By Doreen Clark

This article was originally written for Huff Post by Doreen Clark, SmartBug's Director of Public Relations.

Your company has a new product to launch. Your start-up has some of the best and brightest thought leaders in the industry. Your organization has in-depth knowledge to offer on industry topics that IT purchasers, potential users, current customers, and the media need to know. Now what? Your company writes a blog. Delivers a webinar. Creates an e-book and shares it on social media, the company website and through the customer database. Your organization watches for engagement and the sales team waits for the pipeline to fill. Yet, one component is missing in the mix: public relations.

Many organizations make the mistake of thinking that a content marketing program fits into the same bucket as public relations, they assume that they are interchangeable and that, “If we publish, they will come.” Maybe, but there is more opportunity out there. That’s where PR comes in. Both public relations and content marketing deliver communication to a targeted audience; however, the outcome and the delivery are very different. Here are three ways to use public relations to get the biggest bang out of your content marketing program:

1. Pass It On

You have such great ideas packaged in the form of blog posts, e-books, or even informative content through videos. Your team has spent time and resources developing the messages that you want to deliver. Why does it have to stop there? After all, most of the work is already done, except one thing: PR. Review the headlines of your content, determine what would be a topic fit for a mainstream audience and what would be a fit for trade publications, and pass it on. Why let it stop on your website or as a tweet? Let the media know that it exists. Using the media’s built-in audience will allow your content to build traction and, being that PR is about relationships, the more you pass along, the more they will know you are truly an expert within the industry.

2. Tweak It

Why not double down on your efforts? Aside from letting the media know that the content exists, the next step would be to let them know that your author can write a bylined piece for their outlet on the topic. Just tweak what already exists. Use the content marketing piece to show your expertise and subject matter know-how. This will be minimal effort for your organization, since the content was already written, but will allow you to author a unique piece with the same flavor. Using existing content to pitch a byline is an effortless way to get front and center with your target audience. Just remember to keep the self-promotion at bay.

3. Become an Expert

Your company has so much content, within so many areas—from technology to marketing to leadership. The media is always looking for experts who can be quoted and who can offer their opinions for articles in their pipeline. Become their expert. Take some time to figure out what the writer covers and then send a to-the-point email that discusses how your subject is relevant to current business trends and how you can lend expertise to in-the-news topics. Your pitch should be short, while lending a clear angle for a story. Link your content marketing efforts that will point to what you are proposing to the media. It shows proof points of expertise and gives the media an additional place to obtain quotes.

An effective content marketing program is an imperative storytelling tool, yet there is nothing like third-party validation. The credibility gained from being part of something that was not self-published should not be overlooked, as it can be a major win for visibility efforts, and should be part of every company strategy, no matter the size.

To learn more about SmartBug Media's PR program, visit the PR information page.

Doreen Clark

About the author

Doreen Clark is the Director of Public Relations for SmartBug Media. She has over a decade of public relations and communications experience helping both B2B and consumer clients gain media exposure. Read more articles by Doreen Clark.