Digital PR – the new age of Public Relations

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It’s no surprise that those with no connection to the world of corporate communications can struggle to get their head around what PR is. Just to make matters even more perplexing, along comes digital PR. But digital PR isn’t something to shy away from. It’s ubiquitous and yet you may not even be aware of it. So, let’s throw it in the limelight for a moment to understand what digital PR is all about and why it’s important.

Digital PR relates to the online world. Think social media, online publications, bloggers, backlinks and search engine optimisation (SEO). Digital PR is the new age of PR as it is far ahead of traditional PR where the focus was predominately on getting your company in the newspaper. With newspapers and many other print media fighting to survive in a digital world, it is clear why digital PR needs to be part of your communications strategy. It is the present and the future, so strategically building your digital presence is paramount.

This doesn’t mean, however, that the essence of traditional PR disappears when implementing a digital PR strategy. Targeting the right audiences should still be a central principle. For example, your social media posts need to have the appropriate content, tone and timing to engage with your target audiences. Your press releases should be sent to digital journalists and bloggers that write about content in line with your messages. And relevancy should prevail. It is also worth noting that many traditional publications have an online version, so it is possible to get two bites of the cherry with your story and thus reach a wider audience.

You should also consider the medium of the message – a screen is far more interactive than a physical publication. Videos can be an incredibly valuable way to tell your story, show how your organisation or product is making a positive difference, or showcase a shareable challenge. Videos allow you to engage with the online world in a far more comprehensive way than text on paper.

SEO is a major buzz word in the digital world, and climbing above your competitors in search engine rankings can get a boost with digital PR. Backlinks can be a big help with this, providing good quality links back to your website from sites with a good authoritative standing. Building an impressive backlink profile will help with your SEO ranking, which can be achieved through a solid digital PR plan.

The digital world can be overwhelming, but chances are you’re probably already implementing a number of digital PR tools without even being aware of it. The key is identifying which tools are effective for your business and forming a strategy that enables you to be prepared, consistent and engaging with your digital communications.