Content Gathering Tips and Tricks 

Communications professionals spend a lot of time behind the computer. Between writing articles and blogs, pitching stories and curating social ed calendars, screen time can consume a large part of the day. However, despite the predominantly digital nature of their work, there comes a time when PR practitioners must step outside the virtual world.  

Thanks to smartphones, capturing top-notch visuals is easier than ever. Yet, with so many content opportunities, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not! After a recent content-gathering day for a client, I picked up some valuable tips. Here’s what I learned along the way. 

Have a Game Plan  

Don’t arrive at a content-gathering day without a game plan. Before heading out, spend some time researching and brainstorming. Create a list of ideas for posts you could curate and locations for each of them. Having a strategy will save you time and provide you with a great foundation for what the day will look like.  And while having a plan is helpful, be ready to pivot when needed. Notice that I said “when” not “if.” A new place will inevitably inspire you to think outside of the box, and the odds are that you’ll come up with even better ideas than the ones you started with. Be open to what the day has for you. 

Keep Your Eyes Open 

Be on the lookout while gathering content – break out of tunnel vision. Keeping your eyes peeled for interesting new content can help you build on your initial ideas. For instance, on a recent content gathering trip for our client, Federal Realty, I was set on just capturing the blooming flowers for a few spring posts. However, as I wandered around, I couldn’t help but notice the buzz around the place. People were all over, checking out different areas and snagging deals left and right. That’s when it hit me – there’s more to this than just pretty flowers. Paying attention to what customers are up to and where they tend to gravitate will give you a sneak peek at what may be missing in your content. Don’t be afraid to switch gears and adapt on the fly to make sure your content hits the mark. 

Be the Audience  

To truly connect with the brand you’re representing, it’s essential to step into the shoes of your audience. As a communications professional, this means momentarily setting aside your own perspective and immersing yourself in the mindset of those you’re trying to reach. When recently gathering content at a shopping plaza, before diving into taking photos and videos, I pretended I was there to shop and stepped into the mind of a consumer. By empathizing with your audience, you gain valuable insights that enable you to better serve and connect with them. 

More is Better 

No amount of content is too much content. Trust me, you’ll be relieved when you’re back in the office and on the hunt for the perfect post for your client. Having a variety of options at your disposal is like having a toolbox filled with different tools for different tasks. It provides you with flexibility and adaptability. With a plethora of content choices, you’re better equipped to tailor your posts to fit various platforms, target different audience segments and respond to evolving trends. It’s about having the freedom to experiment, iterate and ultimately deliver the most impactful content possible. So, remember, in the world of content creation, options are your best friend. 

Hodges Interns

Read more by Hodges

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to receive our blog posts by email