Public relations (PR) campaigns serve as a potent tool within businesses’ marketing strategies. When strategically deployed, a PR campaign can elevate brand visibility and inspire consumer action. Comprehensive knowledge of PR campaign dynamics and their strategic application is vital for capturing a broad audience effectively.

But in the last decade or so, the scope of PR has extended far beyond traditional media liaison or events, evolving to encompass the potential that the online world and digital technologies can yield.

Any robust communications strategy must now include digital PR as a fundamental stream in order to be successful and deliver meaningful, targeted engagement with the desired audience. But how does digital PR work? Here we look at the different types of PR campaign, and assess how they can work to drive better business.

What is a PR campaign

A PR campaign involves a strategic sequence of activities designed to disseminate information which will enhance the reputation of a business or organisation. Clear objectives are crucial in PR campaigns, with the primary goal being to boost awareness of a product, service, or brand.

Digital PR should form a crucial part of this wider campaign strategy, especially in today’s online-dominated landscape. It blends traditional PR with modern content marketing, SEO, and social media trends. The primary goals of Digital PR campaigns are to boost online mentions, gain backlinks, and enhance brand visibility, which are increasingly vital for a company’s success.

The rise of the Internet and social media has amplified the impact of digital PR, allowing companies to reach broader audiences. Digital PR introduces businesses to new target audiences via search engine results and editorial placements on popular websites. This strategy also effectively increases website traffic, as digital press releases often lead to inbound links from media outlets. These backlinks improve a site’s SEO, making it easier for potential customers to discover the company online.

How does Digital PR benefit businesses

When executed properly, a digital PR strategy is a tried-and-true method of raising brand awareness online and can rank amongst the most economical means of business promotion. Some of the many key benefits include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Digital PR is more affordable than traditional PR methods, enabling businesses to reach a broad audience at minimal cost while targeting specific demographics more precisely.
  • Reach and Targeting: With the internet and social media, brands can engage a global audience, breaking geographical boundaries and tailoring messages to specific interests and behaviours for higher engagement and conversions.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Businesses can track the effectiveness of their PR campaigns using real-time analytics, employing metrics such as impressions, click-through rates, and engagement rates to optimise results.
  • Drives Sales: Building trust through digital PR initiatives enhances brand credibility, ultimately boosting consumer confidence and purchase likelihood.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Digital PR allows businesses to quickly respond to current events and public sentiment, enhancing their reputation as responsive and customer-friendly.
  • Generates Leads: Increased website traffic derived from digital PR strategies often leads to a rise in new leads, driven by enhanced organic and referral traffic.
  • Improved SEO: By providing valuable backlinks and optimising content for search engines, digital PR enhances website visibility and credibility, drawing more traffic and generating leads.

Different types of digital PR

Digital PR encompasses a wide array of campaign types for brands looking to enhance their online authority. From infographics to hero campaigns and newsjacking campaigns, the options are abundant. However, determining the most suitable type of activity to breathe life into a campaign can be challenging. Before diving into an activity, it is wise to conduct research on the type of content that resonates with your target audience and the online platforms they frequent. Failing to do so may result in investing time and budget into a campaign that falls short of its potential.

Here are a few of the most effective types of digital PR:

Unlinked Mentions

Unlinked mentions refer to instances where your brand is mentioned on a website without a direct link to your site. They often occur when news or press releases have been distributed, but any hyperlinks have been stripped by the publisher. While they don’t provide a backlink, unlinked mentions are still valuable for several reasons.

They indicate that a brand is gaining recognition and becoming relevant enough to be discussed by other websites. This can result from effective marketing, positive reviews, successful product launches, or social media buzz. Plus, although unlinked mentions do not offer direct SEO value like backlinks, search engines consider them signals of relevance and authority. They can indirectly enhance search engine rankings by increasing a brand’s visibility and prompting users to search for it.

Guest Posts

Guest posting, or guest blogging, involves creating and publishing content on external websites or blogs to reach a broader audience. This practice goes beyond merely sharing content; it includes strategic partnerships, networking, and brand exposure, and serves multiple strategic purposes, such as:

This practice serves multiple strategic purposes in digital marketing:

  • Businesses can extend their reach to established audiences, increasing their visibility and exposure. The backlinks included in these posts also drive referral traffic and improve search engine rankings.
  • Guest posting helps businesses establish themselves as industry experts. By consistently sharing valuable insights and unique perspectives, companies can build trust and differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Engaging content on external sites can drive organic traffic to the author’s website. Readers interested in the content are more likely to visit the author’s site, improving user engagement metrics essential for SEO.
  • Collaborating with other bloggers and influencers through guest posting can lead to valuable partnerships and further promotional opportunities, expanding the brand’s reach and influence.
  • Guest posting allows businesses to distribute content across multiple platforms, reaching new demographics that might not be accessible through their own channels alone. This diversification maximises content exposure and reach.

Directory Inclusions

Directory inclusions are essential for businesses to increase their online visibility and drive traffic to their sites. High-traffic directories guide users to specific services, making them valuable for competitive positioning.

Search engines assess local listings to gauge a website’s authority and legitimacy. Being listed in a reputable directory can boost a business’s local search rankings and generate more organic traffic. Additionally, online directories are consistently indexed, enhancing a business’s online presence.

Appearing in the Google Local 3-Pack, which highlights the top three local businesses based on relevance and proximity, can significantly increase a business’s reach to ready-to-buy consumers. Higher rankings lead to more store visits.

However, not all directories are equally trustworthy. It’s crucial to perform due diligence before submitting listings and ensure that business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms.

Notable online business directories, and those you should seek to be listed on, include Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, Yahoo!, Bing, and LinkedIn.

Press Releases

Press releases tell a compelling story about a business’s events, achievements, products, sales, and awards. They have long been an effective tool in traditional PR due to the trust readers place in published news over, for example, paid-for advertisements. In the digital age, online news outlets can increase the reach of press releases and drive traffic to business websites through hyperlinks.

Obtaining digital coverage via press releases can significantly boost brand credibility and SEO rankings. This is largely due to backlinks, which are links from other websites to your own. Backlinks are crucial for SEO as they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant.

There are three main reasons backlinks are essential:

  1. Search Engine Crawling and Indexing – Search engines use bots to find and index web pages by following backlinks.
  2. Ranking Signal – Backlinks act as “votes” for the value of the linked page, influencing search engine rankings.
  3. Competitive Intelligence – Analysing competitors’ backlinks helps identify high-quality sources to target for link-building, making targeted press releases vital.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is a powerful strategy that involves brands collaborating with social media influencers to promote their products or services. Influencers, particularly on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, shape the perceptions and behaviours of their audiences through their content.

Key benefits of influencer marketing include increased brand awareness, enhanced product visibility, and boosted website traffic and sales. The successful alignment of an influencer with a brand’s target audience leads to authentic and effective promotion, as opposed to content that appears overtly commercial and insincere.

The growing popularity of this marketing approach is evident, with 68% of marketers already engaging in influencer marketing. This tactic allows businesses to strategically select influencers who best fit their brand, improving customer reach and enhancing brand perception through trusted endorsements.

The landscape of public relations has undergone a significant transformation in the digital era, extending far beyond traditional media and events to encompass a broad array of online and digital tactics. If you need help with digital PR get in touch to see how WorkPR can help you build your online presence, just like we did with Wright Hassall and Johnsons Veterinary Products.