Corporate Blogging: Five Steps to Intelligent PR Through PR Intelligence

It's time for PR people to think like real marketers. Here are five steps to better results through analytics.

Are you using your corporate blog effectively for media engagement? By now, we’ve all heard (and grown weary of) proclamations of the death of the press release. Self-designated gurus are saying – and even believing – that your blog should be used to draw the media in, and that pushing out your message is becoming a PR relic. This could not be further from the PR and marketing reality we live every day While there are “pull” benefits to your corporate blog and social media marketing program, mixing them with good ol’ fashioned push marketing tactic can make it even more powerful.

Add more discipline and intelligence to your PR activity in corporate blogging and social media. This will lead to faster and more impressive results, not to mention information you can integrate into your long-term plans.

Below, you’ll find five simple steps for getting much more PR value out of your corporate blog through content planning and basic email marketing. Follow them closely, and the amount of guesswork that goes into figuring out what a reporter wants will drop precipitously.

1. It all starts with a list: but, it has to be a good list. Narrow what you have down to your most engaged media outlets. These may be the contacts with whom you have the deepest relationships or merely the best odds of coverage. Use this list to get stated; you can add to it later if it makes sense (you’ll know if it does).

2. Opt in and push out: reach out to your high-value targets with a simple and powerful offer: “Would you like a weekly blog preview?” Provide summaries on Friday morning of what you’ll be publishing in the coming week. Give your target outlets a sense of what is coming, and they’ll have a chance to prepare … which means better coverage for your company.

3. Make it actionable: with each preview, include information about accompanying data and charts, quotes and interview opportunities. If appropriate, offer embargoed content (upon request). You’ll increase the odds of (better) coverage while being able to track early interest across all the outlets on your target list. This is intelligence you can add to the profiles you keep on key reporters and bloggers.

4. Measure everything: use your email marketing solution (or other trackable environment) to distribute the blog preview to your media list. Measure opens and click-throughs. Track who is watching what. Enhance your understanding of your highest-priority journalists and bloggers. Use this for future content strategy and pitches.

5. Refine your editorial calendar: take the intelligence you gain from this program and make adjustments to your corporate blogging content strategy (and enhance it with blog analytics). Optimize your content for future media engagement.

With this approach, you go from suspecting to knowing – relatively quickly. In the near term, you’ll drive more meaningful engagement, and by making it easier for reporters to cover your company, you’ll get more pickups, put more of your message into the market and drive more traffic to your corporate blog. The increase in traffic, of course, fuels your analytics, providing more intelligence to your sales and marketing teams for revenue generation.

For your team, the intelligence you gather will help you in all forms of outreach, from individual pitches through corporate blog content strategy. Metrics provide a clearer and more real view of your target outlets, leading to the more productive use of your time. The results will speak for themselves.

There is no substitute for metrics and discipline, especially at the intersection of corporate blogging and PR. Adapt the pull strategy typically associated with social media to include the push tactics used in traditional press release distribution, and you’ll learn a lot from every weekly preview distribution. This is the sort of competitive advantage that makes a profound difference every day.