Content Marketing 101 for PR Pros

Content marketing isn’t just for marketers anymore. From helping with influencer outreach to deepening community engagement to improving press release performance, more and more savvy PR pros are realizing the benefits of publishing and distributing fresh, high-value content at regular intervals.

The phrase is tossed around so often, though, and in so many different contexts, that it will be helpful for us to define what, exactly, we mean when we say content marketing.

Here’s a great definition straight from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI):

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Pretty straightforward, right? You might also be surprised to learn that content marketing isn’t a new idea. It’s been around for over a century! The CMI has an interesting video on the history of content marketing, to help you put the idea in context.


If you’re new to content marketing, the idea of producing all that content on a regular basis can feel overwhelming. But at its core, content marketing is about one thing – telling a good story. And PR pros are already experts at telling good stories. Once you’ve got your story down, it becomes a lot easier to think of ways that content can help tell that story.

Here’s a concrete example:
​ Let’s say you’ve just conducted a study that has some interesting implications for your industry. You decide to release the results of that study in a cleverly visualized infographic. But you don’t stop there. You also develop a supporting blog post to explain the results of the study in greater detail, and you package the blog post and the infographic together into a downloadable PDF.

You also hire an industry expert to record a video interview about the study, which you can share with your community and use as part of your social media press release announcing the study’s results. Finally, you turn the infographic into a short slide presentation and pitch, which lands you a keynote speaking engagement at a major industry conference.

And just like that, you’ve turned the results of one study into six different pieces of content – an infographic, a blog post, a PDF, a video, a press release, and a slide deck – that you can use in your PR efforts.

Do you create or use content regularly as part of your PR initiatives? What lessons have you learned?