Whilst most organisations will be familiar with traditional PR and how it can be used to enhance brand awareness or generate new business leads, digital PR is perhaps a little less understood given its relative infancy and the emergence of new trends or approaches that underpin it.

Once upon a time, public relations was widely viewed as the practice of creating insightful news articles and press releases, sending these to a range of interested media outlets and ultimately securing coverage to help boost exposure. Although this tactic is still commonly used, there is now a lot more to consider when developing and implementing an impactful marketing strategy that includes digital PR.

Unlike traditional PR, its digital counterpart utilises the growing popularity of the online world to achieve similar benefits and outcomes. Rather than waiting for coverage to be published in a physical newspaper, businesses will target online publications instead which comes with the added bonus of improving SEO rankings.

With this in mind, how do businesses go about utilising digital PR as part of a wider marketing strategy and what steps must be taken to ensure they extract maximum value from their efforts? This article will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to digital PR.

Digital PR and media outreach

There is often a misconception that its sole purpose is to secure valuable backlinks, but in reality, the potential benefits stretch much further. Used by marketers as a way of enhancing a brand’s online presence, digital PR provides a measurable and tangible strategy to improve brand awareness, website traffic, website backlinks, SEO rankings, social following and customer engagement.

By carefully applying the key principles of traditional PR to online promotional activities, businesses can generate a level of exposure that will vastly improve their chances of securing high quality leads and sales. Given that public relations are traditionally defined as ‘a strategic communication process that builds relationships between organisations and their audiences’, it stands to reason that the same connections can be established online too.

From a digital perspective, this is achieved through the creation of a powerful communications strategy that promotes a business’ key messages and services through a variety of online platforms and channels, including online news publications, social media or blogs.

For example, a client may wish to comment on a recent industry development by using its expertise and knowledge to craft an in-depth news article addressing the key talking points. Once this article has been written and approved, it is then sent to online news publications with a link to the client’s own website included in the copy to drive traffic.

If and when coverage is secured, this link can then be shared via social media platforms to further boost its exposure and reach, maximising the results through the utilisation of various platforms. This will deliver important SEO benefits too, as any coverage that includes backlinks will boost a domain’s authority and help it rank higher in search engine results.

Integrating social media

Although the importance of social media marketing has been well documented, many businesses may not fully appreciate the extensive range of benefits that can be experienced if they take the time to craft a comprehensive strategy that spans multiple platforms. Better yet, if this strategy is implemented alongside a digital PR media campaign, then the results can give clients a significant advantage.

Clients often use social media to shape an online image of their brand, using popular platforms like LinkedIn, X and Instagram to share information, promote services and attract customers. Whilst the most basic form of social media post is text, there is also the potential to use videos, podcasts and live streams to generate engagement.

As previously mentioned, if your business is in the process of running a digital PR campaign then any key messages or coverage can be shared through the relevant social media channels to help boost exposure. This is also an effective way to strengthen your brand’s reputation as high-profile coverage helps build credibility with your followers.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of including digital PR and online communications as part of your wider marketing strategy is the fact that performance and results can be accurately measured. With programmes like Google Analytics, online content can be tracked to ensure users are interacting with it in the ways intended.

Similarly, all social media platforms have their own built-in analytics so that businesses can monitor the performance of posts and make adjustments to improve the results if needed.

Seek professional support…

Although the principle of creating and then implementing a digital PR strategy may seem straightforward, a successful delivery will always require an investment of time and resources – two valuable commodities that busy organisations may not have in abundance if they are working in an intensely.

It is for this reason that many businesses prefer to outsource marketing functions to a team of specialists that are well versed in the delivery of PR campaigns, both traditional and digital. These teams understand how different tools and platforms combine to provide a comprehensive service, ensuring no stone is left unturned in the approach.

If your business finds itself in a similar position and would like to explore the benefits of outsourcing digital PR functions, then contact our in-house team and book a free consultation today.