Digital PR: A Snapshot
When was the last time you picked up a newspaper? Subscribed to a magazine? Caught the 5:00 news?
I have to admit, for me it’s been awhile.
I represent a growing trend in media consumption. I’ve never paid for cable, opting for binge sessions on Netflix. Even if I had cable (or hooked my TV to get local channels- legally of course), I’m rarely home before seven. I don’t subscribe to the local newspaper. My magazine subscriptions have long past expired. In fact, most of my magazines remain unread collecting dust in a corner. And while I do listen to the radio, I increasingly use my driving time for podcasts, audio books and iTunes.
This doesn’t mean I don’t consume media. In fact, I consume an outlandish amount.
I am a diehard podcast listener. The number of favorite influencers on Twitter keeps rising. I even throw in a few major news outlets into the mix. You have to get your news somehow. Where all else fails, there are Daily Show clips. Even Facebook recounts groundbreaking news in a timely manner. I religiously follow several blogs, belong to three active online communities and scan through my g-mail promotions tab for interesting tidbits.
With traditional PR rooted in print, media coverage and press releases, what does that look like when marketing to me?
Wait, we need to pause on press releases for a second. True confessions: when have you ever read a press release?
You raising your hands, editing the dry and miserable texts for work doesn’t count.
To bridge the gap, a new subculture of PR is emerging: Digital PR. This evolution accounts for millennials and plays into their digital additive tendencies. It also touches the growing numbers of Generation X who has opted for mobile media consumption. And luckily for me, it is almost completely devoid of press releases.
Here’s what this growing trend in Digital PR looks like:
Quality over Quantity
One of the primary elements of Digital PR is targeted, focused and specific outreach. There are billions of people in the world. Your message only resonates with a selective group.
Focus efforts on narrowing on your specific audience. Reaching 100 interested individuals is more beneficial than 10,000 people in the wrong demographic.
Odds are no one is actively looking for you.
It’s nothing against your message; it’s the harsh reality of a noisy digital world. But the good news is that humans are creatures of habit. Many of us have different outlets that we regularly turn to for inspiration, education, news or thought leadership.
This means prime hunting grounds.
Every industry has an establish platform drawing in followers. Identify the outlets your audience hangs out at. Then become an expert there through guest posting. While not every platform will allow this, many are actively looking for meaningful content to share with their tribe.
Ensure you provide high quality content relevant to their audience. If it doesn’t enrich their lives, it’s a waste of your time.
Unless your audience is my grandma’s 89 year old boyfriend, odds are high they are engaged in social. It’s no secret that social media blew up over the last decade. Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you how many different outlets there are.
But there are the major ones.
Choose selectively based on your where your tribe hangs out. If you’re targeting a mid twenties woman to showcase your clothing line, be on Pinterest. Want to get the attention of a thirty-year-old male service provider: LinkedIn. Tweens your range? Find a teenage and have them explain Snapchat* to you. And if you are in the restaurant business, keep an eye on what Mogul is planning to bring to the market.
Once you are there, focus your efforts on building relationships. Relationships build community. Community fuels success.
By the versatile nature of the digital realm, there are more tools accessible to digital PR approaches. They also play into the progression of Google’s algorithm trends. SEO is the new real estate.
While traditional and digital PR have the same goals, they each approach the space differently. And those fundamental differences define both the effectiveness and types audiences reached.
One of my favorite elements of digital PR plans is we can leverage your PR hit across multiple platforms. It’s never a one trick pony in the digital space.
*I have yet to navigate the power of a four second image. But there are experts dominating that field. One just hopes they use their power for good.