The Inbound PR Strategy

Prioritise those who care about your business.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

Inbound is fast becoming a paradigm shift for PR.

As optimising web content becomes increasingly essential, inbound is becoming an intriguing opportunity for marketing and public relations alike.

But when it comes to inbound, most PR professionals think about landing pages, conversion rates, and Software-as-a-Service (like HubSpot, the leading inbound software).

However—inbound marketing is also a PR strategy.

Here’s why:

The Inbound Mindset for PR

Inbound marketing is a fundamental shift for PR professionals.

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mindset is a fundamental shift in public relations.

Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing - Doctor Spin - The PR Blog
The difference between inbound and outbound.

Instead of focusing on trying to spawn non-existing audiences, PR can do so much more with existing online publics. 1See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).

If your inbound PR strategy is good enough, you might not even need an outbound PR strategy.

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.

Read also: The Inbound PR Strategy

Drawing the Line Again

Drawing a line between those who know you and those who don’t know you is nothing new:

  • Push marketing vs pull marketing.
  • Cold selling vs hot selling.
  • Cold leads vs hot leads.
  • Traditional marketing vs permission marketing.

Too many organizations consider inbound audiences as “already paid for” and thus do not need further attention. Hence, most companies instead pour their PR- and marketing budgets into various outbound activities.

“Why should we spend our PR- and marketing budgets on ‘already acquired’ audiences?”

This is a flawed PR approach:

In a wired world, not bothering with your existing community won’t give you the long-term online success you seek.

Brands cannot afford to ignore their existing brand communities.

Inbound is Smarter PR

Many brands focus on landing pages for list building, content themes, call-to-actions, viral loops, conversion rates, lead magnets, content upgrades, landing pages, a/b-testing, marketing automation, email marketing etc.

Definition of a Landing Page

Landing page (LP) = a web page stripped of standardised menus and sidebars with a single call-to-action often repeated as the users scroll further down the page.

Read also: Iceberg Publishing—The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

But inbound is more than just deploying various tactics to capture online leads.

Most companies want more traffic, fans, emails, and sales. But in most cases, reaching new outbound audiences isn’t the real problem:

If your site isn’t growing, what happens if you compensate for that lack of engagement by paying to 10x your traffic? Now you have 10x the number of people who are not engaged—and your budget is spent. Doesn’t make much sense, right?

However, if you activate and engage your existing audience, it won’t stay small for much longer. Because in a wired world, people influence each other. And people influence algorithms.

And that’s the real PR power of inbound.

Thank you for reading this article. Please support my blog by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

Bonus Resource: Deep Content

Deep Content

Here’s an example of an online content structure that’s five levels deep:

In the example, five layers of evergreen content are stacked:

  • Level 1: Articles
  • Level 2: Content Upgrade
  • Level 3: Resource/Lead Magnet
  • Level 4: Ebook
  • Level 5: Online Course

Deep content is centred around providing increasingly higher quality to content divers since they’re more valuable than surface browsers.

As for the importance of structure and depth, the logic is the same as for iceberg publishing and content themes.

Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy

PR Resource: Content Themes

Content Themes

Let’s use a fictitious example of an IT company. First, they decide on a core message for their content strategy:

Core message: We make IT easy to understand.

Then, the IT company breaks their core message down into four business-critical content themes:

Q1 content theme: We make people understand the internet of things.

Q2 content theme: We make people understand business automation.

Q3 content theme: We make people understand cloud computing.

Q4 content theme: We make people understand managed services.

For each quarterly content theme, they produce content packages. Each content package could contain the following:

  • Infographics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Social Media Updates
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Magnets
  • Swipe Files
  • Template Files
  • Content Upgrades
  • Online Courses
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Livestreams
  • Email Send-Outs
  • Events

Learn more: How Content Themes Works—And Why You Should Use Them

PR Resource: Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content

What’s evergreen content? For a piece of content to be evergreen, it needs to sustain its value over time. Meaning: The content must be relevant today, tomorrow, and in the foreseeable future.

While news content might have a more significant impact short-term, evergreen content instead accumulates over time:

There are different ways to leverage evergreen content. I recommend a few axioms for evergreen content:

  • Two years. To be considered evergreen content, I think the content must be relevant and valuable for at least two years. It’s an arbitrary time frame, but if an organisation can produce content lasting for two years, it will typically last for much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be considered evergreen content, there must be an existing volume of search engine users looking for the information. Without search volumes, the content will likely be ‘ever’ without the ‘green’.
  • Gentle gardening. Evergreen content will only stay evergreen if you tend to it occasionally. To check if everything’s working, add something helpful if needed, and perhaps clean out some unnecessary stuff. It’s a bit like gardening, I find.
  • Personal touch. It’s difficult to publish something unique. However, adding your brand’s tonality and flair to the content is always possible. The objective is to establish trust and authority, so a touch of personality matters.

Learn more: Evergreen Content is Forever

1 See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.


Grab a free subscription before you go.

Get notified of new blog posts & new PR courses
Powered by NEX-Forms

🔒 Please read my integrity- and cookie policy.

Write B2B Blog Posts

Use my storytelling template (with action prompts) to create blog posts for B2B experts using The Outline Method. Including my 16-page How-To Guide, Demo Post, and professional feedback.

Get influencer outreach right by knowing the four types of influencer marketing. In this blog article, I've clearly defined them to mitigate confusion.
Most popular