We’re in the midst of a digital revolution. It seems like almost every day there’s something new coming out, and every once in a while, that something makes an especially big splash. This affects practically every industry, and that’s true for marketing, too.
Outbound marketing is out while inbound marketing is in. Direct mails have been replaced by emails. Social media networks have, in many ways, replaced socializing itself. So, it’s axiomatic to think that ‘old’ means ineffective and outdated.
But that is a massive oversimplification…
Focusing on public relations (PR), it might seem like a throwback to old time, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful today. PR can still be used. The trick is to combine it seamlessly with new digital tactics and channels to reach the new “Digital or Online PR.
But let’s not put the cart before the horse…
Before diving into using PR, let’s make sure we’re clear on exactly what digital PR means, and why it’s still a really big deal.
In 2007, Ströh defines public relations as “the umbrella function that manages the communication between an organization and its publics to build and enhance healthy relationships to the benefit of all parties involved.”
In 2009, Center and Broom define Public relations as “the management function that identifies, establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the public on whom its success or failure depends.”
When you think of digital/online PR, you might think of submitting press releases digitally. But online PR has evolved into much more than that. It’s very similar, in some ways, to traditional PR in the sense that it’s about influencing people rather than acquiring placement for brand content. This influence could result in a story in a magazine, newspaper or blog. Also, it could result in another online pick-up, including by social media influencers.
But online PR includes a wide range of other activities that help brands/businesses reach a wider audience digitally, activities with no need for a big book of traditional press contacts. Rather than, it requires asking new questions like, how does your business rank in Google? Are you publishing regularly across your website and other channels — in different forms that can be repurposed and repackaged easily online?
So, simply digital/online PR is a powerful strategy which can improve a brand’s online presence and visibility by aligning PR with SEO, inbound marketing and lead generation.
When it comes to digital PR and digital marketing, people are often confused by the roles that each play. While both do share many similarities, there are some key differences that set them apart as follows:
A focused digital PR campaign can make a big difference in building your online identity and what makes your brand unique, improve your online presence and brand awareness.
Here are some of the ways digital/online PR can benefit your brand:
Digital Marketing and digital PR are intimately linked and both offer the opportunity to greatly improve upon each other’s successes. By integrating all aspects of digital marketing and PR in one strategy, you create an outstanding cross-channel strategy that can’t be matched.
Moreover, how much time you have available for digital/online PR may be a key factor in whether you decide to do it yourself or to outsource. Remember that, the more digital PR strategies that you use, the more likely you will improve your brand’s reputation and successfully grow your business.