4 Pillars of Content Marketing for PR Pros

Real-world examples of content marketing took center stage at PR News’ Content Marketing Boot Camp.

An opening session of the conference, which is taking place at The Yale Club in New York City, featured a discussion about some of the most effective content marketing strategies.

Ben Shields, director of social media and marketing at ESPN, focused on the tactics his company employed to raise awareness of its Tournament Challenge bracket game and drive increased year-over-year sign ups. The solution lay in engaging with a new audience beyond sports fans. ESPN found it in Robby Novack, better known by his nickname, “Kid President.” Novack is a ten-year-old comedian who makes weekly YouTube videos with help from production house Soul Pancake.

ESPN collaborated with Novack and Soul Pancake to produce "Kid President NCAA Tournament Bracket 2013," in which Novack chose the outcomes of the games of the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

Based on Shields' experience with the Kid President video, here are the four elements of content marketing that PR pros should put to practice:

> Produce for social, extend for TV: The fact that Kid President was gaining momentum in the social media space gave the partnership credibility to be used on television.

> Parody involves a formula; stick to it: "We shot this video in the same type of space that Barack Obama does his picks," Shields said, "So we wanted it to feel as close to the video as possible."

> Leverage a popular personality or character with a built-in audience: Kid President was a natural choice, because he already had a following.

> If you build it, they may not come. Distribution plans are a must: "Content is not effective if you don't have a distribution plan," Shields said. ESPN seeded its Kid President videos on all of its social channels, as well as Soul Pancake's. The result? The video reached multiple audiences and demographics.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis

Comments Off


About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' PR Measurement Conference


Join us on April 20, 2015, for PR News’ essential PR Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in D.C., and learn how tie PR metrics to measurable business outcomes.

Use code “150off” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications


In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription


Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.