3 ways to ace corporate content
Savvy communicators know they must stand out from the crowd.
How can you accomplish the difficult task of grabbing audiences’ attention
while also including your organization’s corporate goals and messages?
Amber Allman, vice president of corporate communications and events for
Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK, shares a few tips to make sure your corporate
content sings—no matter what you’re writing about:
1. Think of your audience.
Content crafted with your readers in mind can make it more compelling,
which in turn, can make your efforts more effective.
PR pros can start by asking themselves the following questions, Allman
Is the story relevant to its intended audience? Is it newsworthy? Even if I
already know about the topic, does the story add something new? Does it
speak to more than an audience of a few?
Though you’re looking to accomplish organizational goals through your
content, your corporate story or video doesn’t have to be boring. Spending
the time to make content interesting for your readers and viewers can
“I like stories that make me smarter about the world around me in an
easy-to-digest way, but not patronizing,” Allman says. “I also like stories
that have a cool factor, evoke emotion and compel me to take action in some
Allman says that though general elements of your content should be
consistent, you should tailor your copy to the audience you’re targeting:
For example, employees likely want to feel pride in what their company is
doing – and they should be informed at a level digestible enough to go and
share that news and pride. Customers are going to want to know how what you
are sharing is going to make them more successful. Is it something they can
apply to their business to create more customers or revenue? Investors are
going to want to know how the news affects your company’s bottom line. Will
it make investors think more confidently about your company? Will they see
this as a financially compelling move for their investment? Journalists are
a varied group as well.
Also keep in mind where your audiences reside online and tailor content
“You should know who your audiences are, what they are looking for and
where they go to get that information,” Allman says. “For a corporate
audience, communicators should know where their employees most prefer to
receive content. If they don’t respond well to email call-to-actions,
perhaps think about distributing content through other employee channels
like intranet or internal social platforms.”
At a minimum, avoid copying and pasting the same piece of content across
channels or to different audiences.
“Do not try to push a one-size-fits-all story or pitch out into the
universe,” Allman says.
[RELATED: You can learn more from Allman as well as speakers from FOCUS Brands, GE, IBM, Microsoft and more when you register for Ragan’s Content Summit for Corporate Communicators webcast on April 25-27.]
2. Know your goals—and measure your progress towards them.
Allman says that keeping your audience in mind (including the audience to
which you’re reporting) can also help you hone your measurement efforts
when you’re showing the ROI of your efforts.
A CEO or board might want something different from a sales organization or
chief marketing officer. For example, some of our leaders want to see if
our PR efforts are reaching the right audiences and what the value of that
coverage is. Our sales team wants to see how our coverage compares to key
competitors so that they can prove to clients that we are the best option
for their business. Know what measurements equal success for your
leadership up front before you dive in.
“Who are you measuring for and what will they want to see?” Allman asks.
Allman also suggests establishing a baseline so you can “show positive
movement” prove the value you bring—from setting your campaign strategy to
executing individual tactics.
Don’t be worried if you don’t have a lot of money to do so, either: Though
some communicators think that measuring their efforts are even tougher with
a limited budget, Allman says it can be both a curse and a blessing. PR
pros who show that they’ve boosted the bottom line can become an invaluable
part of their organizations.
“Do not be afraid to show your worth,” Allman says.
3. Aim for content that does double duty.
The content you produce shouldn’t be a PR or marketing effort unto itself.
Rather, it should support other campaigns and goals across your
If content about your company or brand makes your audience think positively
about you and makes your audience want to take action (for example, learn
more about your business, buy your product, etc.), then it is helping to
support your marketing efforts.
Allman also points out that earned media placements often are considered
more valuable than paid media opportunities “because the third-party
reporting by journalists provides unbiased information to the general
public.” An outstanding piece of brand journalism can generate several
headlines, giving you bigger bank for your content bucks.
Social media is another way your content can help with branding efforts, by
increasing engagement and grabbing more eyeballs.
Stories from all kinds of news sources are easily proliferated to numerous
audiences in astounding ways. Social media has turned the traditional media
pyramid on its head. Similar to when the printing press came on the scene
and information—from varying perspectives—was getting to mass audiences,
social media has amplified that and then some. Those mass audiences can now
also share those stories at a furious rate as well as share their thoughts
about a story in real-time. In the same vein of sharing thoughts, we’ve
also witnessed how comments on stories can often outweigh the impact of the
You can help strengthen social media content by embracing video.
“Video has made consumption of stories even easier and more entertaining,”
Allman says. “Video adds that ‘seeing it is believing it’ component to a
story and helps capture another level of awe and/or emotion.”
No matter how your content is supporting your other communications efforts,
make sure it fits the goal, channel and audience.
“Please, do not force a consumer story on a business reporter or news
outlet,” Allman says. “Do not simply take a press release headline and
replicate that on social media. Be informed about how to craft your story
for different news outlets or social media platforms.”
Learn more from Allman as well as other valuable takeaways brought to you by experts from Microsoft, FOCUS Brands, IBM and GE by registering for Ragan’s Content Summit for Corporate Communicators webcast. Join us us virtually April 25-27 to glean insights and boost your content skills.