Digital PR Simplified

What is ‘public relations’?

As the name suggests, public relations is the way organizations, companies and individuals communicate facts and opinions with the public and the media. PR professionals engage audiences through platforms that do not require any direct financial commitments. The advent of digital devices and the internet have brought about significant changes in the approach towards public relations. The last five years have been driven by a sense of pervasiveness, owing to the highly penetrative power of the internet. Newer and more intricate avenues of public engagement have surfaced as a result of the widespread usage of digital devices and social media, needing an ever-changing methodology to match its pace.

The history of the term ‘public relations’ can be traced back to the early 1900s and it has many documented styles or approaches towards the way information is conveyed or presented to the public. In contrast to the more traditional public relations initiatives, the modern day scenario evolved to bypass the many hurdles faced by the industry. The conventional approach needs various forms of media and presents a more static flow of conversation. With growing access to technology, a direct connection to the people and the capability to interact on an individual level makes public relations more dynamic and comprehensive. Essentially, the turn of the century marked a new era in the art of public relations, utilizing traditional practices aided by content marketing, social media and search tools to assess, maintain, develop, steer, transform or change the public image of an individual or enterprise.

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Get your TA right, or go home!

Identifying the target audience is the foundational step toward designing a message. The interests and concerns of the audience present valuable information that defines the structure of a PR campaign. Action steps are designed to ensure understanding, consistency and acceptance in accordance with the key triggers of a particular group. Social media presents various platforms and connects people with similar interests, making groups accessible and responsive. Additionally, it simplifies the effort of gathering and managing information, thereby enabling a more credible and accurate outlook.

To make it simple, let’s take the example of iconic Coke’s summer of sharing campaign.

Through this campaign, coke gave its consumers a beautiful chance of getting their names printed on a bottle of coke. The campaign came to life online and via social media. The consumers felt very excited about getting a bottle with their name on it. With this amazing initiative, Coca Cola shared a personalized brand experience with their consumers in one of the greatest global communication campaigns ever to be launched, reaching people from all parts of the world. They got exposure worldwide, millions of mentions and pictures shared on social media. This adds immeasurable value to the way a bottle of coke is perceived by the masses.

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Content is King!

The key to engaging an audience is content. A successful public relations initiative requires an almost intuitive grasp over the interests and concerns of each of the client’s many stakeholders. Digital PR presents a remarkable opportunity to curate content and the way it is presented to an audience. An added benefit of digital PR is content repurposing. The many streams and communication channels within social media enable the same content to be projected in distinct ways. Non-conventional platforms like blog posts, social media updates, image sharing websites like Instagram, Snapchat, etc., present unique interests to the customer base. This not only makes it possible to reach out to a wider audience but also establishes favourable dialogue within the same audience. A strong reaction to the subject matter and meaningful discussions that enable greater understanding make these value additions key to successful digital PR initiatives.

Take the example of a campaign called the power of having an iPhone.

Apple launched a campaign with the slogan “You’re more powerful than you think” which made people think about how an iPhone can transform one’s life. Apple was able combine user experience, appealing content with an ideology driven approach, connecting the brand to one’s daily experience not just as a cellular device but rather as a one stop solution provider extending services far beyond the base expectations of the average mobile user.

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The modern players in the industry are empowered by key synergies within their enterprises. Digital PR steps beyond boundaries to utilize tools and services available throughout the entity. Search engine tools, customer service and various other aspects of the company are represented in a combined fashion through digital PR. The right image presents itself as non-invasive, genuine and reliable. Ultimately, customers can comprehend, appreciate, value or disregard a PR executive’s opinion, and they will truly believe only an opinion of their own. This presents the ultimate hurdle to a successful PR campaign. However, digital PR makes these hurdles incrementally simpler to cross with clarity on the perception and opinions of the public on a real-time basis.