PUBLIC RELATIONS: OLD RULES, NEW TOOLS

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Whether it’s regular press coverage, a successful event or community engagement, the goals of PR activity have remained predominantly the same over the decades. But what about the tools we employ? With the surge in digital and mobile use, we wanted to take a closer look at how PR tools have changed over the years.

Stirring up the media mix

Here at Peppermint, we’re always on the lookout for key influencers who can help boost the credibility and reputation of our clients. While journalists working for clients’ target publications continue to be a vital resource for earned media, we’re reaching out to bloggers and social media influencers now more than ever before.

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a huge increase in the number of prominent bloggers out there – in particular, those looking to engage with PR pros. As a result, our media contact database is continually expanding, with bloggers and online influencers forming a large part of the list. Targeting these influencers on a regular basis allows us to get involved with as many opportunities as possible, including expert comments, product placement and sample reviews.

With around four in 10 British adults stating they use the internet for news or reviews, it’s clear that online visibility holds indispensable PR value alongside traditional print and broadcast coverage. A key benefit of online coverage is the ability to track traffic to your website, helping to measure how content is contributing to your business.

Finding your feet on social

It’s no secret that social media has put a whole new spin on PR. Kick-starting your social journey might seem like a simple task, but getting your brand noticed online is easier said than done.

We’re constantly generating fresh and creative ideas to help gain more and more traction for our clients. Previous campaigns have seen us create an online game for a sweetener brand, which led to over 60,000 active engagements with the campaign microsite and a surge in social media followers.

It’s important to remember that social media shouldn’t be treated as an after-thought. Building up your online community can take more time and effort than expected, especially if you operate in a highly competitive field. Social media content should not only be well thought out and relevant to your target audience – you also need to entertain your community with relevant, fun and engaging commentary.

Responding and engaging with users is also a key ingredient for success – so it’s vital to have someone monitor your social media channels round the clock. Remember, this is a direct channel to communicate with your customer or client base – don’t leave this job to someone who is not equal to the task.

The key to search success

A few years ago, SEO and PR worked in silos – the two were completely different entities with barely any relation to one another. Thanks to the evolution of digital, SEO has become an important part of content for PR pros and is fundamental to achieve the best results.

According to Compete, research shows that 53 per cent of clicks occur on the first search engine listing, so it’s crucial to aim for the top when it comes to SEO. Google is constantly changing its search algorithms, which means it’s really important to regularly evaluate what works and what doesn’t. In Google’s most recent update, it highlighted that its ranking system is predominantly based on the quality of content.

As such, writing for the sake of it in the hope of getting noticed isn’t recommended. Rather, publishing high quality content that contains substance, opinion, research or expert commentary is far more likely to appear higher in Google search. Integrating digital and PR services is likely to lead to a more streamlined approach and, ultimately, the results you desire for your business.

If you think your company could do with a helping hand when it comes to PR or digital, let’s chat!

@Sdkaitc