Digital PR (public relations) and traditional PR share the same objective: increasing brand awareness and managing your business' reputation among your target audience as well as the broader public. The difference between the two is that digital PR relies on online channels to achieve this objective, rather than traditional channels like print media, TV, and radio.
Compared to traditional public relations, digital PR is more accessible to small businesses and solopreneurs. You don't need to be well connected – or well heeled – to get started: Many online PR tools and tactics exist to help you get started for free or at a low cost – for instance, by leveraging existing media lists or tapping the audiences of established companies or influencers in your industry.
"Compared to traditional public relations, digital PR is more accessible to small businesses and solopreneurs."
For this reason, digital PR levels the playing field for small businesses. It can position your company's name alongside larger, more established brands and give you an edge on competitors who aren't yet up to speed on online channels.
Curious to learn more about digital PR and how it can help your business? In this post we'll cover:
There are multiple ways to approach planning and launching a successful digital PR strategy. Some typical examples of digital PR activities and tactics include:
- Brand mentions on other websites. According to the latest PR statistics compiled by uSERP, 84.39% of digital PR experts said that brand mentions have a large impact on authority and web traffic. Using an online publicity platform like SourceBottle, you can get quoted on big-name media sites and blogs in your industry.
"...84.39% of digital PR experts said that brand mentions have a large impact on authority and web traffic."
- Online press release distribution. Online newswire services like Newswire and eReleases will send your news to a large media database of publishers and journalists for a fee.
- Guest blogging. You can reach out to publishers, such as other company blogs or independent bloggers, and offer to write a guest post in exchange for an author bio (and often a link back to your website, which can help with SEO).
"...each out to publishers, such as other company blogs or independent bloggers, and offer to write a guest post in exchange for an author bio."
- Podcasts. By appearing as a guest on podcasts, you can position yourself as an industry expert. Or, you can start your own podcast using a beginner-friendly platform like Spreaker, which distributes your podcast to major channels like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
- Influencer marketing. Social media influencers have amassed audiences that look to them for brand and product recommendations. You can get in front of these warmed-up audiences by negotiating sponsored posts with influencers in your industry.
The goal of PR historically has been to generate brand awareness and manage a company's reputation. Marketing objectives, on the other hand, tend to be conversion-oriented – i.e., generating leads and sales.
In the digital realm, it's not so cut and dried. As PR experts and marketers jostle for a share of the same online spaces, the line between digital PR and marketing has blurred.
"As PR experts and marketers jostle for a share of the same online spaces, the line between digital PR and marketing has blurred."
Content marketing and PR, for example, have a large degree of overlap in their methods. Content distribution strategies like SEO and influencer marketing can have the effect of increasing brand awareness as well as directly generating sales. Although many digital PR experts have argued that the objective of digital PR isn't to generate backlinks, in reality, backlinks (and the resulting boost in website traffic) are a natural byproduct of many successful digital PR campaigns.
In addition, certain key performance indicators in PR – for example, increased web traffic, social media engagement, or domain authority – may also be used to measure the results of a content marketing, influencer, or SEO campaign.
"...in reality, backlinks (and the resulting boost in website traffic) are a natural byproduct of many successful digital PR campaigns."
It's important to acknowledge that the ultimate goal of any digital campaign, whether PR or marketing based, is to boost the bottom line.
As digital PR and online marketing become more consolidated, business owners can look forward to reaping the combined benefits of PR (such as increased brand awareness) as well as those that traditionally fall under the marketing category (such as increased leads and sales).
Because of its overlap with marketing, digital PR has all the benefits of a traditional PR strategy and then some. With the implementation of a digital PR strategy, you can:
One of the easiest ways to get mentioned in big-name publications is to tap into an existing network of media professionals and share your expertise.
As a source with SourceBottle, you can choose from a range of categories relevant to your expertise and respond online to available publicity opportunities. You'll also receive email alerts with a list of open requests posted by journalists. It's free to join, so sign up today and start pitching. You never know where your quote might end up!
Author bio: Chloe Brittain is the owner of Opal Transcription, an agency providing interview transcription services to businesses and media professionals.