with tone and an idea for a topic.
4. Check your timing before creating content.
Make sure your advice or information is presented in time so that the audience can utilize it. Too often I see content pushing actionable advice too close to the timeframe to have anyone use it. So ask yourself, if you are going to have your expert say something, did you allow time for people to interact with it and actually use it?
Some of these tips may be obvious, but I hope not all, and that they help when approaching how to present yourself, or your spokesperson, as an expert, sans the fluff.