Technological advances in recent years are the cause for the substantial progression of the digital world, which in turn has evolved aspects of everyday life. Educational systems benefit from tutoring programs and online classrooms, while the medical field utilizes robotics in surgeries and databases for the research and storage of information.
Many professions found themselves having to adjust along with these advances or face the risk of becoming outdated, useless or even irrelevant. The Public Relations profession was among many. In order to keep up, Digital PR was born and it looks like it is here to stay. The easiest way to understand Digital PR is to break it down by each functioning part of the whole, old and new.
Traditional Public Relations
Traditional PR is the starting point. The fundamentals of Digital PR are not different from that of Traditional PR, and the principles of good PR remain very much the same.
The rise of the internet has changed the way the public digests information. As a whole, Digital PR reaches a larger, more relevant audience in a shorter amount of time since it explores new options, rather than the traditional print-based distribution that involved writing press release after press release.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you to never write a press release again. The fact is that you can get the most out of your press release by utilizing all that Digital PR has to offer.
+ Social Media
The best way to communicate with your target audience is to be where they are. According to Pew Research, 74% of all internet users are on at least one social media platform.
Many experts argue that social media should be the responsibility of the PR department. The reason is simple: It is a method of communication. Putting it short, each social platform is a constant news feed for a business. This content should include only the things that will influence your brand image positively.
The media picks up a shocking amount of stories from the web nowadays. A lot of the times, their attention is directed to big news that is constantly being shared or trending hashtags. Social media offers a quicker way to connect with the media, even if it is following a reporter to see the stories that interest them, crafting your pitch accordingly.
+ Content Marketing
Generally speaking, PR and content marketing work toward similar goals: increasing brand awareness, educating target audiences, establishing a though leadership position, customer loyalty, etc. It’s about the two got involved with each other.
Connecting and creating relationships with influencers, such as a passionate blogger within your niche, can be just as, if not more, impactful of a hit than a mainstream publication nowadays. Content on the web has become the currency for building relationships that can result in an increase of earned media.
On the flip side, content marketing provides the opportunity of becoming the media. While brands are adopting publishing models in order to gain a competitive advantage and establishing stronger connections with their publics, they are positioning themselves as thought leaders within the industry.
Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of structuring a website in a way that improves the volume and quality of traffic lead to that website by search engines. For the most part, PR is not concerned with the codes and other techy aspects that are involved in website structures. The art of language, or content, is where the PR department gets involved.
The SEO and PR merge was inevitable ever since Google began to focus on creating valuable content, as well as linking from premium sites. This is all in an effort to appear in the top results of a Google search. These content guidelines were nothing new for PR pros.
= Digital Public Relations
All of these elements come together under the collective term ‘Digital PR’. But have no fear, as the digital landscape continues to change with even more advances in technology to come, the profession is also projected to transform accordingly.