The Anatomy of a Great Online PR
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you pick up a newspaper or your mobile? What do you do when you are traveling in a car or taxi? Do you look outside or get your eyes glued to your mobile? Do you prefer Shopping to stores or do you shop online? Chances are that most of your answers favor the mobile. In the era of information where smartphones and the internet have become part and parcel of our lives, how could PR lag behind?
Change is the only constant thing in the PR industry. The inception of the PR industry happened in the early 90s and since then, has seen significant changes. While many are still trying to understand the traditional PR, the concept of digital PR has sneaked in quite smartly and effectively. From mass press releases to customized email management tools, Excel sheets to CRMs, journalists to bloggers and influencers, the PR industry has changed dramatically in order to flow forward and stay abreast with the new times.
Still confused about the PR thing and don’t understand the digital term at all? Don’t worry because you’re not alone, many are not aware of the buzzing phrase. Let’s take a tour. I’m sure it will not just give you clarity about digital PR but also initiate better prospects for your career.
Everyone has an untold story. Some use Public Relations as a tool to share their stories to reach personal goals. Hence, Public Relations is simply storytelling wherein you carve out an impressive story to attract, engage, and convert your target audience into customers.
If you google ‘what is PR’ you’ll learn that:
“Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. It looks after reputation, intending to earn support and influence opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish goodwill between an organisation and its public.”
Traditional PR and Digital PR share the same objective, which is to create brand awareness and engage most of the relevant customers, eventually converting them into clients. Yet, methods and ways of these platforms are quite different. While Traditional PR tends to focus on newspapers, channels, and portals, Digital PR focuses on websites, social media platforms, blogs, influencer campaigns, online news, and video portals.
Traditional PR is the former one. It’s a form of communication that doesn’t require the internet. It involves reaching out to these brick-and-mortar establishments and building relationships, banking on tools like Newsletters, Press Releases, Brochures, and catalogs, Press conferences, etc. It targets traditional media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio.
Traditional PR is a hardcore thing. Executives need to pitch clients at every meal, submitting press releases and articles to every relevant journalist on behalf of their clients. Convince Journalists to publish given Press Release as well as ensure the client about it. In short, they have to make themselves available for clients and media for 24×7 to get the best result.
On the other hand, Digital PR becomes highly simple and sorted as it uses the Internet and it’s an established fact that the mass spends a huge chunk of their daily life binging on it. It offers the opportunity to reach a much broader audience that can’t be reached with only the online method. It is measurable and immediate. One can improve their brand presence and visibility using it. It relies on Internet-based strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, influencer outreach, and social media. It allows one to analyze the audience and provide useful and actionable consumer insight as a form of a buyer’s persona.
If you want to make a career in PR just because of the glamour it reflects, you seriously need to find a pit stop and park your adrenaline rush. The perks knock your door after a ton of experience in the field. In other words, PR personnel is just like a gardener who irrigates the brand with a lot of hard work and dedication to establish it and make it successful.
The PR industry is like a vast ocean. Many colleges and universities offer PR diploma, degree, and master degrees. Today’s PR program includes Digital and social media components but this can only give you 20% to 25% of the understanding of the subject. You can only learn and understand real PR by taking a dip in the ocean, practical knowledge is everything that matters.
But before we start, I wanted to make it very clear that you can’t grow your digital wings until and unless you understand traditional PR. Yes, you need to experience the journey of a caterpillar to become a butterfly.
Content Writer – Content writers are internet-savvy individuals who write articles, blogs, other writing material for web use. If you know to craft the art of writing and penetrate others’ minds with it then you’re fit for the job. Remember, If you always want to be in high demand then you must write in-depth content from a unique perspective. You need a full toolkit of marketable skills too to become a successful content writer.
PR Strategist – How a brand is seen in the public eye is a matter of great importance for an organization. A PR strategist helps an organization to organize PR activities strategically, in order to get fruitful and long term results. He helps an organization to fulfill its objectives in the best way possible. Don’t commit the mistake of considering this responsibility as those run-of-the-mill jobs. This person is credited with creating a time frame, preparing strong tactics, fixing the target audience and measuring an organization’s success. In fact, he/she is the main hand involved in building a brand and its management.
Search Engine Optimisation Specialist – Ranking on Google matters more than the report card nowadays. It’s like an adventurous hill-climbing race which is getting tougher by each day, not only you have to secure your position but also have to maintain it to become field sensation. You need a helping hand for it by an SEO specialist (Search Engine Optimisation Specialist).
He is one who analyzes, reviews the client’s website and implements necessary changes in order to optimize it for search engines. His ultimate goal is to maximize a site’s traffic by improving page rank within search engines.
Digital Public Relations (PR) Executive – Image building and management is a top priority of a PR executive. His responsibilities were limited to local, regional, national and international markets before but it enlarged with the emergence of the digital age. Online Public Relations becomes part of his job and web relationship influence among cyber citizens become his duty.
In short, A digital PR executive is responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating communications strategy to support the communication objectives and maximize positive exposure in the digital market.
Digital PR Manager – From approving content to finalizing the budget, PR manager is the one who leads the digital PR segment, is responsible for promoting a company, product, or services and enhancing brand awareness in digital space. He Plans, develops and implements digital PR strategies. Utilizing the management skills, he manages digital journalists, bloggers, and influencers. Effective elevator pitch to turn a stranger into possible clients and managing clients’ expectations efficiently is also an important role of his job.
Social Media Manager – From influencing the first-time voter for making someone an overnight sensation, Social media is a magical wand that everybody today seeks out for in order to bring fruit to life. This is where the Social Media Manager comes into the picture as he is responsible for planning, implementing, managing and monitoring a company’s Social Media account. He makes strategies to increase brand awareness and improve sales.
It’s not about the digital or traditional. It’s all about telling your story in the best way using the right tools. So all you need is to analyze and understand your target audience and then choose tools accordingly.
Suppose, your target audience is senior citizens who prefer newspapers, channels and other traditional media rather than the internet. Now, it doesn’t matter how good digitally you’re, you have to choose traditional PR to attract audiences and turn them into customers. It will prove to be a big failure if you fall back on your SEO and other digital methods and don’t choose the traditional path. Likewise, you can’t apply traditional PR methods for a person who relies on the internet for every solution. You must know to find and create a balance between both methods.