I had a client (a property developer) ask me how is Digital PR different from traditional PR.
“The principles are the same, but Digital PR is better,” was my quick and bold response.
Public relations are digital, because people are online. Full stop.
With digital PR you can reach a larger, more relevant audience for a longer period of time because you’re not tied to traditional one off print-based distribution. Digital PR makes your stories travel further (if they are good enough, of course).
Before the Internet took over, PR was much more of a one-sided discussion. You had to assume that your stories were interesting and even if they weren’t, people still read them, because there wasn’t anything else to read. Competition was smaller and people’s attention span was longer. You were lucky.
Not any more! We live in the world, where bloggers can get more attention than national papers and social media superstars have the power to change minds. You have to fight for attention and you have to produce really good stuff.
Difference between Digital PR and traditional PR
Digital PR people are techy
This is one of the most distinctive differences: Digital PR people are analytical.
A business must listen to and monitor what is being said about their company, product or brand online, who is driving these conversations and where these conversations are being held.
We’re now looking for a deeper understanding of what different audiences are saying about our clients through social media, and how we can best use that as part of the campaigns we’ll be putting together.
Google Analytics can help show the potential impact of your campaign. It allows you to see which PR pieces drove the most people to your client’s website, how long they stayed, what pages they visited, and more. This level of information can provide insight to clients on what is and isn’t working for media outreach, help provide some return on investment for your work, and allow you to refine and shape your campaign goals accordingly.
Digital PR doesn’t need traditional media
This is another fundamental difference: Digital PR doesn’t necessarily have to deal with the media, because we get to speak to your target audience directly.
Let’s say you are selling a fantastic new beauty product. You submit the press release to blogs written by beauty bloggers and offer to send a sample for a review. You get a great review and people are coming to your website to see and learn more.
Online PR doesn’t have to be expensive. Many bloggers will review your products or services for free (as long as you provide a sample).
You can find out who’s influential online in your industry – bloggers, journalists or simply other professionals active on social media. Connect with them and get to know them. Provide them with interesting content at the right time and they’ll write about your brand.
Digital PR is good for SEO (search engine optimisation)
The more well-respected sites link to your website, the more Google (and other search engines) will trust you and rank you higher on search engines. The higher you rank, the more people can find your website.
TIP: If you submit a keyword optimised article or press release to blogs, article directories, and online PR sites, you should see an increase for your backlink (incoming hyperlink
to your website from another website) profile. The objective is that the press release gets in front of news reporters, bloggers, and other industry experts and that they find it interesting enough to link to you. Thus from a link building perspective press releases can have a benefit on your SEO.
NB! Print articles will more than likely mention your company’s website, but this requires readers to memorise or write down your website, go to a computer and physically type in a link to access product or brand information. Online media removes that middleman, placing hyperlinks directly to a client’s home page, in the body of the article. With the simple click of a button, your clients’ latest news and offerings are available to readers.
Why I freaking love working in Digital PR?
I love developing brands, promoting them across dozens of channels, and reaching out to all of those hundreds fascinating reporters and bloggers.
PR allows me champion stories to the masses. And there’s no better feeling than when the story is passed forward and shared repeatedly beyond the boundaries of its initial targets. This feeling is amazing!
As a PR person, being part of telling a story worth telling and exceeding the expectations of its preliminary reach is the biggest compliment of all.