Startup marketing teams that spend time and money on a demand generation asset and then overlook activities to get earned media interest omit a huge opportunity to reach potential buyers. Earned media is an important channel to reinforce promotions through paid channels and maximize your staff’s time — it lends third-party credibility to your content, and it reaches a broader audience than your targeted spend can achieve. Bringing in your public relations team at the last moment, after all the other promotions are planned, significantly undercuts your media team’s ability to secure earned coverage.

Demand generation and content marketing teams that haven’t worked directly with a PR agency and/or your in-house team may be asking: What are the things that the PR team needs to support your pillar assets and turn them into earned media gold?

A cohesive calendar

First, your PR team (both the in-house lead and your PR agency) prefers to have advance warning that the asset is in the works (ideally around four weeks, if possible). We use this time to develop the messaging and the media list that will help maximize the value of our new asset. You may be surprised — certain reporters at prestige media outlets need a considerable amount of time to review our media materials and commit to  publication.


Second, your PR team would greatly prefer to have an opportunity to input on the press release and advise what will garner interest from the reporters that cover our industry. It’s typically not advisable to write a press release without input from your PR team! You may have read advice from people who say, “I wrote a press release and it didn’t do anything!” This often happens when the messaging in the press release is informed by corporate B2B marketing priorities, and not by the insights and knowledge of the PR team that interacts with media on a daily basis.

Your PR team can provide insight into the types of content that will be of interest to the media and worth the effort and cost required to write a press release. Surveys and studies can be mediagenic, especially if the research showcases findings from 500-1,000 participants. Assets that reflect genuine thought leadership, a unique perspective, or insights grounded in an executive’s experience from truly impressive accomplishments and leadership roles they have held can also attract interest from media.

A well-rounded go-to-market strategy

Next, we recommend that the content marketing team sync the press release date with the first publication date of any marketing assets. While it’s possible that some assets will primarily be of interest to buyers or prospects and less interesting to journalists, it still is better to plan ahead and ensure that your PR team has a chance to weigh in so you don’t undermine your ability to get media interest. It’s worth considering your campaign as a major strategic channel for landing content and securing interest from prospects alongside sales motions.

This is a perfect example of Multiplier Marketing and how siloes — in marketing or public relations agencies or within your in-house team — can have an impact on the overall success/health of your brand awareness goals.

When you have different teams (demand generation, content marketing, public relations) working together, you see the multiplier effect in action. Efficiency multipliers mean that you’re getting more juice from that one asset. Creativity multipliers when you bring the storytelling abilities and knowledge of what’s making news for your full public relations team (including your public relations agency and your in-house team) to the content creation process, you’re getting more insights and ideas that help make your content stand out. Finally, your B2B marketing team will benefit from intensity multipliers. Media articles that include links can increase the impact of your content asset and drive more leads; plus the ‘surround sound’ effect that occurs when audiences see your content discussed and shared in multiple channels (media, social, email, blog, etc.) increases chances of reaching them. 

In today’s market where buyer journeys are longer and more convoluted and buyers invest in lengthy research before engaging with sales, getting your content into as many channels as possible helps your brand stay top of mind while the prospect goes through their research process. Consider the value that seeing your brand’s insights and research in a well-respected publication can bring to your business development efforts — and make your PR team a priority stakeholder when developing each new pillar asset in your demand generation and content marketing program. 

About the Author

Maura Lafferty is an influencer relations specialist, with a particular focus on media outreach over social channels. Maura has over 14 years' experience in public relations, and relationships with media working in national, California, and Silicon Valley newsrooms.