Why Long-Tail PR Is Every Company’s Secret Weapon



Posted: In: Blogs Industry Insights & Trends

As we bid summer adieu and get back to business as usual, it seems apropos to shine a spotlight on the hard work of communications professionals and the data-driven PR tactics they employ.

Let’s do that by diving into the topic of long-tail PR, considering how content can continue to ‘work’ for you far beyond its original publish date. But what is long-tail PR?.

Long-tail public relations is when earned, owned, or newswire content either:

  • Drives meaningful impact for a brand long after its publish date


  • Realizes peak performance far after it has been made public

In effect, long-tail PR occurs when content dishes out dividends (social shares, traffic back to your site, etc.) weeks, months, or even years following its publishing.

In the past, publishing content or securing media placements were viewed as the ultimate PR pinnacles. You aimed, shot, and scored. However, in today’s Age of the Customer, the impact of evergreen content can be felt or realized far beyond the day it goes live. The fact of the matter is that most content lives on indefinitely.

We also must consider how content consumption often doesn’t coincide with content publishing. Just because you publish an article at noon on a Monday doesn’t mean your customers will read it then and there. They may save it to read on their lunch break days later, flag it for sharing with their team in their next quarterly update, or re-stumble upon it through search in a year. This is a huge contributing factor to long-tail PR.

This is great news, especially since producing original content takes a lot of time and resources. Understanding what types of content deliver for your brand in the long-term can ultimately be the difference between spinning your wheels and consistently driving meaningful outcomes.

At AirPR, we’re seeing the effects of long-tail content in the PR outcome data for nearly all of our customers who are leveraging AirPR Analyst, our measurement and reporting software.

I’ll give you two examples.

Example 1

One of our enterprise customers in the financial industry recently discovered that the vast majority of their blog content has a 30-day lag time. It takes about one month from the time owned media is published for that content to be read or drive traffic to other pages of their website.

With this information, the customer is planning additional social media pushes and promotional tactics for blog content the month following its publish date to help increase potency.

Example 2

Here at AirPR, we have content from 2013 and 2014 that still drives traffic to our site and garners engagement.

Long-Tail PR

By analyzing the nuances of this content, we are able to make stronger editorial decisions around the topics we cover and we’re able to choose our content partnerships more strategically.

So, how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of your PR and content efforts? We’ve found that long-tail PR content tends to fall into three categories:

  • Content that educates the market
  • Content that showcases customers
  • Content that positions your brand as a resource

Thought provoking analogies, alignment with business or industry trends, useful data sets, and compelling visuals are all ways to increase the probability of long-tail PR.

Not every piece of content is going to grow a long tail, but there are tactics which will exponentially increase the possibility. In our on-demand world, delayed content gratification may be your biggest source of public relations success, so don’t forget to turn around and look back at legacy content that could still be work, work, work, work, working for you.