Today’s top public relations professionals are early tech adopters, silo smashers and friends with fellow marketers, SEO strategists and IT teams. They embrace the fact that the power of public relations now lives online, as well as on the page.
Here are four digital public relations trends that are changing the way we do PR. Read on and don’t get left behind!
- Smarter digital tools
Vendors like Cision, Vocus and Meltwater are tripping over themselves to offer agencies and corporate teams bigger and better data on journalists and bloggers. For example, Cision’s Influence Rating and Social Demographics tool boasts 330,000 social profiles, enabling users to identify key influencers with special attention to follower demographics.Meltwater’s Google-like natural language processing tool allows pros to identify journalists who are actually writing on a topic, rather than lumping them together by loose industry beats. As the PR professional to journalist ratio (4:1) continues to trend upward, smarter digital tools can help increase open rates and placements.
- SEO synthesis
Digital PR professionals are relying more and more on smart SEO principles to inform and guide their media outreach. While it’s harder to get column inches, it’s easier than ever to get space on the Web. But it needs to be the right space. With expertise in SEO principles like site relevancy, domain authority and keyword research, your PR team can amplify content and secure valuable, natural backlinks that can help target audiences find information about your products and services on the Web.
- Fresh content strategies
The two fastest-growing marketing strategies over the next year will be brand journalism (blogs, social media, newsrooms, contributor opportunities) and visual storytelling (video, micro-video, infographics, interactive content). These channels represent a big opportunity for PR – there are so many more ways to share your brand’s story now.Set goals to test new channels, draft scripts for videos and Q&As, and set yourself up with some basic equipment to shoot your own footage (Tip: most iPhones can shoot HD-quality video). If you’re not thinking about ways to amplify your content using brand journalism and visual storytelling, your competitors probably are, and you don’t want them to overshadow your big campaign with a 6-second Vine.
- Analytics to prove PR value
The Barcelona Principles, revised guidelines of PR measurement that discourage placing advertising value equivalents (AVEs) on media placements, represent substantial progress for the field, but many professionals say they still struggle to prove PR value. Today, there’s a definite move toward using analytics to do so. Follow this trend by starting from the top down. What are your agency or client goals? What are the specific goals for the public relations team? From here, you can determine key performance indicators (KPIs) for PR and establish reports for clients or internal leadership. Check in regularly to evaluate KPIs and reporting systems and make sure they’re still relevant to the big-picture goals.
We’d love to know what you think – what are you doing to keep up with PR trends? How are you taking advantage of these trends for you and your clients?