What is Digital PR? | A Beginners Guide for 2019

Digital PR is essential to any business that wants to grow. With the majority of customers now doing their shopping online, and most people using the internet as their go-to place for researching a company, it is important that businesses ensure their brand makes it to the top of the news agenda.Getting online coverage not only puts your brand in front of potential customers but can also increase your SEO ranking and improve your searchability.

Traditional PR would tell you to create a story around your brand, explaining its heritage and what it does, but digital PR has opened the gates for a more flexible approach to content, and what you do doesn’t necessarily come into it. This means brands have hundreds more options for getting their story in the press, and digital PR is an essential component to your marketing strategy. So how do you get your brand to the top of the ever-changing digital news agenda?

Content is King (*shudders* sorry, but it is)

The most important component to a good digital PR campaign is that what you are creating is newsworthy, engaging and something you would want to read. Your content has to be good enough that media outlets want to feature it, and that when they do, that people will stop to read it.

Work backwards from your headline in order to ensure you have something truly newsworthy and make sure you constantly ask yourself ‘so what?’.

Aim it at your audience

Work out who your customers are and what sort of thing they want to read about or watch. By doing this you can make content which is directly aimed at the people you want to put your brand in front of and this also guarantees that your content will be in keeping with your brand identity.

Keep an eye on news websites that your customers read and see what stories they are sharing, watch your competitors to get ideas and get on social media to spot content themes to get an indication of what formats are performing well.

So long as your content is aimed at the right people it does not have to be strongly linked to your brand. We have had huge success researching the gender pay gap for an office equipment brand and have made viral videos about how to say happy new year in 30 languages for an international removals brand – neither of which is directly linked to what the brand offer – so don’t feel constrained by your topic too much.

Target the right titles

The next secret to good Digital PR is making sure your content goes before the right person. Before sending out your story to just anyone, research the titles you think would like the story, find the right journalist for the pitch, and work out what you want to say before picking up the phone.

Journalists get hundreds of emails through from people trying to get their brand featured, so calling will make sure your content sticks out, and also allows you to build a rapport with the person you are sending it to. Be polite but to the point, you will only get a few minutes on the phone so make sure you have the top three points about your content to hand.

Get credit

One of the key aims of digital coverage is to get a link back to your website and signal to Google that your brand is one worth ranking in searches. Make sure you ask journalists to include a link to your website, a link from an authoritative site can do wonders for your searchability.

Once it’s up, share it

A good way to get on digital journalists’ good side is to get their content shared. Once they place your piece (with a link back to your website!) return the favour by posting it on all of your social channels and ask friends and colleagues to do the same.