January 28, 2010

Although you may think by the title of this post I’m going to rant about what big PR agencies do with their new biz pitches and PR plans, I’m not. Nor is this about what to do with pizza boxes and water bottles. The use of the word recycling for today’s purposes is about what companies can do with content created by the marketing and PR team. And I promise I won’t end this post with something along the lines of “For more information about how you can maximize your original content give BPR a call…we’d love to meet with you.” See, that is an example of why many people don’t trust company blogs.

A lot of great data comes from start-ups in the emerging tech space. Typically this data is about both the competitive landscape of a given category (cloud, mobility, open source, etc.) and customer specific use cases. Much time goes into this research and often the data is used just once for a sales presentation, or once for an analyst briefing, then retired to a My Documents folder never to be seeing again. Instead of parking that data think about how it can be repurposed for another audience or across the company. Many times what someone in sales has taken the time to create can easily be ported to the biz-dev team, to the CEO for a board meeting, used in marketing, etc. Let’s take an example of a company sponsored survey.

ACME CO. decides they’d like to gain a better understanding about the Widget market: who is using widgets, who plans to buy widgets, which widgets (that’s a mouthful) people want, how much companies plan to spend on widgets, and what are best strategies for widget implementation. Using various survey tools ACME CO. learns much about the widget market and is especially surprised about the variety of companies across vertical markets planning to integrate widgets into their enterprise. Great press release, right? Absolutely. But that should be where it starts, and unfortunately for many companies that is where it ends.

Social media offers a great opportunity to content recycle using blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other channels. Using the ACME CO. widget survey as an example here are the various ways ACME could promote.

TWITTER: ACME CO is active on Twitter and tweets often about industry news (not just thier own stuff). A tweet should go out about the surprising findings of the survey with a link back to the complete survey.

FACEBOOK: The marketing team should update the company’s Facebook page with data from the survey and some of the interesting findings about the explosion that’s set to occur in the widget market.

BLOG: Since we know ACME CO is a progressive company using all the tech tools available, we’ll assume the company maintains a blog where various members of the team contribute. The blog would be a great venue to share the survery results and possibly name specific companies surveyed who would otherwise not allow their name be used in press materials.

YOUTUBE: ACME CO. loves to post videos and they’ve decided to have fun, using a bit if animation, to demonstrate what the widget market will look like in a year according to thier survey findings. This not only is another channel to share the widget info but it gives the company a chance to show its personality.

In addition to using social media the survey can also provide great fodder for a case study on the widget market, for supporting points in speaking opportunities, or for a contributed (by line) article from the CEO.

Hopefully this has your wheels turning and you’ll add this to your company’s overall recycling program. Or if you think the idea is lame, you could always shred it!


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