Being a digital agency, we pride ourselves on knowing our stuff when it comes to online PR – ensuring that we’re maximising all campaigns for the benefit of our clients. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together eight key tips that we feel others can benefit from when it comes to being the best at online PR.
Build relationships with online journalists
Whether you’re talking to journalists over email, on the phone or through social media, it never hurts to find some common ground and build a rapport (without forcing it, of course). It may be that they email back to say your press release made them “ROFL” or made them “LOL”, or it may be that they get in touch to ask for more data. Either way, this is the perfect opportunity to get talking. Have a conversation once or twice and they’ll soon remember who you are (remember, they hear from tonnes of PRs each day), which in turn will make them more likely to open your emails or even get in touch if they’re after something specific.
Get to know SEO
Learning the basics in search engine optimisation (SEO) can give your campaign a little extra boost. For starters, ensuring that you’re using relevant keywords within your press releases that are valuable for Google rankings and spending time on link reclamation can make a noticeable difference. Remember, no-follow links aren’t as valuable as follow links, and the higher domain authority of the site you’re covered on, the better.
Create additional assets
Don’t be afraid to go cross platform every now and then with your campaigns. You may have an interesting press release, but have you considered translating that data into a video, into social media content, into a white paper or even into an infographic? This increases your chance of coverage as you’re appealing to various needs and audiences, but it can take time and resources in doing so, so you don’t necessarily have to do this for every campaign.
Have good, strong content
Having good content at the centre of your campaign gives publications, journalists and bloggers a reason to link back to your/your client’s website. Many publications don’t like to give out links willy-nilly these days, and therefore you need to give them a reason to; maybe you’ve got further information on your website for people to go and check out, or maybe your content is just that strong that you’ve blown journalists away. Everyone knows how hard it is to get a link on the BBC… hands up if you’ve ever done it *waves both hands in the air* - yep, we get it. Strong content to link back to is key.
Don’t just contact the more well-known journalists and publications
Whilst many of our clients have a list of publications in their head that they’d like to target, whether it be broadcast (Sky and the BBC, for example) or national (the Metro, Daily Mail, The Sun etc.), there’s a much larger market out there. Just because bloggers and vloggers may have smaller readerships/viewerships, doesn’t mean they’re not great to target; if anything it’s the opposite, as their followers trust them implicitly and will take anything they say at face value. Their followers know there’s no risk they’re going to say something they don’t believe, or promote something they don’t love themselves – and any adverts & sponsored posts must now clearly state that they are so.
Utilise social media
You can utilise social media in a variety of ways.
Sometimes you might struggle to get hold of journalists via email or on the phone, in which case there’s no harm pitching via Twitter if you know that they’re avid Twitter users and might be receptive to that. Just be sure not to pester or be too pushy; a short, punchy tweet will do.
Likewise, it’s a great way to shout about coverage (tagging your clients, of course), tease bits of data, link through to additional content and generally get your campaigns in front of various journalists and influencers.
Make your content accessible
And by that I mean ensure that your content is ready for use by anyone and everyone who wants to use it. If you’ve created a video or widget, make sure you have the embed code to hand (or provide it when you’re issuing the content), and when you’ve got photos or images, ensure they’re high-res and ready for use both in print and online.
Target sites that spread the word
Once you’ve distributed your content, contact a few key publications or sites that you know can help to spread the word. There are some key sites, such as the Daily Mail and The Sun, that others will look to for good content and then use on their own sites.
Similarly, if you’re able to get Press Association interested in one of your stories you’re almost guaranteed to get lots of online coverage. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily guarantee links, it can do sometimes, and you can beat great coverage.
* All gifs are from Giphy.com