As the lines between traditional PR and digital PR blur there are many new avenues for brands to reach and engage with their stakeholders. Many of these opportunities require new digital skills that were previously not part of the PR training regimen.
Branded (Owned) Content: This is your website, newsroom, blog, social profiles, document-sharing sites, image and video galleries. It can also include content you’ve placed on other sites via syndication services – similar to the old advertorial.
Content Partnerships: Work with other content sites and bloggers. Figure out what their pressures are in this new digital landscape. Help them cover stories in your industry. Provide them with in-depth information, research, experts and visual assets to enhance and extend the story. Create partnerships with online sites and blog that need content.
Digital Media Relations: Learn what the media and the journalists need and want. Use social media to find and engage with the right journalists. Now you can engage with reporters and build relationships with them, even if you are not in the same city. Follow them and amplify their content. Provide them with content they need and the visual assets that help them do their job.
Blogger Relations: Many of the journalists who have been laid off are now bloggers. There are also hundreds of thousands of bloggers writing passionately about every subject under the sun. You can find the right bloggers and get to know them. If you do it well and provide them with excellent content that their readers will find interesting, they’ll write about your brand.
Build a Social Community: Social media is not like the Field of Dreams – if you build it, they will not come. You have to actively build a community of the right people. Just having fans and followers means nothing. They have to be loyal and engaged supporters of your brand.
Influencers, Evangelists and Brand Ambassadors: Every segment of your stakeholders has people with influence. Finding these folk and building a relationship with them is essential. They could be part of the media, industry analysts, or just a member of the public with a large and engaged following. Part of Digital PR is finding the true evangelists and turning them into Brand Ambassadors.
Online Visibility – Search Engine Optimization: Search is now the first and most trusted source for breaking news. Every piece of content must be optimized for search. Content has to be discoverable. Search is how people find content online. If your content is never found, it won’t be seen and shared.
Visual Content: Now that the bandwidth is there, the public wants to see what is happening, what’s on offer, as well as who you are and what you do. Images and video get way more attention and engagement that text alone. Provide visual content training for your PR team. They should know how to produce and amplify visual content.
Social Online Newsrooms: Journalists and bloggers have embraced social media with both arms. They use it to find sources and story ideas. They are on the hunt for images and video they can use with their stories. Your online newsroom must be a state-of-the-art social media repository for all your content – text, images, video and social.
Monitoring: There are millions of conversations happening online. The PR department has to keep their finger on that pulse and tap into the right conversations to find gaps, opportunities, threats and possible crises in the making. Once you have the raw data from a monitoring tool you need someone to help you understand the implications of the results. A good Digital PR Agency can help you extract the actionable insights that will drive your goals and content campaigns.
Reputation Management: Consumers have discovered the power of their voice online. If and when a situation arises where a customer, patient, policy holder, constituent or employee feels slighted or badly treated, you can be certain it will be shared on social media channels. What happens in Vegas now stays on YouTube! And if any of the sharer’s connections are big influencers with a large following – game over. Protecting the image and reputation of the company always has been a core function of PR – and never more so than now in the digital era.
Measurement: Every action online can be tracked. Analytics has become an integral part of Digital PR. Your team has to understand how to track and analyze where the content goes, where it gets picked up and republished, who tweets it, who responds. It is possible to measure outcomes rather than outputs in Digital PR. Google Analytics now has a PR Dashboard – we can install it for you and show you how to set PR goals that can be tracked to show ROI.
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