Gaining Valuable Coverage for your Brand: The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital PR

01 July 2016

Gaining Valuable Coverage for your Brand: The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital PR

Gaining valuable coverage can be hard, there’s no question about it. It takes significant time, investment and planning to develop and execute a digital PR plan which is tangibly successful. This article will be covering the basics of how and why a digital PR campaign can be truly valuable to your company, and where you might come across some setbacks.

What is Digital PR?

Digital PR campaigns are designed to increase the online presence of a company. The primary tactic is to develop valuable relationships with influencers and journalists within your company’s niche. Once you have a pool of engaged and interested experts, you should work with these contacts to develop high quality press pieces about your brand.

How is Digital PR Valuable?

The benefits of running digital PR for your company are many. Digital PR campaigns are trackable, targeted and often permanent. Here’s a roundup of the core benefits of running a digital PR campaign:

-Coverage is Long-Lasting: Print campaigns can work brilliantly, but are often short-lived by nature, due to the restrictions of most publishing cycles. Digital coverage is usually permanent, meaning one of the most substantial benefits is that your campaign has far more longevity online.

-You can Prove Value: As with all online marketing, digital PR is trackable meaning you should be able to understand exactly how people are interacting with your online content and what this means for your company. For example, if you run pieces with 10 different publications, you should be able to measure and compare the impact of each. This allows you to really hone what you know about your audience to inform future campaigns.

-Websites Generally Strengthen Over Time: What I mean by this, is if you invest time in building great relationships with a publication, journalist or blogger, the likelihood is that if they have a solid approach to maintaining and developing their websites then the DA (domain authority), readership and social followings will likely expand over time. This means relationships are an excellent long-term investment.

-There are Multiple Measurement Points: Reach, social shares, sentiment, traffic, conversions; there is so much to optimise for when you run a PR campaign online rather than offline. You can tailor a campaign to each publication you work with, to optimise the intent of each audience.

What are the Possible Setbacks of a Digital PR Campaign?

I wouldn’t suggest the setbacks outweigh the vast positives by any means, but it’s important to embark on a digital PR campaign, knowing exactly where you might face issues. Here are the core issues that you’ll need to tackle:

-A Lack of Editorial Control: As with traditional PR, you are relying on 3rd parties to get your coverage live, meaning there is always an element of the unknown when running a digital PR campaign. You are, as ever, at the mercy of publishing schedules which are totally out of your control!

-Digital PR is Incredibly Time Consuming: Hours go behind getting a piece of content live. Even when the relationship is built and you have a targeted list of journalists who you are sure will be interested in your brand news, you’re typically dealing with extremely busy people. Most well-established journalists will have dozens of pitches sent to them a day, meaning they may well not get to yours for a few hours.

-Potential Budget Requests: Those of you who have worked with bloggers and influencers will be aware that to work with top tier influencers you may well have to pay for the privilege. Typically, when arranging a project with an influencer, you’re asking for 2 core things:
-For exposure to their followings, mailing lists and/or readerships
-For the influencer in question to dedicate time to creating and hosting quality content for your brand

Quite rightly, these things cost your brand money. In 2016 you cannot expect to advertise your company for free on someone else’s website- it’s as simple as that! To prevent this from being a roadblock further down the line, gauge how much influencers in your industry are charging and make sure you get the budget you need cleared before you begin your campaign.

Digital PR is undoubtedly a powerful awareness, engagement and conversion channel, and in order for it to be harnessed properly you must be equally aware of the potential setbacks, as well as understanding the benefits. Making sure you know exactly how you can use digital PR effectively, and preparing for a campaign by allowing enough time and budget to develop a successful project will stand you in brilliant stead!