The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and simply having a website is no longer enough for a business. To stand out from your competitors, you must create an organized campaign that considers every aspect of digital marketing. We know public relations (or PR, as most people know it) may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about how to promote your business, products, or services. Most people think of PR as something only celebrities or big brands with lots of cash can do. But in today’s digital world, that’s not the case anymore.
PR is an essential part of almost any marketing strategy because it gives you access to journalists who can write about your company for their readers. PR is also about relationships and word-of-mouth reputation—things that are becoming increasingly important as technology changes our lives so dramatically.
Public relations and digital marketing are two fields that work in tandem to achieve a common goal: launching successful marketing campaigns. They each have their own set of objectives, strategies, and tools. But by working together, they can achieve even more impact.
Whether you’re new to public relations or have a little experience under your belt, it’s essential to know how PR can support your digital marketing campaign.
What is PR?
Public relations is a strategic communication process designed to generate buzz and earn media coverage for your company by earning the trust of journalists and editorial teams. PR professionals pitch story ideas to the media, generate coverage and create positive recognition for their clients.
It’s important to understand that PR is NOT advertising. Whereas advertising generally focuses on your potential customers and how they might respond to your message, public relations primarily target other people in your industry, experts in a related field, and the media.
PR includes various publishing areas, such as pitching articles to journalists, earning coverage on social media and other online publications, distributing your content via press release services, hosting media tours, managing crisis communications, and publishing guest posts on someone else’s blog. PR is a great way to build relationships with journalists, and it’ll get your company name and message out in front of a broad audience.
Why is PR so important for digital marketing?
As we mentioned above, advertising and public relations are very different. Ad campaigns are planned and executed with the explicit goal of generating sales. PR serves a different purpose, as it usually aims to boost your brand awareness and reputation.
For example, a PR campaign may be designed to earn you mentions in reputable publications, build trust with your customers and earn you a speaking engagement at an industry conference, or get you quoted in a government report. And while sales are an excellent outcome of a PR program, those sales can come later, sometimes months after your initial campaign. This is a stark contrast to marketing campaigns that are focused on immediate sales.
But even if a PR campaign doesn’t result in immediate sales, it gets your brand name out among your industry and builds confidence in your business. As great as the sales themselves are, your reputation is just as important–and a good reputation means that people will keep coming back.
How does digital marketing benefit from PR?
PR can help drive targeted traffic to your website, but it’s not as straightforward as one might think. As we’ve said, a PR campaign isn’t the same as direct sales. PR professionals don’t earn their keep if every click leads to a sale in 30 seconds. Instead, they earn their keep by building a brand’s reputation and generating word of mouth. There are different ways PR can help your digital marketing efforts, such as:
PR can help you earn a good reputation in your industry. Having favorable coverage in relevant publications could open the door for new relationships and partnerships.
When journalists write about your company, they link directly to your website or social media pages. This is called “earning links” and can help your website rank higher in search engine results.
Social Media Presence
Reporters will often share their stories on social media. When they do, they’ll often tag you and your brand in the post. This can help you reach a wider audience and gain more followers.
Public relations is about building long-lasting relationships with the media. Journalists who hear your company’s name repeatedly are more likely to remember you when they’re writing an article relevant to your field.
Earn industry recognition
If you can land coverage in a publication your industry follows, you can earn a lot of credibility. As more people learn about your company, this can lead to more traffic and sales. PR is also helpful if you want to start a blog and attract consistent readers.
Two ways digital marketing helps with PR efforts.
As we mentioned, PR and digital marketing work hand in hand. We know that public relations can help enhance your digital marketing efforts. But what about how digital marketing can improve PR campaigns? Here are a few ways it can help:
Stories for PR outreach: PR outreach is when you research and contact journalists in an attempt to get your company’s name out there. While it’s up to you to decide what you want them to write about, you should always have a newsworthy item to pitch. Consider how to turn topics you are using for your advertising campaigns into PR-worthy news stories. Upcoming sales and promotions? Pain points solved by your products or services?
Content creation: Public relations is also about earning links to your website. But if you’re trying to get people to visit your site, you need to have compelling content that will attract readers and encourage them to take action. This means you need to publish blog posts that offer valuable information and social media posts that encourage discussion.
One of the best ways to get your digital marketing campaign going is to create a PR campaign that goes along with it. Public relations will help your company earn recognition, build relationships and earn links to your website that can ultimately help boost your website traffic and position in search engine results. If you’re looking to get your name out there, PR can help you do that.
PR takes time and effort and may not be successful immediately. To see results, you’ll have to be patient and work to make it happen. However, when you do, you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, leads, and sales–which makes it worth the wait.
– Jess Rafaeil
If you need help maximizing your digital marketing for your small business, reach out to Creatively Disruptive today by booking a call with one of our lovely Business Development Managers.