Digital PR Explained
Digital PR is often confused with other online activity, from spammy link building to fluffy content creation but here we explain what it is and how, when it’s done right, can deliver strong and tangible results for a business or brand.
What is digital PR?
In its simplest form, it’s a series of tactics to increase a brand or business’ online presence, predominantly via the media.
It focuses on creating newsworthy, engaging and creative content that will secure coverage in the media to help your businesses or brands, reach their current, or new, target audience. There are other channels that digital PR can target including blogs, forums and review sites to support wider media activity.
The aim of digital PR is to get your brand, business or product in front of your target audience to drive awareness, traffic to your website or a specific action such as an enquiry or booking.
As mentioned, PR is sometimes confused with link building in the SEO world, but it’s very different.
Link building is purely focused on securing links back to site. It can be on any site, anyhow and with no consideration of relevance, a brands reputation, or the audience it’s reaching. More often than not, link building becomes a paid for opportunity, resulting in links of questionable quality and provenance being secured in pursuit of third-party authority metrics.
On the other hand, Digital PR is focused on creating content that will naturally get talked about to secure links and results in an organic way that doesn’t involve a fee. A way that truly represents a brand, positions them as reputable and is much more likely to engage your audience to inspire action. Which let’s be honest, is the aim of the game!
PR activity can sometimes be forgotten about when considering wider SEO activity and digital growth but for a lot of consumer and B2B businesses, PR can be pivotal in delivering results on its own or as part of a wider scope of activity.
With so many brands competing for space in the media, creativity in PR has become more important than ever before. Bringing your news to life in engaging and media friendly way is vital to the success of activity. Knowing your audience, creative ideas and media relationships are all key to PR success and this is something that Found has truckloads of!
So, how does digital PR help a business or brand?
Digital PR can support your brand or business in many ways. It can work as a sole tactic or as part of a wider SEO or digital growth strategy.
Via online media, Digital PR will:
- Drive awareness via brand/ product mentions
- Secure links to your website to drive traffic
- Educate your audience regarding a new offering / product
- Instil trust in your target audience
- Build a positive reputation
- Position you as thought leaders in your given industry
Depending on the overall objectives, campaign activity can be tailored to deliver the results you want and the areas you want to prioritise out of the above.
What does digital PR involve?
There’s a range of different PR tactics that can be utilised to build an effective strategy for a brand. The main tactics you’ll use as part of a campaign are:
- News generation and media relations
- Awareness campaigns
- Thought leadership
Digital PR can use current news already within your business or it can be created by using tools and resources such as first and second party research, data insights or rolling out business initiatives.
Which tactics that are implemented depends on the overall objectives of what we want to achieve. It also depends greatly on your target audience, brand positioning and the media we aim to secure results with.
Usually, a good campaign is a balance of a couple of different tactics to really deliver strong results consistently. Brand awareness doesn’t happen overnight with one piece of activity, so consistency and regular activity is an important part of a sustained PR campaign to deliver results.
How does it work with wider SEO aims and overall online presence?
If done well, the tactics discussed above lead to online coverage on targeted media outlet. This coverage then results in:
- Links to site
- Clicks & traffic to site
- Improved brand awareness which leads to more organic brand searches
- Enhanced site authority
- Tactical SEO positioning (reduce visibility of negative stories about the brand)
- Drive impressions / engagement across social media channels
All of this activity supports the wider SEO activity and general online presence.
What is the Found Digital PR approach?
The Found Digital PR approach is simple but hugely effective. It’s a strategic balance of insightful data & research brought to life with impactful creativity that will drive awareness and action across media and multiple other channels.
At Found we have market-leading analysis and tech resources, human brilliance and inspiring creative ideas to bring your business to life for both a consumer or a business audience.
This activity will form the foundation of any PR activity we propose as we are able to get insights into lots of different areas including your target audience, what they are interested in and what they are searching for online to ensure we are targeted in our strategy and approach.
From here we bring in the creativity. The ideas are what bring the research and insights to life to create consumer friendly and media worthy content. With such a competitive media landscape, creativity and innovative ideas is more important than ever before to cut through the white noise of all other activity.
Our strategy is also focused on a multi-channel approach to PR, meaning we think of ideas with PR and media relations as our main focus and ultimate goal but also consider all other online channels to maximise the content and creative produced, results secured and supports consistency for consumers. This includes channels such as your website, social media, email marketing and influencer outreach.
Relevance is hugely important to our PR approach, both making sure the content and campaign is relevant to your brand or business but is also relevant to the target audience. There is no point in creating a campaign that isn’t relevant to your audience as it will deliver no engagement – so there isn’t really much point!
Emotion or action is another big consideration as a lot of the time we want our audience to do a certain thing, so it’s important that the content stirs emotion or actions, it could be anything from amusement, education, entertainment or inspiration.
Taking all of these points into account, we can create an engaging, relevant and consistent PR campaign that will secure top results to really set you apart from your competitors.
By Rachel Leamon, Head of Digital PR at Found.