Digital PR: What You Need to Know

Digital PR can be a little overwhelming. There is a lot to learn and while some of it is tactical, if it’s done in a vacuum it’s likely to fail.  Learning how to devise and implement a Digital PR strategy in a logical sequence makes this new discipline much easier.

The activity you see in Digital PR is like the tip of an iceberg. There is a wealth of activity that takes place below the surface to make the visible actions successful.




As with any other strategy, it pays to “know before you go.” Digital PR gives you access to information sources and data that was not available before. However, you have to learn how to use the tools and the technology.

Identifying audiences
Mapping the social graph
Monitoring online conversations
Data mining
Keyword Research
Analyzing the data
What content gets a response
Finding sentiment, intent and other actionable insights


Digital PR practitioners must share data and work with other teams in the organization. The insights you discover can be useful to the SEO, SEM, social media and marketing teams. You can benefit from their data too. You also need to know what the overall business goals are so that you can align your Digital PR efforts to those outcomes.

Use digital dashboards
Share data and insights
Set goals based on your research findings
Use the SMART formula for your goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound)


Working with influencers is a big part of Digital PR. In Traditional PR we’re conditioned to view the media and academics and authors as thought-leaders. Digital PR opens up a much broader pool of influencers to work with. There are influencers on Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Many bloggers have huge audiences and can sway their readers. You need to learn how to find, identify and build relationships with the right influencers for your business. You have to understand and use scores like Klout and Kred and know that they are only a starting point. You’ll only know who the real influencers for a particular campaign are once you start to work with them.


Only once you have this data should you start on content development. The first action is to do a content audit and discover what content you already have that can be re-purposed for Digital PR use.

Then look over your research and see what type of content your audience responds to and what information they’re looking for. Anything else is reactive – it’s “spaghetti against the wall.” If you want to be truly successful in Digital PR you have to create content that is targeted, relevant and engages your audience.

Keep an eye on the trends and statistics. Your research should have let you know what kind of content your audience prefers and responds to. Is it text posts or images? Do they prefer video? Find out what content works and what doesn’t. That means you have to be able to use analytics or your website, newsroom, blog and the various online platforms you use for content.

Write web content
Digital news releases
Blog Posts
Original images
Photography – smartphone and DSLR
Manage an online newsroom


Once you have the content you have get it out there so that it reaches the right audience. Some content will do better on Twitter, other piece might do better on LinkedIn. Use your influencers to help spread the word. There are many ways to distribute and amplify your content:

Social advertising
RSS feeds
SEO visibility
Paid influence campaigns
News wires
Pitch bloggers
Pitch reporters
Post on your blog
Guest posts on influencer blogs
Contribute to relevant industry news sites


One of the big advantages of Digital PR is that we can measure pretty much every action we take. And now that we can, we should. Actions that are measurable have more perceived value to the C-suite and when your efforts are seen to be aiding the bottom line, that’s a good place to be. Here’s what you need to know:

How to set a measurable goal
How to make a tracking link
How to use Google Analytics (or whatever program your company uses)
How to use the analysis or insights tools of social platforms

Places to learn Digital PR are few and far between right now. An easy way to start is with the free email course on the 15 Digital Skills PR and marketing pros need right now.

Or you can arrange a customized in-house training session on Digital PR for your team.

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