Is Your Content Sticky Enough? How PR Pros Squeeze Fresh Glue into Your Strategy
Did the word “sticky” in the title grab your attention? The first time I saw the word used in reference to content writing, I certainly made a face. A lot of things are sticky – and while you might be rattling off normal adhesives like tape and glue, my brain defaulted to things I’d rather not be sticky – like the playground equipment at a high-traffic summer camp and the underside of a table at a two-star chain restaurant.
That nasty expression did get my attention though – and the concept stuck with me, too (rimshot). Stickiness isn’t just my personal tactile nightmare; it’s an essential trait of an effective, powerful and punchy content strategy. You’ve probably seen or heard some great executions of this tactic: Think about how many TV jingles you still remember from a decade ago, or how many billboards you can recall from your last road trip.
Stickiness makes a story echo. It makes people remember your company, product or idea. In the context of PR, it transforms content into a story worth hearing – and goes beyond words to offer solutions, touch hearts or energize someone to act. It’s the foundation of thought leadership and brand awareness in some very complex markets, and it’s kind of my jam (and I mean my figurative jam, not the sticky kind you probably have rotting in the back of your fridge; actually, you might want to check on that).
As a lifelong writer and especially during my tenure at Caster, I’ve had the pleasure of telling the stories of brands and people doing incredible things. As much as I love the craft, I can tell you that getting content to resonate with customers, stakeholders and the public is hard. The approach is much more intricate than just slapping some marketing copy on a page and praying to the news cycle gods that a story lands. It’s important though, and since you have enough on your plate, here’s why you should count on a well-practiced PR pro to make your story stick.
We Know Who You’re Talking To, and How to Reach Them
Think about how many catchy slogans, stories and oddball perspectives you have heard in the past year. You probably have some standouts that are still floating around in your brain to this day. But how much of the content is actionable for you personally?
Having a snappy jingle or punchline makes your story memorable, but that doesn’t always mean that the right people have it engrained. Whether you want to persuade a business leader to book a demo with your company, stimulate a consumer’s interest in your product, or even draw a crowd to your inaugural event, you need to make sure the people that will act can hear you.
PR pros are lifelong learners and researchers, and we have the tools to sink our teeth into your target audience to find out what they care about, what they already know about your brand, and what journey you can bring them on. Your audience is fresh cement that your words will be traced in, and a PR pro can make sure you inscribe the right words on the right minds to achieve your goals.
We’re Purpose-Driven with Fresh Perspective
Once you’ve identified your audience, your purpose needs to be clear before the content hits the masses, and it needs to be aligned with your target audience’s motivations. PR pros can help you whittle down your story to the most compelling, goal-oriented nuggets. We listen to your objectives and learn what you want your story to do – inform, persuade, educate, energize, provoke action or entertain – and make it happen.
You might think, “Why wouldn’t I have one of my team members do this? They work here and know the brand better than anyone.” But as PR pros, we’re well-seasoned to become a creative extension of your internal marketing and communications teams. We kick the research into high gear again, understanding your products, your services, your mission, and more. We’ve cultivated an innate ability to step into your audiences’ shoes and deliver an outside perspective that translates the foundational pieces into what your audience cares about and how your brand can deliver. Once we have a plan, we combine the audience and purpose research to formulate the most powerful campaigns and ideas possible.
We’re Loud Cheerleaders Bound by Ethics
You can know your company, product, services or idea is a great one, but that doesn’t mean that your audience will see the charm, too. Even the punchiest content can’t provoke action without credibility. You need to be able to back up your expertise and reputation. When crafting your story, PR pros delve into data to make sure that your story is just as truthful and as it is provocative. Statistics, third-party research, testimonials, or other data to provide substance to your story, verify claims, and demonstrate the impact and relevance of your message.
Great, sticky content can be persuasive without fabrication, and like journalists, PR teams are held to a high standard of ethics that ensure that we don’t take shortcuts when crafting your content. We connect the dots and back up your story with real-life, proven examples to make sure that once you grab someone’s attention, you can hold onto it and nurture trust in that relationship.
We’re Writers by Nature, Communicators by Trade, and Learners by Passion
Folks who know me personally can tell you that even though I’m a PR pro, I’m a writer to my core. I’ve tutored students from elementary school to PhD candidates for seven years. I’ve worked in various content roles professionally, and I just celebrated my three-year anniversary of writing at Caster. I have a handful of communication and writing degrees – so clearly, I love the craft enough to dedicate massive chunks of time to the profession. My point is, I have had a lot of time to learn and grow as a storyteller. But even with countless success stories under my belt, I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of what words can do.
PR pros wear many hats, but we’re all propelled by the art of storytelling. Every day, we continue to learn new things about your industry, uncover fresh angles and forge new relationships with the stakeholders you want to reach. We know that words matter and spend time exploring new vocabulary and writing styles that will make heads turn, and even more importantly, we know when and how to eliminate jargon. We work hard to master the voices of the companies and projects we’re serving to deliver consistent tone, while continuously working to evolve with the latest trends, goals, and news cycle to keep your brand’s footprint fresh. Perhaps most importantly, we know our media genres, so once we have a recipe for your success, we know how to modify it and whip it into the right form to reach your goals.
Ready to Stick With the Pros?
Formulating content that sticks when you’re not a PR pro can be a little bit like nailing jello to a wall, or it can be like using a whole bottle of super glue. It might result in hours of preparation with no results, or it might get stuck to everything and cause a huge mess for your team to manage, often leaving permanent marks that you never wanted. PR people are the Command Strips of content creation. We’re here to join forces with you, help your story make an impact, and of course, help you re-adjust as needed. And we won’t leave any damage behind.