Twenty years ago, public relations – to most people – meant the spreading and sharing of information and news to the general public. If a company wanted to announce a merger to their stakeholders, they would write a press release and then begin the process of submitting to print publications and news outlets for distribution, most often via snail mail. This process would often take days at a time.
Fast forward to today and the core function and purpose of PR has not changed much – it still entails spreading information to maintain a relationship with the general public. However, the tactics of HOW that information is shared have changed dramatically. You could say that PR has gotten an “e-facelift” for a digital era.
Have your PR efforts been renovated for today’s digital world? If you’re not sure, read on…
It’s no secret that we now live in a digital age that has drastically affected how we receive and respond to information. According to the Pew Research Center, 50% of the public now cites the internet as a main source for news.*
PR has adapted to this statistic by utilizing digital outlets and tactics such as social media, SEO/search and content marketing. These tactics allow static news or topics to be shared almost immediately. A company can issue a press release and post it to their site or blog in a matter of minutes, directly reaching its readers instantaneously. Some additional distinguishing benefits of digital PR include the following:
- Content is given a longer life span. Through content marketing, information can be archived and repurposed to be linked to and referenced over and over again. For example, a manufacturing company can take a press release about a new supply chain methodology they’ve developed and turn it into a blog post topic. Or, they can reformat the information and share via a LinkedIn news update. Being able to share thought leadership via multiple channels results in increased overall brand exposure.
- Content can be cross promoted. When specific keywords are implemented through SEO, information can be exposed to people who would not normally be searching for that specific content, but are searching for content that is similar. This ultimately can result in increased website traffic through high quality backlinks. SEO is now a huge part of digital PR as 72% of PR agencies are now offering SEO services.*
- Content is spread faster and further. Sharing news and content through outlets like Facebook and Twitter promotes direct engagement with employees, colleagues, current or prospective customers and fosters conversation. Posted content immediately becomes shareable through cross- channel messaging. In addition, content that is shared via social outlets can be monitored and measured through tools like Twitter Counter and Facebook and YouTube Insights.
To sum it up, digital PR has a significantly larger audience reach than traditional PR methods. It is increasingly being used by more companies and organizations to both maintain a relationship with their existing audience and reach new audiences.
Are you putting the “e” into your PR initiatives? If not, use the examples we’ve shared here and put them to work – today!
Here, that’s where! Marketing that’s Measurable readers love to hear from each other. If you have an ePR strategy that’s working for your organization, tell us about it as a comment below.