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A quick intro to Digital PR

Blog post   •   Dec 02, 2016 13:00 GMT

We live in a noisy world. With so many sources of information, education, entertainment, and news, it’s becoming harder for PR professionals to deliver their messages to key stakeholders, and build meaningful, lasting relationships. It’s a bit like shouting in a storm. But noisiness and channel proliferation isn’t the only challenge.

The other issue is that people are now more likely to get their news and information from friends and family, on social media, or through search engine results. Compare this to years past where only a few trusted sources, like newspapers of TV, disseminated news and information. Today, information is readily available, anywhere, everywhere, at any time.

Brands engage stakeholders in new ways

Where once PR professionals could develop high-value relationships with a smaller group of influencers, now a company’s potential influencer group has not just multiplied, it’s exponentially larger than it was even five years ago. PR practitioners are now fighting for attention and relevance in a world with:

  • More messages
  • Across more channels
  • Delivered by more people, to more people…

That’s the type of complexity that keeps us up at night.

Putting order to the PR practice

If done well, PR can still be the most powerful way to develop positive relationships with stakeholder groups, such as customers, communities, regulators, and investors. These positive relationships drive understanding, loyalty, and advocacy of a brand or company.

Today PR must leverage a clever combination of paid, earned, shared and owned tactics—a framework called the PESO Model—to maximize reach in a world with new rules of engagement. Let’s quickly introduce this new framework of working.

Paid Media: Using paid media is new to many PR practitioners, but there are excellent opportunities for highly targeted and cost-effective digital paid promotions of PR messages. While paid usually conjures up the idea of advertising, in this case we’re referring to paid promotions through social media or sponsored content.

Earned Media: For PR professionals, earned media is now influencer relations—and it requires different tactics than those from the past. Before, PR professionals used to pitch their news stories to journalists to get a mention or article in the press; today, communicators can target potentially anyone who has a relevant audience and who shares similar values.

Shared Media: Once what was called news distribution is now about using a smart combination of digital, social, search, and email to reach audiences. Shared media has been, but doesn’t need to be, limited to social media. In essences, it's how you can pass along your stories to allow others to share, comment or contribute to your storytelling efforts.

Owned Media: Once largely all about press releases, owned media now encompasses a wide variety of multimedia content that you produce and own. You control the whole editorial process from writing, publishing and distributing on the channels that belong to you.

Get started with Digital PR

We launched PR Academy to help simplify into self-contained modules the complex set of challenges currently facing our industry. Each module tackles a particular topic and explains it clearly with minimal jargon. Our aim is to simplify the subjects that PR professionals might find overwhelming

Among some of the issues we’ll be addressing:

  • Learning to tell compelling and engaging stories—stories so interesting they draw in a loyal audience. 

  • Expanding your understanding of influencer beyond media companies, journalists, government or investors. 

  • Moving the conversations you have into social channels. 

  • Developing skills in visual PR. 

  • Distributing stories through new channels—and the strategies required to engage audiences in online communities. 

  • Learning the basics of measurement and optimization.


Ultimately, the purpose of the Academy is to make you a better communicator—both in the way you craft your organization’s stories and the ways you deliver them to the world. To learn more about the world of digital PR, please visit the Academy.