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].