Public relations on its own dates back all the way to the early 1900s when people created publicity boards to influence journalists and public opinion.
Back in the day, companies used press releases to communicate with media outlets in crisis situations to help repair their reputations.
Then, as TV and radio evolved and the internet arrived, PR became an essential communication tool for any company.
Unlike paid ads, PR is considered a third-party endorsement, and unlike those ads, the results from digital PR efforts keep coming even after a campaign is finished.
Those results can be in the form of brand awareness, inbound links from authority sites, or more website traffic from referrals.
In a time when consumer trust is at an all-time low, companies can build credibility and trust through positive digital PR efforts.
According to some PR experts, most customers are likely going to be loyal to a company they already trust, and they’re also more likely to turn into repeat buyers as well as brand ambassadors.
Angle and Audience
Before pitching a story to digital outlets, it’s important for the company to know its target audience so it can craft the perfect story angle. This is also the first step of any business strategy — discovering what the audience is interested in and then providing it.
The angle of a story is the way the company is able to put a spin on its own products or services to make them stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of the target audience.
The best story angles are created when a company knows the unique value proposition which will help frame its story by positioning it in a category such as events, announcements, or evergreen ideas.
Pitches and Press Releases
Pitching the story angle to a media outlet doesn’t require someone to become a PR expert, but it does help to know how to write, communicate, and research. Being able to sell what the journalists are buying in a way that’s relevant and helpful is a skill, and it becomes more complicated when the company also has to take other things into consideration.
Those things include making sure that each pitch is personalized for each journalist, and developing a relationship with the journalist beforehand.
Then the press release should be written in a way that will get the attention of the journalists too. That’s why in the digital era, many companies also add visual assets to their press releases.
Attention-grabbing photos, infographics, or even videos can be included in a press release in today’s digital PR era, which can also attract more attention from consumers.
Finally, the company has to figure out the best channel to distribute its press release and story. There are plenty of digital channels available today, including email newsletters, social media platforms, paid ads, and more.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the different advantages and disadvantages of each channel, as well as the rules — such as word limits — that companies need to follow when sharing anything.