Since the digital revolution, PR has been forced to adapt. From convincing clients they needed websites in the 1990s to SEO, blogs, forums, and the other online communication tools of today, technology has offered PR professionals fresh ways to gain exposure, beyond the traditional media.
Yet throughout this digital revolution, content remains king, offline and online. Social media has the transformed the way that content is spread, sure, but content is more important than ever before because of this ease of distribution to a broader audience. The best PR firms of today focus on creating the kind of content that people actually want to read, listen to or view, not just what traditional journalism would consider “news.”
This also happens to be the kind of content that ranks best with the search engines today. A viral video, for example, may be shared by millions of people on YouTube and social media, but never gain exposure in media outlets. The use of compelling graphics and creating catchy, human-driven campaigns gets attention. Constantly producing sharable content appealing to your key audiences serves to broaden the messages’ reach while connecting one-on-one with the right people in a more personal way.
Digital marketing allows us to reexamine the modern execution of a traditional influencer strategy as well. The Digital Marketing World Forum, which took place in London last summer, hosted big players in the marketing and communications industry with speakers from brands including the BBC, Oxfam, TSB and GOV.UK. One of the key PR points that came out of that forum was that “microinfluencers” (those with a social following of less than 100,000) can be just as effective as their more recognized counterparts. Chessie King – who has a following of 71,500 on Instagram – said at this event that “these relationships can be good for brands because they reflect a ‘brother or sister’ relationship and the microinfluencer’s lifestyle and can feel more realistic, and attainable to followers.”
While traditional media such as print publications and TV are still very much alive, today’s PR pros know that that the best campaigns often combine leveraging traditional and digital media with a targeted approach.