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3 min read

Switching to a digital PR agency

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

What is PR currently achieving for your business? If you’ve got a PR agency currently working for you it’s no doubt a question you’re already asking.

Let’s consider for a minute that you’ve put this question to your existing agency. You might get one of these three responses:

  • Cuttings – “We’ve secured fantastic coverage for you recently across a range of local and national publications – look, here are the print cuttings to prove it.”
  • Circulation – “Thanks to the coverage we’ve achieved for you, thousands of people have read about your news over the last month – here’s a rundown of those publications’ circulation figures.”
  • Contacts – “We’ve got some exciting activity on the horizon and there’s some big coverage coming up really soon, thanks to our media relationships.”

Sound familiar? Yet each of these responses misses the mark. Cuttings, contact lists or circulation figures may look good at first glance, but none of them give a mention to those three simple words; return on investment.

Every company is selling something after all, but none of these answers show how PR can help with the bottom line. If it isn’t doing that in a measurable way, it begs the question; ‘what are you paying for?’

How digital PR is different

Digital PR differs from traditional PR in one simple way – measurability. It focuses primarily on coverage that will improve the online visibility and performance of your website. Because without a high-ranking website that’s easy for customers to find, PR activity is just noise.

It still gets company news out there to all the right places – be it local, regional, trade or consumer press – but it makes online opportunities the priority, particularly those that reward quality, relevant and well-thought-out content with a link back to a company’s webpage.

Good digital PR combines the best bits of PR with the essential, effective elements of SEO. It takes the eye for newsworthy stories and ability to create intelligent content that the best PR agencies offer and adds these to tried and tested SEO techniques – where to target stories and how to work within search engines in order to increase website traffic, enquiries and sales. Both need each other in order to work effectively.

Measurements matter

Through this approach it will quickly become clear how much your PR is or isn’t achieving for your business. Within three months of a well planned and concerted digital PR campaign being started, a notable uplift in website traffic should be visible, with enquiries and sales hopefully following close behind.

These things don’t happen overnight, but the performance and progress of all three can be tracked and measured online over time. The beauty of digital PR is that you can see how each piece of coverage has directly contributed to your overall business performance.

Compare that to traditional print coverage – measured only by the size or prominence of the piece, or by the number of copies printed. In most cases it’s here today, gone tomorrow.

Doing it digitally

When it comes to traditional PR, some impact can never be truly measured. What difference, for example, will a front page newspaper scoop have on someone’s buying habits a week, a month or a year down the line? It may well play a part, but it’s impossible to measure effectively within your average PR spend.

We prefer to put our efforts into one simple fact: it’s never been easier for businesses to accurately measure the impact of their PR, when they’re doing it digitally.