Guest Post: Confessions of a PR Goal Digger

⌛ By Gina Collinsworth ⌛

There has never been a better time to be a public relations professional working in today’s idea-driven economy. With the rise of citizen journalists, influencers and social media platforms connecting 24/7 to ever growing niche audiences, smart communication freelancers and media companies have the opportunity to build an all-star content creation team that is on trend, on brand and on message. If you are a communicator with a public relations background, it is your time to shine, and the stars of today’s communication teams are content creators who set goals and understand their audience.

I am not doing traditional marketing. Content creation is a different mindset.

I am a content creator and part of a team of creators. The traditionally slick marketing mindset is less valued and authentic substance is key in today’s relationship-driven brand culture. The goal of the content creating team is to provide value to customers and potential customers. As a creator, I am always asking what can I do for my audience. What pain point can I help with? What information do they need? Selling through building trust is the action to focus on. Today, information, support and education are the tools to deliver the branding message and identity. Think of this new type of content as the traditional, top-of-the-funnel, customer outreach activity. The goal is to bring them further along the continuum by building trust and providing value at every point of their journey.

I do still use a call-to-action (CTA) in the content copy, video or infographic.

Never ever miss an opportunity to ask your audience to take action with a CTA. This may seem like a typical “sales” pitch, but the new content world you are building is developing a relationship with your audience. If you do it well, they want you to ask them to do something. They expect you to care enough about them to understand what their needs are as a customer, and understanding this, your goal should be to direct them to the next step. They need your help. This is where the call to action comes in. You know there are hundreds of messages you can use for a call-to-action, here are some examples, “like and share this post,” “sign up for a free toolkit,” “watch this video and subscribe to our channel for more tips.”

I believe today’s message is only effective if it is about building a relationship.

The most effective content teams are, ideally, made up of people with diverse backgrounds and various experience levels, all working together and focused on the same thing, showing love for their customers. With ever more digital personalization options and more competition for the customer’s attention, the brand who will win in the end is the one who generates genuine, empathic, focused and branded communications that make customers feel like you are on their side. On all social media channels, never pass up the opportunity to reply to anyone who interacts with your brand. Thank you is often all you need to say to build a lifetime relationship with your audience (customer). Algorithms will change and the popular social media platforms will rise and fall, but you have built a relationship with your audience (customer) that is not dependent on the platform. It is based on service and empathy. Then, your audience will follow you wherever you migrate your presence to, independent of which content platform is popular that week.

Remember, content is king, and the message the team creates will bring your company brand to life with personality and authenticity. Serving the customer is the goal to keep in mind. Do it with creativity, reliability and empathy, and customers will love your brand.

Gina Collinsworth is the co-owner of Jam 2 Music & Media, a music and media company she owns with her composer husband, Larry. Gina has a MA in English, Professional Writing & Editing from the University of Cincinnati and has written grants, edited books, sang in a rock band, worked as Chief Public Relations Officer for a nonprofit and inspired by her local community, ran for political office for the first time this year. Gina is a PRSA-River Cities Chapter charter member who lives in southern Ohio. Connect with Gina on Linkedin.