So why is digital PR important? Public relations in the traditional sense was the playground for the large conglomerates; the big players in any market that rely on a positive public image to make sales.
You ask Urban Outfitters who in 2003 attempted to sell a racist Monopoly game called 'Ghettopoly' which suggested getting rich by 'buying stolen properties' or 'getting car jacked' if their sales suffered.
And what about the now jobless New York City official who in 2009 (in a post 9/11 world) thought a great 'photo opportunity' would be to fly Air Force One, whilst being pursued by a fighter jet, unusually low through lower Manhattan, without telling anyone in the city what they had planned?
So we know traditional PR is important, but what about in a digital world? Why is digital PR important?
Well, as with many aspects of brand marketing since the world discovered the internet, and then developed a smartphone that meant we are always connected to the web, the digital space is open to everyone from Tesco to the smallest start-up selling shoe horns.
With the right strategy, anyone can get noticed within the digital hemisphere, using social, content, paid, email and SEO marketing (amongst many others).
So here are 5 reasons why digital PR is a must for any online business:
Promote your brand
So we're starting simple here, but this is the whole reason you wrote that press release in the first place. Much like traditional public relations, digital PR sets out to keep your brand in the forefront of potential customers minds whilst they are considering their buying options.
A great brand image can be promoted through tailored messages, and pushed throughout the digital space to industry news websites, spread around the country through press release distribution services and promoted on blogs.
Wherever your customers are looking online, you can hit them with your positive brand message and gain that all important notoriety in your competitive market.
A truly integrated campaign
Digital PR can and should be a fully integrated campaign. You release your news, and tell the journalists and industry websites. Now tell your fans through social media, your website's blog, your mailing list and any other avenue you have to reach as many people as possible.
The use of social in particular can really help prolong a good digital PR campaign, thus maximising its impact.
Digital PR beats traditional public relations due to the fact it offers a two-way conversion. Using the internet as your brands loudspeaker, you can interact with customers and find out exactly what they appreciate, and probably more importantly don't appreciate, when it comes to your business.
And you can track this good work back to your analytics. What was your traffic before and after your PR campaign? If done properly, there should have been a spike in website visits. If done extremely well, after the spike you will see that those 10,000 visits a month are now a steady 12,000 visits a month and you've gained thousands of new, interested potential clients and customers.
More bang for your PR buck
There is nowhere more expensive to advertise a new brand message than on TV, Radio or in the newspapers and magazines with the highest circulation.
Take Jaguar who released a brilliant advert about British villains loving their cars at this years Super Bowl, costing them a cool $4 million.
Whilst a potential 100 million people saw their advert (minus those nipping to the toilet or refilling the pretzel bowls), could they have achieved more exposure online?
Lets take Facebook for example. If Jaguar had decided to spend the $4 million burning a hole in their marketing budgets pocket on promoting a single post, they could have reached between 240 million and 376 million people worldwide with their brand message.
For businesses on a budget, digital PR is a massive opportunity to get your brands face in front of thousands, if not million of people.
Lets not forget SEO...
When your work covers the entire digital marketing mix, you have to consider how each activity effects another campaign. What's great about digital PR is that you are more than likely to gain great links from those authoritative industry news websites, from the press release distribution wires, from the blogs and of course lots of shares and retweets on social media.
So if you are wondering why digital PR important, you have an answer. If you care about brand image, SEO, creating integrated campaigns and getting a lot more visibility for your money, head online.