The practice of ‘digital PR’ has increasingly just become the practice of PR. Brands now need to tell their stories in a constantly changing media landscape.
Digital PR was once a fancy way of talking about link-building. But today, customers’ digital lives are impossible to disentangle from their ‘real’ ones.
Great PR is story-driven, just as it has always been. Telling a story and showing thought leadership has always been a mainstay of great marketing. And if anything, being able to amplify your story through respected publishers has become more valuable in an increasingly noisy and cynical world.
But with the shift to digital, the way we promote brand stories is changing. Brands need PR with a social heart and a strategic brain. And when media is more complex and turbulent than ever, brands need a PR agency that is nimble enough to keep up with digital’s breakneck pace.
At BFM, we believe an effective digital PR is hands-on and ready to pivot with the changing moods of the web and the world. We partner brands with experienced PR specialists who collaborate closely with the entire agency team, helping brands refine and share their stories with a range of digital publications old and new.
It’s All Digital Now
Once upon a time, digital PR was synonymous with link building and search engine rankings. But today there’s a mobile device in practically every pocket. As a result, the distinction between digital and ‘ordinary’ PR is as blurry as the distinction between online and offline.
That’s why we don’t view digital PR as purely a numbers game – like any public relations work, it’s a concerted, story-driven effort to shift and shape public perception of your brand. Digital PR is about crafting a story, leveraging relationships, and amplifying that story to generate brand lift.
Links and keywords still matter, of course. However, chasing links regardless of context or brand safety is not only counterproductive, it’s increasingly ineffective as Google and other search engines align search results with resources that consumers trust.
New Challenges and Opportunities
So what has changed in PR’s shift to digital? One development is that the opportunities to share your story are more varied than ever.
From Twitter to Facebook, from blogs to podcasts, the number of channels in which you can tell brand stories has exploded. That gives more freedom for brands, but it also means customers are seeing more content than ever, and that the media landscape changes faster than ever.
As a result, navigating the churn of journalists, media outlets, and entire channels requires great agility. PR will always be a relationships business, but now it demands a nimble, research-driven approach, and the ability to tell an immediately compelling story to busy writers and bloggers.
It Starts with the Story
Storytelling is not just our approach to digital PR – it’s at the heart of our entire marketing methodology. That demands we listen closely to our clients, so we can understand and live your story. If needed, we can also help you find your story – we’re privileged to work with many start-ups and entrepreneurs with incredible backgrounds begging to be shared.
Our PR process is research-intensive, and ongoing – as we’ve said, you may think you know the media landscape, only to find it’s shifted on you. We connect with the right media outlets, thought leaders, and influencers to deliver brand messages with the precision today’s noisy market demands.
We monitor performance every step of the way, focusing on metrics that reflect or indicate brand lift. Ultimately, our goal is to tie brand lift – and therefore digital PR efforts – into hard business goals like revenue and sales, although in our experience PR is an investment in your brand and seeing the benefits of those efforts takes time. We use the insights we generate to take an iterative approach, informing more effective marketing and PR strategies down the line.