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Startup Tips: Three ways to use content to promote your brand

In my last post,
I talked about the different types of content that PR can generate,
specifically: earned, shared and owned. With this landscape fast-changing and
new techniques emerging almost daily, it can be hard for startups to know the
difference between different types of content and how to use it.
  Here’s a quick guide:

Earned Media

What is
This involves pitching an interesting and relevant story idea to a reporter. If the journalist likes your
idea and decides to write an article, the resulting coverage will help raise
awareness among stakeholders and validate your company’s idea. There’s a lot of
work involved in this process – you literally have to “earn” the story.

When it
: “Interesting” and “relevant” are key words. Journalists want to
write stories that will engage their readers, show they have the inside track
on what’s new and keep them coming back for more. Typically reporters want
“hard” news such as significant funding from name-brand VCs, disruptive
technologies from proven innovators, or a key distribution partnership that
will assure a company’s success. New products are often tested and reviews
published as a result.

a product review that appeared on CNet recently for Bird PR client, health
tracker, Basis.  It was the culmination of many months of
collaboration with the reviewer, Brian Bennett.

Shared Media

What is
In the era of social media, Pinterest, YouTube and internet memes,
“killer” content can go viral if you do it right. The value of this is clear:
getting your brand in front of potentially hundreds of thousands of customers.

When it
: That’s the hardest to part to predict. No one knows they have viral
content on their hands, until it has gone well, viral. Sad, but true. However,
you can certainly stack the deck in your favor by working with
editorially-trained experts to generate content that engages and entertains. A
few firms, like Group SJR that works
with the likes of Dell, are emerging with this specific focus.

Here’s an example of a
video that Group SJR did for GE to celebrate the invention of the LED light
bulb. It’s generated nearly 140,000 views on YouTube along with other media

Owned Media

What is
This is content created by a brand or company, such as bylined
articles, blog posts, white papers, etc.

When it
: With media outlets struggling to keep up with the volume of news and
innovation in technology, particularly in the face of shrinking editorial
teams, many now accept contributed content. Forbes practically invented this,
and if they can’t take credit for that, they certainly made the practice of
posting brand content acceptable. However, changes abound with many
publications starting to realize they can attach a price tag to this real
estate, so work with your PR firm to work out what’s best for your particular

an example that appeared on VentureBeat for Bird PR client, PowerbyProxi.

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