Feeling Content-A fresh look at Digital PR


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Public Relations is an industry that companies have been relying on for years but with the introduction of the internet to businesses and their publics, many companies have taken it upon themselves to handle their own PR. We at Digital by Design are about to tell you why getting an expert to take care of your Digital PR for you is the best way to go.

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Feeling Content-A fresh look at Digital PR

  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONPublic Relations is an industry that companies have been relying on for yearsbut with the introduction of the internet to businesses and their publics, manycompanies have taken it upon themselves to handle their own PR. We atDigital by Design are about to tell you why getting an expert to take care ofyour Digital PR for you is the best way to go. Get an expert to take care of your online PR.REACH MILLIONS MORE READERS, LISTENERS AND VIEWERSSee your message spread like wildfire. The internet is a big place – it takesexperience and a certain finesse to effectively communicate within it. Youronline activity shouldn’t feel like throwing content into an abyss. It is possibleto see results and good ones if you handle your online presence correctly.GET THE MAXIMUM MEDIA COVERAGE FOR THE MESSAGE YOURMANAGEMENT CARES ABOUT MOST Become fully intergratedNot only should your online activity yield results, it should stay with the 21st centurytrue to the ideals and brand characteristics that your companyfirst began with. Becoming fully integrated with the 21st century doesn’t haveto mean sacrificing your company’s traditional values – in fact, it can meanemphasising them to your target market.Public Relations companies know who would be interested in your companyand its goings on and we can ensure that what you have to say reaches theears it should. Ensure that people who care about your brand hear about it.What better way to promote yourselves than through people that aretruly passionate about what you do?SEE A BOOM IN SALESExpand your target market. The online world is filled with many differentpeople – don’t see this as a hurdle to overcome. In fact, this is an opportunityfor the word about your company to reach an even greater audience withoutemploying more sales people, opening up a new branch orphysically expanding your employees – it’s simply about It’s simply aboutsmart internet involvement. Internet involvement
  4. 4. Pr
  5. 5. Section 1: The Basics PrWHAT IS PR?Defining the term ‘Public Relations’ could take days; there areso many different facets to it. For the sake of this e-book, we’lluse this interpretation: Public Relations is the method of adver-tising your company’s brand, ideals, news and developments tothe public in hopes of furthering business as well as retaining anopen line of communication between your company and yourtarget market.
  6. 6. ?? ? ? ? ? WHAT DO PR COMPANIES DO?Offline=Billboards Online=Social Media,TV adverts, Radio time Websites, Online Journals, etc Digital Public Relations companies ensure that the way you’re going (like Digital by Design) establish about your online PR is effective. and maintain relationships with Are you communicating properly offline media (billboards, TV with your target market? Are you adverts, radio time, etc.) and online furthering your sales and expand- media (social media, websites, ing your client base? Is your online journals, online PR plat- company’s brand being correctly forms, online PR news, forums, represented? Does the public article platforms, article directories know about the latest develop- etc.) and potential partners on ments within the company and the behalf of our clients. Online public newest range of products that Relations companies are there to came out a week ago? “ The specific roles of a PR company will be explained within every section as we go along, in order to give you a more holistic understanding of the industry and what it’s all about. “
  7. 7. THE EVOLUTION OF PR Then Get It Out ThereGenerally speaking, public relations companies used to consist of sending out pressreleases. This was the majority of their interaction with the public;•They wrote up press releases.•Maintained relationships with influential people in the media industries .•Tried to communicate effectively with their market without directly interacting withthem.Press releases were sent out whenever there was ‘substantial’ news about the companythat the general public should be informed of. This kind of news involved;•New products and offers.•Report-backs on conferences that company representatives attended and largelyimpacted on.•Anniversaries for the company as a whole.•Major company developments or reorganisations.•Initiatives.•Competitions.•Events hosted by the company, community-related drives.All things that were considered important and sent out a very obvious and heavy mes-sage about the company’s brand. Any news that justified a press release had to meansomething to the community, drive home a sales pitch rather heavy-handedly, shine aflattering light on any part of the company and/or its employees or impact directly on thecompany’s clients.This was because the only way the public was able to hear about any of the company’snews was through the printed press. If the press release didn’t make it to the newspaperor if their powerful journalist contact didn’t deem it fitting, it never reached the public.
  8. 8. PR Now Print media: no longer the top of the food chainSince the beginning of PR, the industry has gained bags of finesse.Take the infamous press release.We’re no longer just sending it to our contacts in a few newspapers, printed mediacompanies, and magazines – we’re sending it to online journalists, newspapers, blog-gers, and blogs. The internet has provided us with dozens more mediums throughwhich we can retain the integrity of a brand and still communicate our news.Companies are now able to talk about news that isn’t necessarily ‘press worthy’ but thatwould interest their clients through their own online mediums. This means companiesare no longer relying on the printed press’ approval to be able to communicate withtheir market – gone is the indirect approach to PR. We now have a chance to communi-cate directly with the people who keep our businesses afloat, which is an incredibleopportunity to really make your company’s brand a reality to your clients.Over time, once your company has established an online presence, it will be able tobranch out and begin communicating with its markets and publics through videos,podcasts, webinars, vlogs – written media (whether it’s online or offline) won’t be youronly means of getting your message across. This will result in an even bigger onlineaudience, therefore leading to an even larger online response. Online media has the ability to float your business Online journalists,bloggers and blogs are the future
  9. 9. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It Then The tone of PR was also rather ‘journalistic’ in its approach to creating content. The mediums they used determined the language they chose to communicate their messages with. Because print media is still today quite a formal means of communication, all press releases were written to adhere to a higher standard of writing. This formal level of communication limited their receptive markets, to some extent – certain publics would not have responed effectively to that means of corre- spondence. This inhibited the reach of their messages.
  10. 10. Online mediums have altered the tone of communication NowThe altered mediums have affected the tone of communication, too. It’s far morerelational and (to some extent) personal as well. This further enables bonds to beformed between the company and the clients, therefore further strengtheningthe loyalty between client and company, which will further business.There are a number of different online platforms through which your companycan communicate with your market and each platform has their own style ofcommunication. This means that your PR content is no longer limited to reach acertain group of people due to something simple like writing style – a dozendifferent tones are now available to your company to use to get your messageacross.With our expertise in social media and other digital platforms, we have theupper-hand when it comes to styling your content to reach the maximumnumber of people across many online communities.
  11. 11. Word-Of-MouthThen In the past, the mediums available were limitedBecause the printed press was the primary offline medium that companies coulduse to communicate with the public, PR companies spent a lot of time nurturingrelationships with journalists and influential people in the media.There was also the problem of reaching as much of the public as possible. If youdidn’t buy the newspaper that day, you would have had no idea if anything hadhappened. If you bought a different newspaper, you were again oblivious.Word-of-mouth has always been a large part of companies’ communication andthis helped spread the companies’ news slightly further than the press releasesbut the mediums available at that time were limited.
  12. 12. Aim to make your content go viral! NowYou have a bigger say in whether your company makes or breaks it.Relationships are still being built but with a wider group of different people. Relation-ships with your clients, online influencers, people who have clout in the printed press –companies are able to truly get in touch with every aspect of the people and commu-nities that define their success. Now a company’s success is tangible to them in everyway and largely controllable.Not only are you able to have a far more hands-on approach, the spread of informa-tion has completely changed. Companies’ main aim nowadays should be to go “viral”.It’s like the pay-it-forward of the web. One person reads an article on your websitethat they enjoy. It’s simply a matter of a few clicks and they’ve been able to share it inthree different ways on the internet. People they know on each of these sites are nowexposed to your article. They then have the opportunity to tell everyone they knowabout it. Suddenly, your article could have spread to hundreds of people in a matterof minutes.There’s no better way to expand your market. Every company wants to go viral. Andthe great part is that Digital Design’s team can help you get there.
  13. 13. Section 2: OFFLINE VERSUS ONLINETo truly display why online media is the way to go, we’re goingto show you in a very hands-on way exactly what online mediahas that offline media doesn’t.
  14. 14. OFFLINE MEDIA ONLINE MEDIA- Largely communicated through - Able to be communicated through printed press many different online platforms- The ways in which to communicate - With each online platform comes a the company’s message are limited different medium through which you to press releases, articles and offline can communicate your message, adverts therefore giving you diversity and a- The availability of your company’s larger online audience message is determined by your con - Your company now has its own online tacts within the printed press – if voice, therefore it has the ability to put they don’t like your content, they whatever content it deems suitable won’t publish it onto their online platforms- The tone of your company’s mes- - Each online platform has its own tone, sages is determined by the tone of therefore your company is able to the offline media that you use to tailor its message to fit each online communicate said message – this community. This opens your message could limit the reach of what you’re up to a much larger online audience saying due to a lack of responsive - Relationships with a number of differ ness to the way in which it is commu ent influential people in online com nicated munities can be maintained through - Companies had to spend large the online platforms that they fre- amounts of time (and money) quent. This saves your company time wooing potential and current con and money and gives you an added nections in the print-media industry convenience that will serve you well in order to keep the relationships throughout your digital public rela- open and to give their content a tions experience better chance of making it into the - Setting up a website for your com- printed press pany is far cheaper than buying radio- Renting space on a billboard, buying time. Setting up a Facebook page is space in a newspaper for an advert free. Not only will digital PR mediums and creating TV commercials are all save you money, they also provide very expensive and it’s difficult to you with many different ways to keep track the effectiveness of each of tabs on the response to your these mediums or to see if your com company’s online involvement and pany has made any progress or easily track the progress your com- growth. pany is making.
  15. 15. Section 3: THEPRACTICALNow that you know what Public Relations is all about, how doyou get there? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide. PRStep 1: Find Out Where you standGET IN TOUCHThe first step when reformatting your Public Relations is foryour public relations team to find out where you stand at themoment. We use our knowledge of online communities andplatforms to look at the online conversations that are beingheld about your company at this moment in time. We get a realsense of where you are right now.1. Who is talking about you? What is your current client base? Identify the kind of people that have something to say.2. Is it positive feedback?3. Is it negative feedback?4. Begin to take note of the issues that are being raised on the web. You want to address these later, therefore you need to know what they are5. Identify where you need to really impact on your current client base. Stay relevant to the people that you’re already dealing with and aim to fulfil a need of theirs through your company and its products/services.6. Look for opportunities where you can increase your client base. If people are talking about your industry but not mentioning your com pany, you now have the opportunity to change that.
  16. 16. Once these questions are starting to yield answers, there follows a much better understand-ing of the kind of path your company’s PR needs to take in order to be effective again. Gaincontext in order to cater to the big picture. BEING HEARD Look at your online presence as it is. Gauge how influential your company is in the fields that it should be influential in.1. How many people are taking note of what you’re saying?2. Is your market really hearing you?3. What parts of your online conversation are they hearing?4. How big an impact does whatever you say online have on the people that matter?Really understand how far what your company says goes. Be realistic about it; you can’tmake an effective difference to your online communication if you can’t honestly work fromwhere you are. PLUG IN Once you’ve figured out what people are saying about you, it’s time to figure out where they’re saying it.This will provide you with heaps of information about the kind of people that are talkingabout you and the kinds of people you should be aiming your conversation towards.Forget people volunteering for surveys – the internet can provide you with all you need toknow about your market and without them being at all inconvenienced.Also, look at how your company can start jumping into the conversations in its own right.You have a way to solve a problem or fulfil a need within a certain online community –don’t merely rely on other people to advertise yourself for you! Become involved in relevantconversations and make yourself known.
  17. 17. POWER SOURCES You now know what people are saying about you, where they’re saying it and how much of what you say they hear. .Now it’s time to start identifying the individuals that carry a lot of influence. These aren’tnecessarily the people with the most followers – these are the people who have opinionsand judgements that others trust. Be sure you are correctly identifying this important groupof internet maestros.Find the ones that are already talking about you and see what they alone are saying. See ifthey like your company or not. Is there a way for you to convert them if they don’t like yourcompany? If they do like your company, how can you show appreciation in order to furtherencourage their positive influence on the online conversation about you?Now look at those online names that are talking about an industry or area that relates towhat your company does but isn’t talking about your company itself. Why are they nottalking about your company? Is there a way for you to introduce them to your company?Begin to build relationships online and not just with the ‘regular’ Jo’s that are talking aboutyou. Connect with major bloggers, journalists, media personalities and the ‘traditional PR’types of people. Except now, you don’t have to leave your office to begin networkingcorrectly. Digital Design can cultivate relationships with online media and clients throughmeetings and correspondence, maintain master media/blogger list in order to ensure thatyour company’s message is reaching all the right ears in all the right places and developand manage PR procedures as outlined by your company.
  18. 18. MAKE A PLAN You’ve gathered information, you’ve done your research and you have an idea of which direction your company’s online presence needs to go in. The next big step is planning a strategy. It is essential that what your company says creates just the right picture in order to create just the right effect. It is not a matter of needing to have an online presence and therefore haphazardly attempting to become part of an online community by throwing information onto the internet that doesn’t connect and doesn’t accurately show off your brand. With a well-designed content strategy, your company can go from being an unknown to causing a stir across the web. People enjoy sharing stories that are relevant to them, enter- tain them, interest them or use an interesting way of communicating themselves. Only once your content is intriguing can it hope to go viral – and viral is the only way to go. We assist in creating and executing yearly PR online plans, objectives and goals. We partici- pate in planning meetings, providing strategic counsel and recommendations with regards to Online PR. We evolve with your company’s needs in order to provide the strategy for your company that fits like a glove. Our hands are capable ones and your company’s online PR strategies are safe with us.Well designed contenthelps your company evolve RULE OF THUMB It’s time to create the content you’ve strategized. The content your company puts on the internet needs to grab attention, stay relevant to your market’s needs and desires, be short enough to communicate your message in its entirety without losing a readers’ interest and stay true to your company’s brand and ideals. Outstanding Content grabs attention
  19. 19. Digital by DesignCoordination with your company’s unique needs to fine-tuneyour company’s content strategy- Develops and maintains ongoing PR Activity calendar.- Writes and distributes press releases, fact sheets, pitch letters, bylined articles, biographies and key message documents.- Helps to schedule and prepare PR materials.- Helps create online media outreach programmes for your company’s breaking campaigns, senior new hires, awards, accolades and new business wins.- Conducts online-media follow-ups in order to stay connected with what the online commu nity is saying about your company, how they’re responding to your new content. GET VERBAL You want people to be talking about your company and what you have to say. The best way to ensure that that is happening is to facilitate their conversations right on your online platforms.Start your own online conversations .Enable people to like, share and connect via a whole host of online platforms and mediums.Let people comment on what you have to say, communicate directly with other people whoare also interested in your content –This way, you have a much easier way of keeping an eyeon a percentage of what people are saying about your company without half of the hassle.With people being able to discuss your content easily, it has a better chance of reaching alarger audience and going viral. Social Media and online information-sharing thrives on theease of the transaction of content.
  20. 20. TAKE A LOOK One of the greatest advantages digital Public Relations has over traditional Public Relations is its ability to be measured. It’s so easy to calculate your company’s ROI through digital public relations and marketing campaigns. .How can one accurately measure the number of people that respond to a press release in anewspaper or magazine? An estimate of the number of newspapers sold that day could bemade but there is no way of telling how many peoplea) read your press release,b) how they responded to it andc) if it lead to future business from those people.The only way to measure the success of your print-media public relations attempt wouldbe through market research and surveys. These need people to carry them out, thereforeadd further costs to company and many hours of manual (and menial) labour that thecompany does not necessarily have to spend.With digital public relations, there are a number of websites and online tools that enableyou to trace how often your company’s name is being mentioned on social media websites;- How many comments are being made on your posts.- How many people are actively following your company’s online involvement.- How many people do a Google Search on your company.- How much traffic is going to your company’s websiteYou can track every aspect of your company’s progress online, enabling you to see tangi-ble results. This also gives your company a better idea of which aspects of your contentstrategy are effective and which aren’t and that leads to your content strategy beingtweaked for maximum impact.Digital by Design believes in providing our clients with the effectiveness of our digital mar-keting campaigns. Showing their progress through statistics,graphs and other mediums. We constantly monitor what worksfor the company and what works for their publics and bringthe two worlds together in order to deliver the ultimategrowth in online participation,influence, publicity and sales.
  21. 21. Section 3: CONCLUSIONMarrying your company’s offline and online public relations willlead to the best of both worlds. Digital PR is not replacing tradi-tional PR but merely complimenting it in an extremely effectivemanner that facilitates the best chances of your companygrowing and evolving to yield the best results.With our expertise in the field of digital marketing, our knowl-edge of social media platforms, websites, online tools, onlinecommunities and online conversations as well as our passionfor what your company has to offer the world-wide web, Digitalby Design can partner with you to deliver truly spectacularPublic Relations that will lead to reaching millions more readers,listeners and viewers, getting the maximum media coverage forthe message that your management cares about the most anda boom in sales.
  22. 22. Choose a better future for your company. Choose to go Digital.SOCIALLY YOURS twiter: @DigitlByDesign blog: dbdblogs.wordpress.com facebook: Digital By Design website: www.digitalbydesign.co.za address: No 10 Cheetah Crescent, Rivonia, Sandton, SA tel: 087 809 3221 ISSUU: issuu.com/digitalbydesign