What is Digital PR?

Last week, I was honored to be a featured guest on the national PRSA New Pros Twitter chat, talking about digital public relations and how it impacts the PR industry – one of my favorite topics.

One of the first questions that was asked was this:

How do you define digital PR and what strategies are vital for success?

What is Digital PR? image growth of digital pr 850x1024What is Digital PR?PR has changed massively; it isn’t just about media relations and churning out press releases like it used to be a decade ago.

Digital PR is all about combining traditional PR with content marketing, social media and search: transforming static news into conversations and bypassing media to speak directly to your target audience online.

News can be spread further, faster, and more directly to a specific target audience than ever before in history. It allows us to maximize news like never before. Instead of being satisfied with a single placement, your news can be shared exponentially.

Not only that, but we can now use social media, blogs, reviews and content to not just share news, but CREATE DIALOGUE. Connect.

Repurpose + Value = Content Marketing

As a PR pro, one way to incorporate content marketing into your mix is to repurpose content you already have (press releases & bylines) into fresh content. A single press release can be re-purposed into a Slideshare presentation, a blog post, a guest blog post, a Pinterest infographic, a LinkedIn news update, a post on a relevant trade publications Facebook page, an editorial opinion article for the local newspaper’s website and more.

Share, re-purpose, share again – and repeat the same process a few more times! One piece of content can flow out to multiple sources.

Instead of simply putting your press release on the wire, turn it into a blog post that connects the news to an engaging viewpoint; use it as the launchpad to discuss a related issue, educate, or dive into a juicy Q&A. Find ways to take an offline PR campaign to social… and vice versa.

When you re-purpose, don’t simply rewrite the piece. Go one step further to transform your news braggadocio into content that provides VALUE. As stated so eloquently in the book, Youtility (hitting bookstores in late June),

Don’t be useful in a Trojan-horse, ‘infomercial that pretends to be useful but is actually a sales pitch’ way, but in a genuine ‘how can we actually help you?’ way.” ~ Jay Baer

Goodbye, Silo’s – Hello, Cross-Promotion

Today’s PR doesn’t allow for silos. Content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, customer service – all of these things are blended into the total solution that we are responsible for. If you don’t know the basics, there is no time like the present to dive in.

Once you have your content underway – take it even further with the second major piece of digital PR: SEO. This particular function should not belong to the IT silo, or the web programmer silo – it’s a marketing function that should cross into all PR activity. Even if it isn’t yet deliberate, it’s having an impact by virtue of what you are publishing online – and you can boost your impact by taking a mindful approach, instead of accidental.

Integrate search keywords to expose your news to those who are searching for similar content. Use your keyword research to drive trends press releases, byline articles and blog posts, and learn how to correctly integrate keywords into each piece of writing for maximum impact.

Then share it like crazy on social media! The third piece of the content/search/social trifecta (in no particular order). And, for heaven’s sake, learn how to build Twitter lists so you can monitor journalists on Twitter. (See this excellent MuckRack article on this topic) It’s a “must know” skill for all PR pros.

Everyone knows that social is a serious piece of “creating relationships with the public” (the core definition of public relations, right?). For the last five years, social media has impacted brand visibility with the force of a tsunami. Take advantage of it to share your content.

Be curious… insatiable in your thirst for knowledge!

Learn, learn, learn. It’s never been more important to ALWAYS continue learning – fresh skills are critical to your success as a marketing or public relations professional. Whether you are a seasoned pro or brand new to the industry – challenge yourself to constantly learn and apply new skills/technology to what you are doing, and adapt processes to fit your environment. It is critical to invest in YOU.

If you want to continue learning, book time like a reoccurring meeting. #makeitapriority

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