Why Bad Content Makes PR More Important

There’s been an article doing the rounds suggesting that content marketing could kill PR

When you read the piece, the point being made by +Christopher Penn is that bad content could damage the effectiveness of media relationships because journalists won’t like being pitched bad content. I’m not justifying it but, trust me, journalists are used to bad content – the majority of press releases most journalists receive are unbelievably awful!; infographics are simply promotional literature dressed up as statistics; interviewees sell, rather than talk about issues…

Public relations should help you avoid generating ‘bad’ content. If you have taken the time to get to know your audience – whether they are journalists, customers, prospects, investors or any other group of people that are important to your business, then you should know what content they expect to receive from you. If you serve up bad content it demonstrates that you don’t know your audience well enough and risks damaging the relationships you have.

One of the biggest problems is that the majority of PR companies only have relationships with one audience – the media – and content is often only created with one goal in mind – to get coverage rather than to get your other audiences to take action. They don’t know your audiences. Most agencies don’t actually know the journalists either! Sure, they email them content on behalf of their clients with bad press releases, bad infographics, bad pieces of marketing content. They chase them when they want something published; but know them? Not really. If they did they’d tell you your content was bad rather than risk it doing damage to your PR efforts.

But, far from killing PR, bad content actually makes the role of PR critical to the success of any marketing and publicity program. It can help you avoid poor content or a bad marketing campaign, it can give you insight and help make the rest of your marketing communications programs better. It can also rebuild any relationships that suffer as a result of a piece of bad content that slips through the net.

The bottom line is that if you’ve done the PR right there is no excuse for bad content.





Lyndon Johnson is the founder and general manager of COMMS.BAR™.

COMMS.BAR provides early-stage companies with right size, right time communications strategy advice to help them figure out what they need to do, when they need to do it and remove any unknowns from their strategy. The company is based in Toronto, Ontario.

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