Why your business needs digital PR

If you’re determined to catapult your brand into the spotlight, generate leads, convert or influence sales or maybe get big news outlets talking about your business or product, then digital PR could be what your business is missing.

There are plenty of tactical ways to drive results for your brand, but none of them are even half as effective in achieving your goals and KPIs like a data-driven, search-first, digital PR strategy.


What is digital PR?

Considering when I tell a lot of people I work in PR, and they think I mean advertising, it’s fair to say that those of us who work in PR have a hard enough time explaining the various strands of what we do, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief…

Digital PR is not simply ‘link building’, and PR professionals, SEO experts and marketers are generally working hard to debunk this myth. The reality is that it’s so much more than this!

In a nutshell, digital PR brings together the strands of traditional PR with the more technical aspect of SEO, but all built on data, resulting in measurable and impactful campaigns.

Our Creative Intelligence© model perhaps describes this approach best:

“Digital PR campaigns combine the creative element of content marketing and traditional PR, supplemented by the data brought about from careful Search Engine Optimisation and target audience analysis to create engaging campaigns with demonstrable ROI.”


What makes a good digital PR campaign?

Digital PR can have several different objectives and no two campaigns are the same, but in my view a good digital PR campaign is one which produces the maximum benefit for the brand across as many digital channels as possible, to give a great return on investment.


Examples of digital PR in practice

Before I go any further, it might be helpful to put digital PR into some terms we can all understand, because right now it may well still sound like just another bullshit marketing term.

Park Dean Resorts: Every Country’s Favourite Disney Plus Film: Revealed

Park Dean Resorts worked on a campaign mapping out Every Country’s Favourite Disney Plus Film. They recognised a trending topic and responded.

With the new launch Disney+ coinciding with the first lockdown and so many of us staying indoors watching films, streaming sites were certainly a hot topic in many households. The clever people at Park Dean identified this; reviewed the data; linked it to their services and the rest was history.

The theory was simple; they took to Google to find out which Disney films had the highest search volume in different countries, then transformed this into a handy infographic giving the Disney lowdown by location.

Diving deeper into the data (try saying that after a few drinks!), Park Dean also listed the UK’s top 10 Disney films (with Avatar somehow claiming top spot?!). This resulted in significant media coverage and was a brilliant brand building activity.

So, let’s take a look at how they did it…

1. Methodology

They used Google Ad Words to secure the data needed to back up their claims.

2. Sharing the data

They created a map (and accompanying series of infographics showing the data in more detail) to present their findings in an appealing, eye-catching way – this is an asset that any journalist would be hard pressed to pass up on sharing!

3. Media outreach

They shared the story with outlets that their potential customers might read. You may not have Inside the Magic or Travel + Leisure bookmarked, but you can guarantee anyone booking a holiday to Disney World would likely visit their sites.

4. The results

From taking a little look at Google trends, the results from this campaign speak for themselves. With the travel company’s Disney data being issued in June, we can see a significant spike in searches of ‘Park Dean Resorts’ during this timeframe, and importantly quality backlinks that drive growth in their own ranking power – a decent result for a travel company in the middle of a pandemic, I think we can all agree.

Google Trends for Park Dean Resorts


Why is digital PR important?

Now that we’ve seen a campaign in action, it’s easy to see why digital PR is important (and effective), but if you’re still not convinced, please read on…

Online PR marketing is fast becoming an integral part of delivering successful communications campaigns for brands and businesses, helping to bolster overarching SEO strategies to build legitimacy and authority whilst building your brand awareness.

How can digital PR improve a brand’s presence?

When done in the right way, digital PR will:

  • Gain quality links back to your website, helping drive your performance on search engines (plus more referral traffic!)
  • Building brand awareness, and;
    • Amplify your share of voice around the topics that mean the most both to your business and your audience.
    • Drive genuine interest and engagement with your customer base, all the while building trust and credibility with those who matter most.
  • Increase awareness around your products and services – driving leads and sales alongside an ecommerce SEO strategy!

Referring back to the point about links, as we said before – it’s not all about link building. However, without getting too technical (best to leave that to our Head of SEO and Insights, Laura), implementing an integrated Digital PR strategy will absolutely contribute to how well you perform organically on search engines like Google or Bing.

Through relevant backlinks, digital coverage will drive pre-qualified website traffic, helping to ensure that your website is appearing for the right keywords that are most relevant to your business.

What comes under digital PR?

Digital PR covers a wide range of different types of activity and marketing objectives, including:

  • Brand building
  • National and regional media coverage
  • Product or service launches
  • News generation
  • Events and stunts
  • Newsjacking
  • Content marketing
  • Link building

How does digital PR fit into the marketing mix?

Working out the role of digital PR in the marketing strategy for your specific brand or organisation is a key part of helping you to maximise both your results and return on investment.

The advantages of public relations in the digital realm can be multiple. Are you utilising it to help with your SEO as well as for increasing online brand awareness, for getting your products or services seen by the right people or for helping manage your online reputation? If not, you definitely could be!

What are the benefits of digital PR?

Digital PR is an effective way of raising brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. It is also a cost-effective and speedy way of getting your brand out there…provided you’re quick enough off the mark that is! Digital PR also works hand in hand with other marketing channels, like SEO.

By knowing the various keywords you want to be ranking for, you can then begin to monitor trending topics and phrases, profiling your audience and identifying opportunities to do something creative that will bring your audience to you.

Rather than a typical sales ploy, digital PR marketing allows you to communicate with your audience on a more genuine level, sharing insight into topics you know interest them (achieved through data, of course). This also extends to your media relations, as you’re offering the journalist a real asset that they know will in turn drive people to read their articles – a win-win for both parties. The benefits of PR are multi-faceted when incorporated effectively into your wider marketing plan.

If you’re really lucky, your campaign could even go viral, catapulting your name into the web, resulting in plenty of website visits and new interest in your product, brand or services. We’ll be sharing further insights into Digital PR (including some of our own tips), so keep your eyes peeled

Whether you’re an accountancy firm, a start-up or a large consumer brand, there’s always room to get creative with the data that’s at your fingertips with an online PR campaign.

If you’re determined to catapult your brand into the spotlight, generate leads, convert or influence sales or maybe get big news outlets talking about your business or product, then digital PR could be what your business is missing.

There are plenty of tactical ways to drive results for your brand, but none of them are even half as effective in achieving your goals and KPIs like a data-driven, search-first, digital PR strategy.

Picture of Helen Lang

Helen Lang

I’ve worked in PR for the past six years across brands from all sorts of industries, including leisure, ecommerce and professional services. My favourite thing about my job is working with our clients! I love identifying strategies that align with client KPIs and finding creative ways of activating campaigns, collaborating with the team and the client every step of the way.

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