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Today’s Public Relations: Part of Your Digital Toolbox

by Jodee Goodwin

Public relations has changed. PR specialists now find themselves immersed in a digital world, and need to be comfortable effectively using new tools and strategies to help their businesses succeed. So, what do you need to know about digital trends in public relations and PR marketing?

The purpose of public relations remains to create a strong public image of a company through appropriate and strategic messaging. Robust PR can help bring success to new businesses, refresh faltering companies and help turn negative publicity into positive publicity by highlighting a company’s strengths, rather than just a company’s products or services. Public relations is all about building relationships and smart communication.

Digital PR Toolbox

Digital PR combines traditional PR with content marketing, social media and SEO. Now more than ever, PR specialists need to know how to integrate their strategies into a digital framework. There are many PR tactics and tools available to help maximize business. Here are a few digital PR toolbox options:

  • SEO and SEM
  • Content curation
  • Press releases
  • Blog and news posts
  • Search and social media management and monitoring
  • Webinars and other events
  • Digital assets (video, audio, podcasts, image manipulation)
  • Crisis communications
  • Public affairs
  • Internal communications
  • Inbound or content marketing

PR Strategies and Tools

Strategies that specialists can use digitally—including emails, social media management, blogs and news announcements on websites—work together to bolster public image. Digital public relations communication, and well-positioned interaction with individuals and the public, can help a business strengthen its reputation and its promise to deliver. Small businesses can especially benefit from these digital trends in public relations.

Some popular companies that utilize digital PR toolbox strategies include Cision, PR Newswire, eReleases and PR Web. Digital PR distribution offerings include: emails to the Associated Press and via networks popular with journalists and media outlets; distribution to social media platforms; inclusion in Google News and Yahoo! News searches; website distribution; SEO “Do-Follow” links; and writing services. These types of digital public relations distributions are helpful tools for any PR marketing professional.

Integrating PR and Digital Marketing

Public relations works best in combination with integrated, inbound and content marketing. Much like to goals of PR, inbound marketing draws prospects in through engaging content and user experience, integrating many types of marketing strategies. In addition, many digital strategies, including these, make it easy to track ROI.

Digital marketing and PR do not work in a vacuum. They work together to strengthen marketing tactics and strategies so businesses can reach their full potential. Developing an effective digital PR toolbox is key to sustaining a successful business.