What is Digital PR and do you need it?
Press releases have always been the standard when it comes to company publicity and public relations. But as with everything in the marketing world, the digital industry has been the catalyst of the huge shake up that public relations is now experiencing.
In the past, the approach to PR consisted mostly of positioning and managing a company’s public image through the use of press statements and interviews. The channel for these messages would usually be the traditional media, such as newspapers, which gave the publication industry a monopoly on the way the brand would be viewed by the public. An unsavoury interview would need to be countered with a shining press release, and there was a lot more work to be done to improve the brands appearance.
But with Digital PR, everything has changed
Digital PR is a practice that is exciting, creative and incredibly useful. A mixture of content marketing, social media, SEO and traditional PR, when businesses use Digital PR they are adding a powerful tool to their overall approach to marketing.
Used to build brand presence, introduce new products and services, and to build a successful online marketing strategy, with this type of PR, companies have a cost effective way to grow. And they will also be able to measure the success or failure of their PR campaigns, because any kind of digital marketing is usually done in a controlled space which allows for monitoring through the use of various digital tools.
Where Digital PR is rather the same as traditional PR lies with the newsworthy stories that will need to be consistently generated. Unlike the company website, which will usually be filled with evergreen content, PR campaigns are fuelled by the current goings on in the company. Newsworthy stories are easier to share and they are also able to generate loads of interest. But where the traditional approach and the digital approach differ is on the SEO side of things.
Digital PR uses things like press releases to not only build the company’s reputation but to also build backlinks to the company’s website. This makes Digital PR a win-win, as it kills two birds with one stone.
Merging PR and SEO
PR Professionals can really play a huge role in the SEO strategy that a company is adopting. These kinds of professionals are incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to audiences as they have invested a huge amount of time ensuring that they have a great understanding about the people they intend to target with their campaigns.
SEO practitioners know that they have to understand their audience, but sometimes have a tough time finding the right people because their understanding of how to identify their audience is not as great as that of the PR pro. But the SEO professional has something the PR person doesn’t, and that is a vast knowledge of search engine marketing.
When these two worlds collide, there is a massive potential for creating a hugely impactful campaign and usually these two industries work best together when they are building brand authority. Digital PR does this through link building, which serves to increase the company’s virtual presence across the web. In turn, this improves the website’s ranking and helps to drive conversions.
Ideally, those who are keen on trying out Digital PR, should already be running some sort of SEO strategy, as the two approaches work best when running alongside one another.
Working With Influencers and the Media
Because the industry is so flexible, it can be used to meet various goals. And one of the great things about this type of PR is that it is one of the few marketing techniques that has been given the nod by Google to be used as an SEO technique.
Marketing is the biggest focus of Digital PR. As the practice is used primarily to build the brand in order to get more sales, through the achievement of marketing objectives, there are some things that will need to be done.
Digital PR requires a more hands-on approach which means the practitioners will need to focus on building relationships with journalists, editors and influencers in order to distribute their high quality content on the web. Working with only the best, and often most popular, people publishing on the web is no easy feat and sometimes it can even mean paying to have content shared. This makes some aspects of Digital PR more costly than SEO.
To get the ball rolling, most Digital PR people will work out an amazing pitch. Using their creativity and their flare for collecting the best kinds of data, they will find something great to talk about and then start pitching their network of online journalists and influencers.
Should their pitch be accepted, the campaign will be launched and the brand name will start to grow. If the campaign runs alongside an SEO strategy, the PR approach is going to be all the more potent as the SEO team can help to give the PR side the reach they are looking for.
Digital PR Tips
There are many things that you can do to make the most of your PR campaign. And if you are testing the waters on your own, you can get started by using these handy tips.
- Tell a story
PR of any kind is all about good story telling. You want to bring people into your company by making them feel something on an emotional level. Anyone looking to read something wants to find interesting stories that draw them in. This is already rather hard to achieve as a business owner, because business stories are not always all that fun or engaging so you need to make sure that you rise above the typical PR tales and create something worthy of an audience.
- Optimise the email subject
Digital PR is mostly done via email and if you don’t have a catchy subject line, then why would anyone open your message? When you get the subject line right and you don’t try too hard to make the pitch sound like the best thing ever, your email is more likely to be read. You should also make sure that you personalise the pitch.
- Accept that the campaign might not take off immediately
There are very few PR campaigns that are instant gold. It is important that you stay patient with your progress and make peace with the fact that it might take some time before you start seeing the kind of results you actually want.
Digital PR, especially for companies working in the public eye, are well worth every cent spent. With the merging of SEO and public relations, companies can control their own narrative and send out positive messages as often as they like. Every bit of this marketing approach can be immensely beneficial in the company’s growth and its desire to achieve greatness.