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Content is king, but media relations rules the roost

Content marketing has been one of the cornerstones of professional services marketing for decades. Sharing knowledge and providing insight has been the way law and accountancy firms look to capture client attention.

The Covid pandemic has seen content explode into client inboxes as that other staple, in-person events were taken out of the mix.

As restrictions begin to ease, there is no sign that content programmes will abate. As more firms adopt thought leadership programmes, it is likely to only increase.

Most professional services firms will not have the luxury of a dedicated content marketing team. It will fall anywhere between the PR, BD or digital teams, and often with the lawyers or accountants themselves.

Discipline is needed.

The aim should not be to simply produce content, or to produce as much content as possible. Nobody consumes content.

Clients, staff and intermediaries want to read engaging insights that are relevant to their business or personal lives.

Given that most, if not all, marketing and communications teams will not be in a position to ask their clients, how do you determine what is relevant?

Firstly, look at the data past posts provide. This will provide a clear picture of what hits home and what is being ignored. Turn to popular articles and posts for inspiration and don’t be afraid to revisit a theme every now and then.

Secondly, turn to your PR teams.

They will be working with journalists day-in, day-out and will have their finger on the pulse of what is hot or not across a wide range of industry sectors. If a commissioning editor agrees an idea is of interest to its readers it is also likely to grab client attention too.

Finally, keep ideas fresh and flowing.

That can be a challenge, made no easier when working from home and with diaries that seem busier than ever.

One effective approach that we have adopted with our clients is the monthly ideas call. Typically, lasting 15-30 minutes with a small group of individuals, we use these calls to explore the questions clients are asking now, what they may be asking in the near future, and what firms would like them to be asking. We find this approach provides ideas that are rooted in genuine client concerns and that fill the gaps between the bit ticket stories and perennial themes. It also holds your PRs to account to deliver.

Matt Baldwin is the joint managing director of Coast, a PR and communications consultancy. www.coastcommunications.co.uk

Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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