What Does a Digital PR Agency or Company Do?
In today’s digital world, brands are more visible than ever. News and events about a company—both the good and bad—can spread in just seconds, and they can critically impact your business success and future potential. This dynamic environment requires a new approach to public relations: digital PR. And to manage it all effectively, many companies are hiring a digital PR agency.
In this article, we’ll dive into the details about why digital PR must be a priority for every company in our modern B2B landscape, exactly what a digital PR company does, and 10 steps to finding the right one for your business.
- Digital PR is a modern version of traditional PR that encompasses online channels and maintains a more interactive relationship with audiences.
- Many companies hire a digital PR agency or company to handle digital PR due to its complex nature and required expertise.
- Specific services a digital PR agency provides include: online media outreach, content creation, social media management, analytics reporting, and crisis management (among others).
- Just a single poorly handled negative PR incident can cause significant loss of business, meaning digital PR must be a strategic priority.
- It’s important to find a digital PR agency whose specialization areas, culture, processes, and service offerings align with your company’s values and needs.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR is the modern version of traditional public relations, tailored specifically for the vast and dynamic landscape of the online world. While both forms of PR share the critical objective of managing a brand’s image and fostering positive relationships, their methods and platforms differ in a few ways:
- Platform Focus: Traditional PR primarily concentrates on print publications, TV, and radio, while digital PR focuses on online platforms like news websites, blogs and social media channels.
- Audience Reach: The digital realm offers a global audience. Digital PR initiatives can catapult a brand’s image across borders, reaching diverse groups in ways traditional PR can’t.
- Interactivity: Digital PR can engage audiences in real-time. Through social media comments, shares, or even online press release feedback, brands can foster two-way conversations, making the PR process more dynamic.
- Measurability: One of the standout advantages of digital PR is the ability to measure its impact precisely. Tools and analytics can provide real-time data on audience reach and engagement.
Today, an active and effective digital PR is a must-have for B2B companies to navigate the fast-moving and highly visible digital business landscape in which we now operate. Digital PR facilitates competitive advantages like higher SEO rankings, strategic PR partnerships, stronger online brand positioning, and faster crisis management and response.
Given the comprehensive nature of digital PR and the expertise it requires, many companies choose to outsource it to a professional digital PR agency. Let’s look at some of the specific services these agencies provide for clients and how they deliver value.
What Does a Digital PR Agency Do?
A digital PR agency operates at the intersection of public relations and digital marketing. While the core objective remains the enhancement and management of a brand’s reputation, the tools, strategies, and platforms a digital PR agency leverages are specifically tailored for the online ecosystem.
Their comprehensive services are designed to ensure that a brand’s narrative stays consistently positive, widespread, and resonates with the intended audience across digital channels. These services include:
Online Media Outreach
Digital PR agencies foster relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in digital spaces. Their primary aim is to get clients featured in relevant, high-visibility articles, blogs, podcasts, and other digital content formats. Whether it’s a mention, a full feature, or an interview, the idea is to keep the brand at the forefront of relevant online conversations.
Content is king in the digital realm. Digital PR agencies have content specialists on staff who are skilled at crafting press releases, blogs, articles, videos, and many other types of digital content. This content is not only designed to engage but also to be shareable, enhancing the brand’s digital footprint.
Social Media Strategy and Management
Social media platforms are crucial for brand image and engagement. Digital PR agencies help to create and manage a brand’s social media presence, from curating posts to handling interactions, ensuring the brand’s voice remains consistent and positive.
SEO and Link Building
By securing high-quality backlinks from reputable online publications and blogs, agencies can directly influence a brand’s search engine rankings, driving organic traffic to their website to enhance lead generation and pipeline growth.
Monitoring and Reporting
One of the advantages of digital PR is its measurability. Agencies utilize a variety of analytics tools to monitor the reach and impact of their PR campaigns. They furnish brands with detailed reports, offering insights into what’s working and where adjustments are needed.
Social media influencers can hold considerable sway over public opinion, even in B2B realms. Digital PR agencies often collaborate with influencers, orchestrating campaigns that align with both the brand’s and the influencer’s values and messaging, ensuring authenticity and a wider reach.
Online Event Promotion
Whether it’s a product launch, webinar, or any other significant event, digital PR agencies ensure it garners ample attention and attendance through online channels. This includes promoting the event through press releases, social media buzz, and partnerships with relevant online platforms.
Even the best companies experience PR crises, but most are not equipped to deal with them. One report found that of the 59% of companies that reported experiencing a PR crisis, just slightly over half have a plan for dealing with them. This is a massive risk. Companies are at risk of losing a staggering 22% of their business when just a single negative article exists on the first page of their search results.
When unfavorable news or events threaten a brand’s online reputation, digital PR agencies are equipped to swiftly intervene. By crafting strategic responses, communicating transparently with the public, and using online platforms to control the narrative, these agencies help brands navigate through potential PR crises. This requires a level of expertise and nuance most companies can’t achieve on their own.
Finding the Right Digital PR Company for Your Business
As with any facet of business, not every digital PR agency is a good fit for every business. Success hinges on finding the agency that’s right for you—one with niche expertise, culture, processes, and values that align with yours.
Here are 10 steps to executing a successful search:
1. Identify Your Needs
Before diving into the market, outline your specific PR needs. Are you looking for crisis management, online event promotions, or an overall boost in your digital reputation? Being clear about your digital PR requirements will help you narrow down agencies that specialize in those areas.
2. Research Agency Portfolios
Examine the past work and client testimonials of potential agencies. This will give you a feel for their strengths, the niches they’re most experienced in, and the quality of their work.
3. Assess Industry Expertise
Especially for niche sectors like tech startups or SaaS companies, it’s pivotal that the agency understands your industry inside out. This ensures that the strategies they implement are relevant and effective.
4. Evaluate Their Tools and Platforms
A good digital PR agency should leverage the latest tools and platforms for monitoring, analytics, outreach, and more. Familiarity with these tools can be an indicator of how up-to-date and efficient the agency is.
5. Dive into Their Processes
Every agency has its way of operating. Inquire about their processes, from client onboarding to campaign execution and reporting. This will help you gauge how well the agency can align with your own operations and preferences.
6. Consider Culture and Values
An overlooked but crucial aspect is the agency’s culture and values. Working with a team that resonates with your company’s culture can lead to more harmonious and productive collaborations.
7. Discuss Costs and Contracts
While cost shouldn’t be the only determinant, it’s crucial to ensure that their services fit within your budget. Additionally, review contract terms to ensure flexibility, especially if you’re a startup or a growing business with evolving needs.
8. Measure Responsiveness
The responsiveness of an agency, especially in the early days of discussion, can be indicative of their commitment and customer service down the line. If they’re slow to respond or seem disinterested now, it might be a red flag for future interactions.
9. Ask for a Pilot or Trial
If you’re unsure, ask if the agency is open to a pilot campaign or a short-term contract. This allows you to test services without a long-term commitment, giving you a firsthand feel for their expertise and deliverables.
10. Trust Your Instincts
Finally, after all the analysis, trust your gut. Sometimes, a company might tick all the boxes on paper, but something might feel off. Conversely, an agency might lack in one area but feels just right for your brand. Your instincts, combined with thorough research, will guide you to the right choice.
Win More Clients with RevBoss
Having an established, effective digital PR strategy puts you in control of your brand reputation and your competitive position. RevBoss’s outbound platform and services can help you harness good digital PR to make effective outreach and consistently win new clients.
Schedule a quick call with us today to learn more.