Public Relations is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy and is a valuable business tool for brands across various verticals. Both digital marketing and online PR hold a wealth of opportunity, and the very best marketing experts use PR as a tool to accomplish their digital marketing objectives. Whether you’re considering PR consulting, or a complete digital PR strategy, it’s important to understand how this will play a role in fulfilling your brand’s unique needs.
In digital marketing (as in all areas of marketing) the message is designed to drive sales or directly increase revenue in some way. For example, the marketing message of a large online bookstore might be that they can offer the largest selection and cheapest prices because of their bulk buying power.
In digital public relations (and Public Relations as a whole) the message isn’t designed to be directly promotional. PR messages can vary from showing that a company cares about a specific cause (or show core values of the company) to news messages put out by the company.
The Tactics and Tools
Often times, there is the common misconception that you can use digital PR and digital marketing interchangeably or in place of one another. However, that is not the case. When it comes to online public relations and digital marketing, if you’re trying to boost branding and awareness, the tactics used for both should support one another – not replace one another.
Whether it’s ensuring that you’re campaign messaging from an email aligns with the messaging you use when securing a placement, or perhaps supplying an editor with visual imagery that is similar to what you’d find across your digital presence, efforts across both channels should always complement one another.
In digital marketing, you have a “target market.” These are essentially the people your company is selling something to (or if you run a website monetised by advertising, your target market might be potential readers that you would monetise through those ads).
The right PR expert or PR agency understands who your audience is. A target audience (sometimes called a “key public” or “stakeholder”) can be any group that has influence over the company. The target market is just one target audience. Others might include residents of the area where a company is located, government officials, stockholders, and employees.