The PR landscape is evolving, moving towards an ever increasingly digital environment. Public relations as a discipline has had to expand its abilities far beyond the traditional, incorporating a more integrated outlook over all mediums. Digital PR has expanded in definition over the last few years, incorporating a range of strategies and disciplines designed to increase brand value and visibility online.

Digital PR is a term now being used frequently to describe not only traditional PR in a digital setting, but now incorporates Manual Outreach, Social Media and Content Marketing. This combination of disciplines requires detailed organisation, clear communication and a holistic strategy to meet clear objectives. Ensuring all these spokes are integrated is the key to quality digital PR, it allows for flexibility and scope, in order to be more fluid in the ever-changing online environment.

Manual Outreach

Manual Outreach has become a key component of Digital PR strategies, aimed at influencing opinion on the internet and generating leads. By connecting with influential websites and bloggers can give your brand important leverage in an increasingly crowded market.

“It is all about earning targeted media coverage for your business.”

Targeted brand exposure places your content in front of attentive eyes, which can generate online traffic to your business.

Outreach teams should be dedicated to sourcing strong links based on relevance, credibility and domain authority (DA). Reaching out to quality websites and blogs for your business not only helps promote new content, but also generates positive signals for your search engine rankings.

Earning links requires strong relationships to be built with bloggers and webmasters. With a focus on blogger relations, outreach teams can expand their knowledge of a given industry and reach across larger audiences. A network of online publishers can help potential clients find your content, generating online conversations and building your authority.

Collaborating with influencers across blogs, social media and other channels provides a stage from which to shout your message – resulting in relevant coverage for your business.

“It is all about working with the right people to amplify your brand in front of the right audience.”

Content

Having a team full of fantastic writers has become part and parcel of Digital PR. In depth research, strategy and creativity are key skill sets for your content team. They also need to be savvy in areas such as SEO and social media to understand how content must be structured to be digitally compatible.

Different mediums such as video or infographics should also be considered, to connect your message to the consumer in a different way.

A strong content strategy helps nurture leads, by ensuring all potential customers are informed, entertained or provided with value in some way. You should be looking to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, verifying your reputation as the top brand. Proving and exhibiting your expertise helps expand your audience and form brand advocates.

Playing raconteur and illustrating your brand with a personality will resonate more clearly with potential clients. Well-written and strategically placed content has the potential to naturally nurture clients, ensuring trust is built as a part of your brand offering.

Social Media

Social media is the most fruitful way to engage with your customers on the web. It not only should provide information about your business, but communicate with your audience to develop relationships. Successful social media strategies, not only lead to greater brand engagement, but can also increase web traffic.

Social media channels can be utilised to gain insight into your audience, knowing what people say about your brand is essential. Listening to what is trending and how people are engaging can bring about significant advantages. It can provide vital intelligence to ensure targeting is accurate and allows measurements to be made to understand the success of a given campaign.

Brands now communicate directly with customers, offering them live advice and information via social platforms. Social media is a key driver of brand reputation. It hosts the world’s digital conversation – adding a personal touch to Digital PR.

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PR

Traditional PR techniques are still at the heart of Digital PR, with practices such as building relationships and producing press releases being a valid part of the marketing arsenal. PR shows its importance in establishing stories to capture the imagination of journalists or magazines.

At the core of PR is effective media relations, which ensures publications regarding a given brand are formed in a positive light, helping to secure exposure to a larger audience.

Multichannel focus ensures maximum exposure, whether that be online or offline, and provides an opportunity to spread your message in a cohesive and effective manner.

Ultimately a successful PR campaign will add value to your overall Digital PR strategy by picking up coverage online.

“Digital PR can be viewed as the glue of an integrated digital campaign, fashioning brand personality and building trust to influence consumer decision making online.”

Digital PR is an ongoing process, it requires monitoring and analysis in order for it to be continually optimised and amplified. The internet is constantly changing and requires a knowledgeable team to keep up to date and adapt with the digital landscape. Identifying digital trends and utilising online tools are also an integral part of any Digital PR campaign.

There is also increasing emphasis on the relationship between PR and search engine visibility, as both disciplines begin to become more intertwined. Since the Google updates of Penguin and Panda, many old SEO techniques are now dead and are now considered to be unethical. PR and Search now work alongside each other as having common aims, embracing both people and technology. There is little doubt Digital PR directly impacts your SEO campaign, meaning you are much more likely to be found online.

Digital PR provides another angle to ensure your brand gets heard, helping you drive conversation and improve brand perception online.

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