What is digital PR and why is it important?
Digital PR is a sub-type under the broader public relations umbrella, and focuses solely on the way in which you manage your business’s reputation online. As with traditional PR, reputation management is one of the main purposes of digital PR.
When it comes to reputation management, there are two main types of PR: positive and negative. Positive PR occurs when you generate good publicity that portrays your business or product in a positive light. In the context of digital PR, an example of positive PR could be distributing press releases to generate media coverage of your business in online media outlets.
In addition to generating positive PR and responding to negative PR, digital PR can help to:
- Establish your digital footprint
- Increase your brand’s credibility online, and establish your business as an authority within the industry
- Build brand awareness within your target audience
- Supporting your SEO efforts
- Improve your brand image
- Generate referral traffic
- Increase leads and sales
There are several ways in which you can use digital PR to achieve these things. The approach that will work best for your business will be determined by several factors, including the type of product or service you are promoting, demographic you are targeting, and your business’s overall goals.
A digital PR campaign may involve some or all of the following digital marketing activities:
- Creating and distributing press releases to relevant websites and online media outlets
- Monitoring online media coverage for competitors in your industry
- Building relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in your industry or niche
- Increasing your reach and engagement on social media
- Content marketing, including the publication of high-quality, high-value content that is relevant to your target audience – for example, blogs, guest posts, social media content
- Link building to help you earn backlinks on similar relevant websites
- Responding to comments about your business online (including negative ones)
- Soliciting genuine customer reviews
- Search engine optimisation (usually focusing more on keyword research and content than technical SEO)
- Reporting on key metrics from Google Analytics
What does the digital PR process look like?
Digital PR is just one of the services we offer at Tomedia. Here’s what the process might look like for you and your business:
1. Initial consultation
We’ll start by asking you some questions, so that we get to know you and your business. This will also help us to find out more about your business, brand, and digital PR needs.
Some will be more general, like:
- What does your business do?
- What products or services do you offer?
- Who are your current and potential customers?
- What are your long and short-term goals?
Others will be more focused on the PR side of things, such as:
- What kinds of digital PR strategies are you interested in?
- Do you use any digital PR strategies at present?
- What are you looking to achieve through digital PR? (For example, do you want to build trust in your brand, establish yourself as an authority in your field, or generate new leads and sales)
- Who will you be targeting through digital PR?
- What sort of a message do you want to be giving your customers?
- Do you have any ideas that you want to share?
- Do you have any examples of what other businesses are doing with digital PR that you like?
At this point, we’ll also do some of our own research. This will look at who the leaders are in your industry, who your direct competitors are, and what each one is doing with their digital PR strategy.
3. Strategy development
After that, we’ll go away and start building a digital PR strategy based on your goals, preferences, and requirements.
We’ll put together a plan, which will detail our recommendations for the digital PR techniques you should be using. We’ll also prepare a timeline for implementation.
We’ll then ask for your feedback on this, and make any adjustments required.
4. Asset creation
Once you’ve approved our strategy, we’ll get started creating any assets that will be needed to execute your digital PR campaign. The assets that we create will depend on the type of strategy you have chosen.
For example, if your digital PR strategy is going to involve the distribution of press releases to relevant online media outlets, this part of the process would involve writing the press release, and brainstorming a list of publications that it would interest.
If you were wanting to focus on responding to negative reviews online, we might start crafting stock responses that address the issue, whilst painting your brand and product in a positive light.
We’ll always come back to you for your feedback on all assets created before implementation. At this stage, you’ll have the opportunity to give your feedback, and we’ll make any changes needed until you’re 100% happy with them.
Once your assets are all ready to go, it’s time to start implementing your digital PR strategy in accordance with the agreed plan.
Once your digital PR strategy has launched, we’ll continue monitoring it to see how well it’s performing over time. This part of the process is ongoing, to ensure that we are achieving the best possible results for your campaign.
If we identify any shortcomings (for example, if a certain technique or part of the campaign is not performing as well as we expected), we’ll put together a list of recommendations for improvements. We’ll ask for your feedback and thoughts on this as well, prior to implementing any changes.
In an increasingly digital world, it is essential that you take proactive steps to manage your reputation online in the same way that you do in traditional media.
One of the ways in which you can do this is by adopting a digital PR strategy that has been closely tailored to the needs of you and your business. Digital PR agencies like Tomedia can help with this.