Marketing Resources

Digital PR: What You Need to Know

4 minutes

Carrie Tennick, senior digital content specialist, June 28, 2021

Traditional PR is about gaining coverage in mainstream publications and media channels: TV, newspapers and radio.

Digital PR is, unsurprisingly, about gaining that same kind of coverage online.

It helps to build your firm’s brand awareness and send traffic to your site. It also helps to enhance your online presence and give your site a boost in authority and trustworthiness.

In other words, it’s an important tactic in a holistic digital marketing strategy.

Here’s what you need to know about digital PR.

What is digital PR?

All public relations is about promoting your organisation with the ultimate goal of increasing conversions. Digital PR focuses on the online aspects, gaining publicity for your website and directing traffic towards it.

In 2021, most businesses understand the value of prioritising digital over traditional methods of communication. So instead of approaching journalists for print coverage, digital PR looks to secure coverage on their online publications – often in the hopes of securing a link back to your site.

This can direct traffic to your site, as well as signal to search engines that your site is trusted enough to be linked to.

Although link-building can be an important part of a digital PR campaign, that isn’t generally their sole focus. We’re going to delve deeper into the topic of link-building in an upcoming feature, so make sure you come back to find out more about that.

PR is not the same as advertising. And that’s a good thing. As far back as 2014, people were becoming disenchanted with advertising. People are looking for more authentic information about brands these days. So if you can focus more on telling your story through content marketing and PR, that can help your firm build trust in its prospective clients.

What to focus on

You’ll need to make sure that you’re looking at appropriate topics for any piece of PR that you produce. And in the personal injury space, this can be niche.

To be able to capitalise on the traffic that does come your way as a result of your campaign, you need to make sure it’s relevant. If you’re looking to attract more accident at work leads, for example, you’ll need to create a piece of PR that’s informative to readers of employment-based publications.

Don’t forget that you’re trying to produce something interesting to readers of these publications – not just the journalists who write for them. To get them interested enough in visiting your site, your content has to be tailored to these audiences.

It’s important to avoid getting too light-hearted as you’re targeting leads that have been injured and may be experiencing heightened emotions. You don’t want to give them the wrong idea by making them think you don’t take their concerns or problems seriously.

Plenty of huge organisations have got their PR campaigns wrong. This just shows that it’s easy to do. So make sure you’re getting enough people involved so any potential controversy can be identified and eliminated.

Digital PR tools

Certain tools will make your digital PR efforts more efficient and effective. You can use these tools to help you come up with ideas, to identify publications you’d like to target and to get in touch with journalists and site owners.

  • Ideation

To come up with potential ideas for your PR piece, you can analyse keywords to find out how much interest there is in them. You can use Google Trends to establish when people are most likely to look for a topic and how much interest there is in it.

Google Keyword Planner can also give you clues about a certain keyword’s monthly search volumes – which lets you know whether it’s a viable topic.

  • Targeting

One way of finding out which sites are most likely to be willing to feature your content or link to your site, find out which ones have done the same for your competitors. You can use a tool like Ahrefs, Moz or Semrush to locate these sites.

To get the most out of these tools, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. But they do offer trials and free versions, with limited searches and features. Try some of them out to see which works best for you and your team.

  • Production

When you’ve done all the ground work, you need to then produce your piece. Depending on what your subject is, there may be generally accepted ways of formatting it. Producing things just as a journalist expects will give you the best chance of them accepting your pitch.

HubSpot offers a template kit that you can use to build your own press releases, as well as a guide to inbound PR. Following a template can be a good starting point when testing something new.

  • Outreach

Outreaching your content to journalists isn’t about sending a generic email to every reporter you find contact details for. To give yourself the best chance at coverage, you should try to build relationships with these journalists. That will come in useful if you continue your PR efforts.

Plenty of tools offer you the chance to access journalist details – think ResponseSource, Gorkana or Cision. You can see what they write about and evaluate whether your piece is relevant. You can then send them personalised pitches, which are more likely to get you the result you want.

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