PR Gone Digital

1 Apr

What better way to usher in Monday Madness than an entry about a topic so close to my heart: public relations (PR). If you are a marketing or marcom practitioner like me, then you already know what PR is. But for those who are unsure of what it really means or what it actually does to a company, a brand or a person, read on and you might find some useful information on PR.

PR is a discipline that involves proper management of information flow between an individual or organisation and the public. It’s all about generating awareness on and/or building understanding about a point of view, a news item, a public interest or about an issue in hopes of changing your public’s views. As what my PR lecturer in grad school used to say, “There should be a change in perception and behaviour.” I can still remember the first intro I learnt about PR in University, when my professor started off with a four-word summary: PR is not advertising.

PR is all about earned media and newsworthy content. It has the power to extend the lifespan of your campaign and is not limited by space, exposures and channels.

In the words of a PR mentor: “PR is telling the truth and telling it well.”

With that said, let’s fast forward to digital PR. The effects of the digital boom are here to stay and PR, undeniably, is one of those disciplines that evolved as fast as the digital explosion. After all, we saw how the world changed since the onset of the information age. We are now reaping the benefits of the knowledge fruit and have used the power of information in unimaginable ways. Social media has become a force to be reckoned with and now, the world cannot live without it. We now live in a social world – where a food snap replaces saying grace, a lover’s quarrel becomes a “public interest”, 100 “selfies” taken during the past couple of minutes are published online, and posting on walls instead of an SMS or a phone call has become an ordinary mode of communication.

Simply put, digital PR uses the advances in technology to manage the flow of information between an individual, a company or an organisation and its core public(s). Information exchange occurs as fast as you hit “send” or in real-time with instant messengers and social media. Reaching out to your publics has become more dynamic than ever.

Three important benefits of digital PR are summed up in this well-crafted info-graphic below (by Wedu), pardon me for the very small size of the image. Click on the image to appreciate:

3 Important Benefits of Digital PR (www.wedu.com)

1) SEO – “Digital PR can generate high-quality backlinks for a site by securing online placements.”

Submitting your quality stories to digital wires lets you reach your target media globally and, at the same time, and earn pick-ups for additional media mileage. Not only do you get publicity exposures, you (or your story) gets picked up by major search engines as well.

2) Content Generation – Establishing thought-leadership.

Getting your company experts to offer a few hours of their time writing about their field of expertise and submitting it online will give you the exposure you need. Contribute a how-to article, identify trends and be a source of key information in your field. Guest posting in blogs frequented by your target publics is also one way of being noticed and regarded as an authority.

3) Social Media – Maintaining a consistent message across your communication channels.

Getting more personal as you go “direct-to-consumer” approach with social media. Engaging in dialogues with your publics through your company’s or brand’s social networks gives you relevant insight and real-time responses. Brands have never been this close to their consumers until the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. The key here is to respond. Let your consumers know that you are listening.

Integrating PR, whether traditional or digital, into your marketing plan will surely benefit your product or service in the long run. You earn brand ambassadors, partners, loyal following and a community.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on digital PR? What other benefits can you share?

Blogging from my side of the globe,

Marie

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Monday Madness. Every Monday, I write about trends, new learnings, developments in marketing communications. I share interesting topics or blogs about PR, advertising, social media and see what experts have to say.

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