Most companies already have a wealth of ideas, opinion and expertise – but they’re not usually neatly filed in a content folder. They’re more likely to be hidden within a range of presentations, documents, blogs – even in emails.
Good content is the cornerstone of PR activity, so it’s definitely worth having a look at what you’re already producing as part of your work day-to-day, and seeing if and how it could be used elsewhere. Here are seven places we’ve uncovered potential content for companies:
Presentations created for your clients, for internal meetings or for industry events are often filled with useful content. They might be wide ranging or quite specific, and sometimes they’re already neatly broken down into themes: if not, a story can usually be weaved together from a few different parts.
Often, the slide notes provide the richest commentary potential, but it could be that the slides themselves are enough. If they’re too pared down, it’s worth getting the author to run you through the presentation quickly, asking questions along the way, to get to the heart of each point.
Although writing them up is not everyone’s favourite task, case studies are nevertheless really useful starting points. We try and keep our case studies short and to-the-point (a good tip is to write them in stages as the project progresses – so the background and brief can be captured right from early on and revisited later).
Some companies produce white papers frequently, some do so occasionally; either way, these can be rich sources of content and themes, particularly if they haven’t been shared widely. A good PR partner should be able to show you what’s most newsworthy and original, and how to re-work the content into something valuable.
Recently, we worked with a client who’d written a long email in response to one of her client’s questions. She shared it with us to show her thinking on the subject and we immediately felt we could help create a great, informative piece from it. It went on to be a published article.
If you’ve written something you feel is particularly timely or pithy, it’s worth sharing it to see if it’s got legs and can be used elsewhere.
It could be a personal blog, one for your company or even a guest post elsewhere. Of course, already published content can’t be duplicated word-for-word; but it may be there are ideas in there that can be easily built upon.
Notes from an event
Even if you’ve captured them for yourself rather than for a planned write up, you might find there are some gems in your notes; especially as you will have already selected what you think are the most interesting points to capture. These could be the springboard for a relevant piece.
Steph recently wrote a blog about takeaways from the Enterprise Nation Festival of Female Entrepreneurs, as an example.
We’ve found interesting nuggets on social media – sometimes in longer form on LinkedIn, sometimes on Twitter threads. Instagram is also a good source – often people record interesting thoughts on their stories or in responses to others and don’t realise the content could be valuable.
It’s definitely worth sharing existing content from a range of areas across your business with your PR consultant. Their job is to be objective and honest and to help create interesting, timely and relevant pieces that build on your current output.
They should be able to ghost-write in your tone, or edit and craft your pieces, and ultimately help create on-point pieces that work with your objectives and proposition.