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What is Digital PR? Your Questions Answered


You already know about PR, but there’s a difference between traditional PR and the newer, more web savvy, digital PR. The latter brings together the best of SEO, social media, and yes, good old-fashioned connections to give your brand a bit more credibility.

Want to know more about digital PR and how it can help your brand? Here are some answers to common questions about the field, as well as some insights into how it can help your business.

How Does Digital PR Differ From Traditional PR?
While one might assume that PR is PR, that’s not necessarily the case. Traditional PR covers crisis management and the client’s reputation. In this field, the PR professional focuses on media outreach–leveraging contacts with journalists, media outlets, influencers, and the public.

Digital PR takes on the role of the traditional PR pro, but instead adds elements of SEO, content marketing, and social media savvy to the mix. Most of the role will take place online, so efforts are easier to measure.

It’s safe to say, both forms of PR have a similar goal, there’s currently a gap between the two as traditional PR catches up with the new guard. In the future, digital PR will likely just be considered “PR.”

How Do You Measure Success with Digital PR?

You already know about PR, but there’s a difference between traditional PR and the newer, more web savvy, digital PR. The latter brings together the best of SEO, social media, and yes, good old-fashioned connections to give your brand a bit more credibility.

With digital PR, there are many ways to measure success. This form of PR is a subset of digital marketing, so everything here can be tracked and monitored. While it depends on the goals of your campaign, success may be measured by the following metrics:

  • Sales numbers
  • Social media engagement and reach
  • Brand mentions
  • Impressions
  • Social shares
  • Web traffic
  • Backlinks
  • Keyword rankings
  • Leads generated

To get an accurate measure, you’ll need to take stock of these stats before the campaign begins, and ideally, generating weekly reports. With the amount of time and money it takes to run a solid PR campaign, measurement is crucial.

Does All Digital PR Take Place Online?
While the bulk of activities and efforts will take place in the digital sphere, digital PR still includes the full scope of IRL events. Bumps in traffic following an advertisement or direct mail campaign, for example, still have much to do with digital PR.

But, the key here is, the steps leading up to that event or advertisement took place online. Think social media mentions, promotion via platforms like Instagram or Facebook, or paid ads.

Digital PR is Comprehensive
SEO, content marketing, social, and customer service all come together under the digital PR umbrella. Often, organizations operate in silos, with marketing doing one thing, customer service doing another.

When you hire a digital PR firm, you’re getting a total solution; a plan that covers everything from social media posting guidelines to photos, and the type of language used to communicate with external stakeholders.

With digital PR, content marketing plays a major role. Blog content and social messaging are optimized for SEO–then combined with public relations tactics.

Keyword research can help you find people who are searching for similar content. Instead of limiting keyword usage to blog posts, the PR pro will insert that research into bylines and press releases.

How Does Digital PR Use Social Media

Social media is a significant piece of the digital PR toolbox. Social media helps us literally relate to the public and is a key element in reputation management to competitive analysis.

Here are a few ways a brand might use social media in this profession:

Influencer Outreach
Influencer marketing is a useful tool for brands looking to speak to a larger platform than they would normally have access to.

As such, a big part of the public relations professional’s job is to build relationships with high profile influencers. From there the digital PR specialist will act as a liaison between influencers and brands–which helps brands get the word out.

Steer the Conversation
Digital PR specialists still work with journalists, but these days, they’ll take to Twitter and beyond to get your name into the news.

Public relations professionals take part in the online dialogue surrounding your relevant topics–they may bring up your brand to journalists that cover your niche vertical.

Combat Negative Mentions or Reviews
Social media is often the first-place people look for information following a scandal or adverse claim. PR professionals often set up company accounts to draft and publish responses to crises–and deflect the public to another channel for additional information.

Additionally, social media allows the PR specialist to act quickly and steer the conversation in a different direction.

Announce Company Updates
Part of the digital public relations strategy is to use social media to announce launches, awards, and other updates. Short videos and graphics allow PR pros to get your information out to a large, distracted audience much faster than traditional PR methods.

Instead of waiting for your press release to hit, updates are sent out immediately to large swaths of the public–and with links and tracking metrics in place, you’ll get an immediate snapshot of how each announcement impacted business.

Is Digital PR the Right Fit For My Business?
Digital PR is another piece of your marketing strategy–it should be a given just like content marketing, SEO, and data analytics.

Hiring a digital PR professional will give you a leg up–allowing you to position yourself as a leader in your space through social listening, media connections, and crisis management.

Contact Us To Learn More About Our Integrated Digital PR Services  

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