By Rachel Sherman
Digital PR experts Heather Whaling, President of Geben Communication, and Ginger Guttner, Director of Public Relations at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, shared their insights for building successful digital PR strategies in our latest webinar. Joined by moderator Gaugarin Oliver, Global Head of PR Services for Thomson Reuters, the panel discussed how they have evolved their public relations strategies to incorporate digital media and the results.
If you missed the live webinar or would like to watch it again, it’s available on demand. You can also download each panelist’s slides for your PR playbook. In the meantime, we’ve recapped the top five takeaways from the discussion so you can begin building a great digital PR strategy straightaway.
Social media has changed the PR game. Heather Whaling of Geben Communication pointed out a number of benefits of leveraging social media for public relations.
- More outlets
- Better research
- New relationship-building opportunities
- Bypass (some) gatekeepers
She also stressed the importance of keeping up with the pace of social media conversations by reminding us that “if you’re not quick, you’re not relevant.”
Journalists are more tech savvy than ever. They are utilizing social media to help them connect with their next story so it’s important for PR professionals to engage in digital PR tactics.
- 81% of journalists are on Twitter, with 75% of them using it for work.
- 91% of journalists believe their reliance on social media has increased.
- 80% of journalists believe their newsrooms encourage the use of social media.
- 89% of journalists research story ideas on blogs.
Use social media to build stronger relationships. The most popular social media tools have great features to help you keep track of your network, make new connections, spot trends to create new PR opportunities, and create smarter media pitches.
- Update media lists with Twitter handles and create/monitor Twitter lists
- Subscribe to Facebook pages, join LinkedIn groups, follow/like on Google+, Quora, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
- Create Newsle alerts
Combine digital PR with traditional PR. Layering digital tactics onto traditional strategies allows you to own your story like never before and get real-time feedback.
- Create social media releases for big reach
- Add social sharing to the launch timeline to create “drip” campaigns
- Coordinate with high-profile supports
- Update closed/secret Facebook groups
- Monitor online conversations and respond as appropriate
Evolve your digital PR strategy. Ginger Guttner of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine let the social network inform the digital PR strategy for Mike the Tiger and saw big success as a result.
- Know what type of information will keep your audience engaged
- Understand which is the right voice for your communications
- Take advantage of opportunities to grow your network
- Be playful when appropriate
- Include multimedia such as pictures and videos
- Interact with other organizations to keep the conversation going
Digital media has opened the door for PR professionals to expand their reach beyond the traditional press release. By incorporating social networks and sharing, the opportunities for cross-channel strategies are huge, as is the potential for big success.