Digital PR is a marketing channel in its own right

Digital PR is a mix of different techniques from traditional PR, SEO, content and social media.  However, what’s separating this from other marketing channels is the additional ‘responsibility’ of being the primary ‘crisis management’ channel.   So, let’s dig little deeper into this interplay.

Traditional PR relied on a curated list of journalists and influencers.  It’s no different with Digital PR.  But with consumer journalism, journalists are not the only ones who are contributing with news.  Influencers therefore assume a larger role.  Be it bloggers or opinion leaders on different social media channels like Twitter.  Their views are sometimes more valued than media journalists’.  There are also the information aggregator sites like Reddit and Quora who have lot of credibility and reach.

And this is why Digital PR needs to embrace few principles of social media.  What used to be a one-way communication from the company to its stakeholders in traditional PR, Digital PR involves conversations and discussions between stakeholders.  These happen regularly and, in some cases, instantly.  It’s important to adopt an engaging tone of voice and appear spontaneous.  Content needs to feel right for each channel rather than distributing a pre-prepared press release across all channels.

Digital PR therefore needs to have content marketing techniques as well.  Format – text or audio visual or video, tone of voice – formal to even funny, message – information or entertainment, they all need to blend in with each channel.  A LinkedIn post need to sound very different from a thread on Reddit or a YouTube video.  

But what really sets Digital PR apart from the traditional PR is its influence on SEO.  Links through digital PR is one of the safest and credible way of link building.  Conversely, SEO team should optimise the links PR team are distributing.  Digital PR and SEO teams have to work closely in keyword optimisation.   

As I mentioned earlier, what makes Digital PR different from other marketing channels is the ‘crisis management’ responsibility.  The recent example from KFC is a good example of a PR exercise done right.  Apart from combining traditional and digital media channels, the format, tone of voice and message all hit the right spot.  

Measuring ROI has always been a challenge for PR but with digital PR – there are many metrics to monitor micro and even select macro conversion targets.  Right from website traffic to actual revenue generated can be tracked and attributed to digital PR.

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Vipul Jadhav

About the Author Vipul Jadhav

Vipul Jadhav is the director of client services at Centric DXB. He provides both strategic and tactical leadership across multimillion dirham engagements while keeping up-to-date on daily project activities. Aspiring clients can reach him on vipul.jadhav@centric.ae

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