PR in the Digital Age
Public relations can be described as a strategic communications process that builds a mutually beneficial relationship between organizations and the public. Traditional public relations include press outreach, event coordination, crisis communication, reputation management and press release distribution. Traditional media outlets include print, newspaper and TV. Digital PR is becoming the way of the future in the communications world!
Traditional PR is still very successful in terms of building brand awareness but the PR industry has shifted with the digital age and to stay a relevant and successful PR firm, you must learn how to adapt. Here are a few ways in which the industry has changed and how to use it to your benefit:
Social media is now a publicist’s best friend: If you can’t find an editor on Cision or other PR software, don’t fret, you can most likely find them on social media. Instagram and Twitter are especially great tools to find contacts. Why is it beneficial you may ask? By liking and commenting on their images, stories, and tweets you are letting them know you’re interested in what they are sharing, sparking a more casual and familiar relationship.
Not only that, but you can stay on top of events that they are attending and stories they are working on and there's the potential to get a quicker response than emailing alone. Remember, editors and journalists sift through emails all day long and connecting via social media is more immediate and present in regards to every day life: a welcome distraction that may result in landing the story.
Keep in mind, there are more freelance writers than there are staff writers so it can difficult to find their contact information when pitching. Use social media to connect!
The key main differentiator in digital PR is the ability to build connections with bloggers and influencers, who are the key players in the digital space. Here are a few reasons why it’s important for publicists to build relationship with influencers:
- These digital influencers often have just as much authority, if not greater reach than some media figures and editors.
- Many influencers come with an extremely loyal following and some have a larger number of followers than a publication has circulation.
- Some of the online media outlets have a higher unique viewer monthly count than some traditional print outlets so a lot of publicists like pitching online stories and it keeps clients happy.
- Because so many news websites are constantly posting stories and have a shorter lead time, publicists need to create a lot more pitch ideas to keep their clients top of mind.