Digital PR

Defined as a tactic used by brands to increase online presence, through building relationships with key content writers and journalists to gain ‘press hits’ and citations. Digital PR is about online visibility through the development and understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Organisations do this through identifying influences within a market and aiding content creation processes. Publics are consuming information online more than ever before and having a greater online presence directly affects an organisations PR success.

Digital PR and social media are becoming almost synonymous. By analysing social data, practitioners can understand and therefore market demographics and interests of respective audiences. The two-way-channel nature of digital media and the media landscape itself, has allowed for organisations to have better communication with target audiences. Traditional PR had always been about linear exchanges of information; organisations would send a message or create a product having little control over the way their audience would react. Nowadays establishments can send, receive and analyse information in order to better their final outcome. All of this engagement with the public is brand and online visibility building, something which would take trail and error through traditional PR methods. Digital PR agencies understand that online consumer data can be used to inform content creators and other sectors alike, providing opportunity for successful campaigns that increase brand visibility both online and off.

Digital agencies use online tools such as Google Analytics to track the power of digital placement. ‘Google Analytics allows you to track how many users on a website are clicking a link to your client’s site… This information is invaluable and will impact your tactics moving forward by which initiatives should continue, discontinue or be altered.’ Jess Camp (Blue Fountain Media). The development and adaptation of PR in terms of the digital media landscape has allowed for an ease of analysing data online, monumentally speeding up the process of beneficially changing something. By tracking customer feedback through online responses and reviews, PR professionals can monitor their influence; changing the way they might progress going forward. Jess Camp goes on to talk about, ‘building connections with bloggers and influencers, who are key players in the digital space.’ Building relationships with already proven figures who more than often have a vast following, who also have authority in their line of work, can be nothing but beneficial for moving forward and expanding online visibility.

Examples of digital PR include e-mail, blogs, messaging, RSS, wikis, video sharing, webinars, podcasts, search engines and social networking. The list of these channels is ever expanding, but they all represent different potential audiences, and the key to successful PR work is to understand which platform best suits your target audience, and which is the best platform to illustrate a desired message. Practitioners are forced to adopt different types of interaction techniques in relevance to a desired outcome. Proving once again just how much the PR industry has adapted to the digital media landscape.


Camp, J. (2016) Traditional PR vs Digital PR. Digital PR Specialist, Blue Fountain Media [online]. [Accessed 15 April 2017].


General Adaptation of PR as a result of Digital Media

It is widely understood that public relations focuses on the relationships of audiences with respective organisations. However when put into practice ‘Despite the many sectors and specialisms that public relations has, it can all be agreed that PR is basically the discipline of exchanging information.’ As Danielle Nuttall states, communication is essentially the cornerstone of PR; exchanging information from one party to another, or in this case the public. PR representatives and practitioners foundation their work on the actions and reactions of the public, and in a time where the world is centred around a digital age, the landscape of social media is a very welcoming platform for the industry.

The growing prevalence of digital media has comprehensively reshaped the public relations landscape over recent years, allowing practitioners the opportunity to communicate with publics over the internet and in turn creating an online community and a virtual society, almost separate to the real world. This development opens up a much easier way for organisations to understand their respective publics, through the connection of digital media, a two way channel of communication is created; allowing for an exchange of information resulting in positives for PR sectors. ‘A thread on a consumer forum can quickly become headline news and as such, PR professionals need to have an understanding of how a brands reputation online and offline are intrinsically linked.’ Tom Malcolm. The creation of online and offline societies and their relationship with each other is imperative in an organisations reputation in modern PR. Furthermore social media as a platform for exchanging information, has had a massive effect on media organisations, who are always searching for engaging and appealing content to increase traffic to their respective websites and to strengthen their relationships with the public. Tom Malcolm goes onto say, ‘To feed the media’s growing appetite for engaging content, successful PR campaigns are now increasingly reliant on their ability to create engaging content that people want to share and talk about online.’ As a result of this movement, PR agencies are more inclined to focus on a digital marketing mix; ad campaigns and marketing campaigns all with a digital bedrock.

Organisations such as Epiphany are forced to interlink their creative sectors with online PR and SEO teams ‘to create content to fulfil strategic search objectives, drive online visibility and build brand engagement through social media channels.’ Andy Heaps (Operations Director). Social media and PR are ever growing synonymous with each other. Digital media mirrors the engagement and two way communication that PR has always been about. Gone are the days of traditional journalism being the publics source for information; social media and the freedom of speech as a result, has given the public the opportunity to be the journalists themselves. The digital media landscape has massively increased the speed at which communication takes place, between one organisation and the public. Companies can revise into a wider, more intrinsic and much more specific set of information available to them. Emphasising the importance and the overall adaptation that PR has undergone as a result of digital media.


Heaps, A. (2012) The Impact of Social Media on Public Relations. Operations Director, Epiphany [online]. [Accessed 15 April 2017].

Malcolm, T.H. (2012) The Impact of Social Media on Public Relations. Head of Consumer, Diffusion [online]. [Accessed 15 April 2017].

Nuttall, D. (2014) How public relations is adapting to the digital media landscape. WordPress [online]. [Accessed 14 April 2017].



final idea – project brief

it is easy to not acknowledge the influence signs have on society in everyday life, we succumb to obeying them and forget to question their validity; our final project stemmed from an initial idea which we decided to alter due to our shared interest in the concept obedience, as opposed to conformity. We wanted to disrupt the everyday lives of people by placing ‘out of order’ signs, or the equivalent, in common places to test the theory that people would simply obey and not even bother to check if it is actually working or not. People go through the motions and don’t usually consider the validity of signs, they simply admit the sign is correct without actually questioning it.

to carry out this project, we plan on creating unofficial signs and displaying them on places of everyday use, such as lifts and ticket machines. The signs will act as a spanner in the works of these peoples everyday lives.

initial idea – queuing

after listening to other groups ideas in class, myself and Marley decided our project regarding disrupting the everyday would concern queuing, and the conformity which surrounds it.

the classic British stereotype surrounding over-politeness and our obsession with queuing made the idea all the more exciting. However it wasn’t until we came down to planning our photos and actually bringing the concept to a reality that we decided it would be too hard to create the perfect scenario.

Therefore we had to change our idea.

photography in class

in preparation for our final project on disrupting the everyday, we experimented with digital SLR cameras in class. We were sent off in small groups for approximately two hours and told to test out different angles and camera settings so that we became familiar with them for our final shoot.

using digital SLR cameras was relatively easy for me, as I studied photography at A level and have used cameras for many years.

warm up project

this video was a practice project set at the start of the term. It was designed to get us used to the camera and all of the possible angles one could use to create a video.

this project really kicked off my love with the video cameras. Naturally I am quite competent when it comes to technology so it didn’t take long for me to get to grips with the equipment. I really enjoyed this task as it gave me freedom with the camera as well as the opportunity to work in a group.

this second video was also filmed on the same day. It comprises of myself acting (supposedly anyway) whilst my group filmed. It was filmed at Ashton Manor and it again, demonstrates different camera angles and panning shots, all in preparation for our final project.