By Tom Snee, content director
Let’s face it, a lot of construction businesses take a fairly formulaic approach to PR.
It’s understandable – everyone is always busy, and the linear nature of construction projects means that it’s easy to fall into a pattern of news announcements and not much else.
The photo opportunity with a client with a spade in the ground in some ill-fitting PPE at the not-so-ground-breaking ground-breaking.
The happy contractor stood on the roof at the topping out, with a crooked smile hiding weeks of pain as they tried to hit their deadline.
The council representative awkwardly shaking hands with someone they’ve never met at the ribbon cutting.
We’ve all seen it, but how can it be avoided?
The key is having a proper multi-armed, multi-channel content strategy that underpins your communications and provides a drumbeat of news announcements while also talking about the challenges the industry faces and – crucially – highlights what makes you stand out.
Setting your objectives
When putting together the building blocks of a comprehensive content strategy, it’s important to establish what you are looking to achieve and what success looks like before working out how you are going to get there.
By collectively understanding what the goals are – whether they be increased share of voice in the market, greater visibility in a certain region or securing a major project – an objective-led content strategy can serve as a roadmap for success
It’s important to remember where the various parts of your strategy sit within your funnel and then take this into account when setting objectives for them. Brand awareness and reach are good metrics for top-of-the-funnel content – and therefore good short-term objectives.
However, over a longer period, the strategy also needs to include elements that will work alongside your business development teams to drive people towards making that decision to work with you on their next project.
Maximising your content
No matter what the cornerstones of your content strategy are, the most important thing is to maximise the opportunities you have. Anything that goes out to press can and should be repurposed in multiple ways and across several different channels, ensuring that your precious time invested can garner the best possible results.
It’s a case of seeing announcements not just as one press release, but as content packages.
Take the earlier example of a start-on-site for a significant project. From that one press release you can create:
- A website article optimised for keywords and locations.
- A LinkedIn piece for your own channel, which can then be adapted by key spokespeople for their own profiles to build trust and authority.
- A piece of thought leadership content discussing the key topics around the industry, using the project as an example of your expertise.
- A snippet in your newsletter for clients and prospects.
- A case study of the process leading up to that point, which can be used by sales and business development teams.
Measuring your results
As with any such plan, having measurable results from your content strategy are essential to determining its success and establishing areas that need additional support and refinement.
It’s important that measurement is an ongoing process, rather than one that just takes place at the end of a quarter or – even worse – year. This gives the opportunity to regularly review and then adapt the content strategy where appropriate – especially when examined against the backdrop of a fast-moving news agenda.
Whatever your strategy looks like, the biggest battle is finding the balance between patience and flexibility.
It’s not a case of throwing a strategy out if it isn’t producing immediate results, but there needs to be an in-built element of flexibility to ensure that you are putting resource and efforts in the most effective areas.
By doing this, you have a strategy that can both communicate your current successes and lead to future ones.
Contact us for construction PR advice
Want some help with your construction PR strategy? Contact us today and let us create a bespoke campaign for your business.