Should PR Be Part of Your Next Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy?
Not that long ago, the word went out that PR was on its way out. The rise of social media and digital marketing seemed to spell the end of traditional media and the PR profession. Then something unexpected happened: both traditional media and PR adapted to the new market conditions and found ways to stay relevant, including as a partner to digital marketing campaign strategy.
Given the transition of many traditional media outlets to an Internet-friendly model as a complement to their existing print or TV footprint, PR has become a must-have ingredient to many digital marketing campaigns. With the explosion of smartphones and the omnipresent mobile-social platform, many media outlets are now playing in that space.
What does this mean for a brand and its marketing strategy? That you should not discount the impact of good old-fashioned PR as part of your overall marketing mix. Now, media placements often take place either partly or wholly online, which means PR has the ability to get your brand in front of millions of eyeballs on such influential sites as TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal or CNN. And, even better news, those media placements are some of your most effective sources of new website traffic, brand fans and even new customers.
If digital marketing is aboutdriving measurable lead generation outcomes in the form of clicks, time on site, leads in the sales funnel and brand influence in social networks, then PR is the like a rich uncle who shows up from time to time to shower your brand with presents from abroad. For example, a mention for a luxury brand in the Wall Street Journal will not only jump a brand’s credibility up several notches, but it will also put the brand in front of an audience of future potential high net-worth clients.
It’s worth noting; however, that not every digital marketing campaign is a good fit for PR. Here is why: PR is considered ‘earned’ media, which means that messages you take to the media must convince a journalist to cover your news over hundreds or thousands of others. In other words, PR is often better reserved for major news announcements like new products, startup launches, business acquisitions, extraordinary growth, etc.
When deciding to pair a digital marketing campaign with PR, it merits consulting with a seasoned PR professional. There are some basic tricks of the trade that simply are not in the toolkit of most marketers. An experienced PR professional can save you time, smell out a good idea from a stale one and generally schmooze the media to obtain coverage that might otherwise get deleted by a busy journalist.
A final word of advice: bring a PR professional into the planning stages of a digital marketing campaign strategy. These days, PR professionals can add tremendous value to any digital marketing team by anticipating media responses to a proposed plan.