Earned media

Content Marketing in Public Affairs

If your aren't adhering to the principles of content marketing, you may not be doing your job as a public affairs professional.Some public affairs professionals pooh-pooh content marketing, even as they devour op-eds, letters to the editor and media coverage of their pet topics.

Content marketing has been embedded in public affairs DNA for a long time, becoming an essential tool to explain complex issues and demonstrate the consequences of action — or inaction.

White papers, proof of concept, legal analysis, third-party testimonials and financial audits are long-time public affairs staples. They have been augmented by SlideShare presentations, infographics and videos to tell your side of a story.

A critical principle of content marketing is producing material that attracts and sustains the interest of your target audience. When they do their jobs effectively, public affairs professionals zero in on what's important to a lawmaker, regulator or neighborhood group. They generate communications that answer the questions their audiences want answered.

Getting Off to a Good Start With New Clients

Starting work with a new client is like dating. Fun, but eventually expectations must be made clear.Starting a relationship with a new client, or launching a new project for an old, repeat customer, is a lot like dating. At first, groping in the dark may yield some quick, mutually satisfactory results. But eventually roles and expectations must be expressed if the relationship is to be sustained and a success.

Try this check-off list as work begins for a new client:

1. What does the client really want?

The client may say it wants lots of positive stories in the media. Determine why. Selling product may be one simple reason. Or there may be deeper, more complicated, unspoken reasons to consider – legal, mergers, employment issues, for instance? The answer may change your recommended strategies.

2. How is success defined?

The client may have a clear, achievable goal in mind, or be unable to articulate a desired outcome. Work with the client from the start to quantify a measureable outcome. The definition could be as simple as getting 10 major stories placed in key publications. Or success may be more challenging, such as achieving a 10 percent increase in customer approval ratings.

3. Is there a culture for success?