The working relationship between construction brands and key media outlets has significantly changed over the years, making ‘press relations’ a popular topic to discuss for construction marketers.
Today the online world has meant that construction brands are able to publish content themselves and engage with consumers across a variety of online platforms. Therefore, construction brands have transformed into content publishers. This means that media outlets are required to work harder to collaborate with brands, supporting them with their internal content marketing strategy by forming close-knit content partnerships.
With this in mind, we believe that a PR strategy (in this case, we’re referring to ‘Press Relations’), can only be the most effective when led by an engaging, structured content calendar; the process should be viewed as a tactic to support your existing content marketing in order to ensure your voice is heard in the right places, at the right time.
But in order to create an effective strategy, you firstly need to know who is best to work with. So when reviewing key industry publications, consider the five following points:
1. Do they have a relevant online readership?
Whilst a publication may be highly reputable within the construction industry, who do they direct their content towards? Regardless of how great your copy is, if it’s not being seen by your defined target persona then it’s a waste of both valuable time and money.
2. Do they have a mix of both print and online strategies to promote your work?
You’ll be able to work out fairly quickly how tuned in a particular publication is to the digital world; are they offering purely product panels or do they include website inclusions, solus emails or social media distribution of your article? However this again comes down to the relevancy of the publishing house; print magazines with a great reputation, directed towards one of your more traditional target audiences, would still be worth including in the marketing mix. It’s all about finding ways to maximise the visibility of your content from different angles – so out of your chosen publications, ensure you have a selective balance of both print and online coverage as a whole.
3. Do they rank highly in domain authority?
This is something that may be passed by when it comes to reviewing publication houses, but when looking for online inclusion, domain authority is a key factor that impacts the visibility of your press release. As explained by Moz, Domain authority is a score on a 100-point scale that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. A well-established publication with quality traffic, informative content, quality website pages and strong audience interaction will have a higher domain authority. So, as an SEO-savvy construction marketer, when you’re evaluating publications, target those with a high domain authority. You can use Moz as a free domain authority tool.
4. Will they generate quality backlinks?
Industry houses with a strong domain authority will also provide you with quality backlinks – one of your primary goals when including online publications should be to land backlinks in your PR coverage, because ultimately you want an engaged reader to visit your website to learn more about your construction brand. If industry influencers or high-readership publications are talking about you and linking to your website, then Google deems you more credible, ultimately having a positive impact on your company’s search engine ranking. Google specifically gives priority in search to companies with the greatest number of relevant backlinks, and PR is one of the best sources for generating this.
5. Do they score well in social authority?
This is also a 1 to 100 point scale that measures a user’s influential content on Twitter and other social platforms. This includes the retweet rate of the publication’s messages on social, the relevancy of their messages and user profile data. Whilst this shouldn’t be your only reason for booking into a particular magazine, a good social authority will ensure your name is exposed to relevant social media users, even after the article has been published.
Whilst many of the above points cover considerations for online inclusion, it’s important to reassert that print coverage continues to be a popular avenue for the construction industry, as many professionals such as architects or contractors like to see their name or project displayed in print. However it’s about combining this more traditional approach with the digital world to ensure you’re maximising your visibility and getting your construction brand recognised by those that matter.
For more information on creating an effective Content and PR strategy for your Construction Business, download our brand new Press Relations eBook here.