While you’re most likely already familiar with the value of digital marketing tactics such as having a website and running pay-per-click ads, there’s another powerful tool to consider for your digital marketing plan: public relations. The convergence of public relations, influencer outreach, social media, and SEO can produce very strong results for brands.
Public relations, which is becoming more and more digitally focused, involves strategically building mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and its target audiences. (Think customers, prospects, employees and more.) The digital aspects of public relations range from up-to-the-minute tweets to blogs, intranets and news websites.
Although public relations includes employee communications, events, crisis communications and beyond, media relations is the most prominent aspect thanks to its visibility.
Media relations involves “pitching” appropriate media outlets and bloggers with targeted outreach to do stories on your organization and its initiatives. News releases (also known as press releases), pitch emails and follow-up phone calls are among the tools used in pitches. Not any pitch will suffice, however. There has to be news value for reporters or bloggers to be interested, such as a product launch, acquisition, new initiative, etc. Think about what topics interest you in your daily consumption of news and blog content.
Rocket55 recently established a digitally-focused public relations division when Twin Cities public relations industry veteran Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC, CPPM, joined the agency. Here’s his take on the benefits of media relations and how to leverage media coverage in your digital marketing strategy.
Benefits of Media Relations
From a digital marketing perspective, Google recognizes the value of the third-party credibility that a media placement provides. Links to your website from a news organization’s website are highly valued. Even if the media outlet doesn’t include a link, your company being cited in a news story provides context to Google and could boost your ranking in relevant searches.
Additionally, a successfully placed story in the media on your organization provides several benefits. First, it can produce tremendous visibility with your target audiences. Beyond that, since it’s generally assumed that media outlets have stringent vetting processes, being the focus of — or simply included in — a piece offers instant third-party credibility.
That extra visibility increases prospects’ familiarity with your organization, potentially making them more likely to be a future customer.
How to Leverage Media Coverage
After all the effort that goes into securing a placement in the media or on a blog, it’s wise to leverage the piece to your organization’s benefit. Here are some tips to leverage the final story in correlation with your digital marketing plan:
- Social media: Media or blog coverage makes excellent content for your organization’s social media feeds and can be easily shared with your fans and followers.
- Website: Many companies have their own blog or even a newsroom section on their website; posting media coverage on your website will impress visitors.
- Intranet: Positive media or blog coverage can boost employee morale. Be sure to share the coverage with them and encourage them to share it with others.
- Email marketing: Links to positive media or blog coverage will likely be of interest to your e-newsletter subscribers.
When you’re ready to share your news, get in touch with Rocket55. We’re eager to help you leverage the power of public relations in your digital marketing plan!