Today, Digital Public Relations (PR) plays an important role in continuous interaction with audiences and customers, branding, sales growth and crisis management.
Because of these importances, public relations has been used over the years in various ways (offline and traditional, online and digital), according to the facilities and conditions of the time to attract the attention of the audience.
We live in an age where advertising has entered online and digital from the offline and traditional world.
It’s not surprising if Public Relations, as one of the most important parts of digital marketing, is considered a handy tool in the online world. For this reason, traditional public relations (which uses newspapers, radio, television, magazines, etc…), no longer have the same effect as before and will not meet your needs as you want.
Now the question is how to use digital public relations and not lag behind? What are the differences between traditional public relations and digital public relations? What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital public relations? How do we measure our success effectively?
Follow us in this article to get acquainted with the history of public relations emergence, digital public relations, differences between traditional and digital public relations, advantages and disadvantages, examples of using digital PR and also getting to know how to measure our success rate in this way.
How did Public Relations Emerge?
Before entering the world of public relations, we will have a brief look at the history of the PR formation. According to Wikipedia, the term of public relations was first used in the United States. The first public relations section was created by “George Westinghouse”, an inventor and craftsman, in 1889, and in 1897 he coined the term “public relations” in the American Railroad Yearbook.
American historian “Scott Cuthlip” identified The Publicity Bureau. This was an advertising agency founded in 1900, as the first public relations agency. The task of this agency was to increase the credibility and reputation of the winners and gain the trust of the audience and attract them as customers.
Now by reviewing the history of the PR, we can explain PR as follows:
In fact, public relations includes a set of activities that aims to create a good mental image of the company and its products, branding, reputation and maintaining the company’s reputation in critical situations.
What is Digital PR?
The purpose of digital public relations is to establish two-way communication with the audience and customers, to answer their questions and needs and use their suggestions to improve products and services online.
In fact, by doing this, the experience and mentality will be extraordinary for the audience and customers. Note that digital PR is different from advertising and brands use digital PR tools to get their business-related news indirectly to their audience.
Now for a better understanding of digital PR, read the following example:
Think of Healthism Health Products as a seriously focused brand in the company’s public relations department. Audience and customer feedback are very important to them; they respond well to customer questions and needs. They also capture a strong image in the minds of their audiences by publishing strong content. So they have many followers in social media(note that they are not necessarily promoting their products).
Now as a customer, I decide to buy a face soup from a cosmetics shop. They introduce me three different brands and one of them is Healthism. Considering that i have never bought any of these three face soupes, I will buy from Healthism brand!
See? Healthism was distinguished from the other two brands by producing strong content in social media, then answering all the comments, and proving the quality of its products to customers.
Differences between traditional and digital public relations
The goal of digital and traditional public relations is the same and the main difference between the two types of traditional and online is in their communication channels with people.
Traditional public relations is a set of activities that seeks to engage its target audience through traditional media (such as newspapers, television, or radio). In traditional public relations, journalists are responsible for conveying the message. With the expansion of the use of social media, various businesses also began to operate in this space. Presence in social media has its own rules and methods. Because of that, traditional public relations has changed to digital. In digital public relations, the focus is on virtual media, and activities are now being done in digital media.
Examples of using digital PR in big companies
1- Instagram supporting small businesses
Instagram has started supporting small businesses by designing new stickers that can be used to make stories. Following the creation of these simple stickers that are not visible at first glance, many small businesses have sprung up. This virtual media has repeatedly supported people in various fields by creating new stickers. Doing this has had a significant effect on Instagram’s popularity.
2- Coca-cola supporting black people
Coca-Cola posted new images on its website following the violence against blacks, saying: “Blacks’ lives matter” The company also donated $ 500,000 to the Black Lives Matter global network to support them and the younger generation of blacks. Coca-Cola is now in the hearts of its black audience.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital PR
Disadvantages of Digital PR include its time-consuming nature. This means that in order to create a proper mental image, it requires constant patience and effort. But it should be noted that the end result will be stable in the minds of the audience.
The advantages of Digital PR include the following:
- Increase traffic through proper linking from reputable sources
- Increase credibility and trust in brand loyalty
- Help users share content generated on social networks
- The success and benefits of Digital PR far outweigh the costs
- There is no time or place limit for conveying the message to the audience
Online Public relations tools
As we mentioned earlier, one of the advantages of online public relations is that it has various communication channels compared to traditional methods. Here are some examples of online public relations tools:
- Email marketing
- Social Networks
- Websites and blogs related to the subject of business activity
- Online news media
- Types of content in the form of podcasts, video, articles, infographics, slides, e-books, etc…
Measuring our success in Digital PR
For measuring our success, we can use the following steps:
Google Analytics is one of the most popular and powerful web analytics tools in the world. This tool can be very useful in improving the SEO of the site, increasing the sales of products and services and thus the prosperity of any online business in the digital world by analyzing the behavior of users when viewing a website and submitting a report.
2- Using social media
By examining how influential you are in social media, you will be well aware of your success in online public relations. You can monitor whether your activities in social media are satisfactory by tracking the number of visits and sharing your posts on social networks.
We hope you will be well acquainted with digital public relations and successful in branding your business after reading this article. Remember, as the proper use of online public relations has a tremendous impact on your business, the use of non-professional online public relations can have irreparable effects on your company’s reputation.