Marketers have long been great at creating new terms for things. Content marketing is now among them and refers to a new kind of marketing that's apparently really cool and revolutionary and is being applied by really smart marketers. There are even content-marketing gurus, summits, and whole books on the topic.
The thing is, the highly effective strategy of creating informational content that's valuable to prospects and customers has been with us for decades. If developing content-rich material and putting it online is new, then perhaps content marketing may be new.
However, I'm pretty certain that lots of very experienced public relations (PR) pros will be amazed to learn that they've been doing that kind of new promotion most of their careers. They just didn't know what to call it. Now they do!
In any case, demonstrating expertise, becoming an authority, providing "how-to" information, and speaking about subjects of interest or relevance to your market or "network" are a superb way of promoting or driving market engagement for B2C or B2B brands.
PR doesn't stand for press release
Effective PR pros are great at far more than dreaming up ideas for and shooting off press releases, although sometimes that's a perfectly good tactic to apply.
They've also been proposing and executing content-based tactics such as seminars (webinars), contributed articles (blog posts), whitepapers (online whitepapers), speaking opportunities, audio and video production (webcasts/podcasts), and even books for their employers and clients since the dawn of professional PR back in the late 1920s.
Yes, they were creating informational content to help promote brand awareness, preference, loyalty, and "engagement" way back then. Somehow old school has become new wave.