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Thirty years ago, if you were a fly in a traditional PR agency in the ’90s, you would see marketers sending copy to television outlets, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers to build their client’s brand. Back then, brand awareness was measured by the viewership of these traditional publications and media outlets, satisfying clients and providing PR agencies with solid industry authority to deliver work.
The ultimate goal was to be on The New York Times to achieve maximum brand awareness. It was the headline of all the publications that put the companies on the map. If they feature you, you’ve made it. Your startup has officially skyrocketed.
Along came social media, and nothing was ever the same again. As the era of digitalization progresses, modern PR is emerging as the next best thing for companies to gain brand recognition. From social media, blogs, email marketing, SEO to PPC, the list of platforms targeted by companies is now unfathomable, and the opportunities offered by these touchpoints are massive.
Forward-thinking PR agencies understand the importance of dominating the digital press with media coverage and not just focusing on one particular veteran. And as digital PR continues to evolve, endless opportunities are constantly being presented for marketers to seize and take advantage of. To put this into perspective, here are the two fundamentals of modern PR:
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covering all touchpoints
In today’s digital media landscape, CEOs, leaders and marketers understand that quantity is just as important as perceived quality. Therefore, the number of press mentions you receive is just as important, if not more so, than just getting a feature in a major publication. Simply put, the digital-first approach of modern PR leaves no stone unturned, treating each opportunity as it counts.
The art of engagement is the main difference between traditional and modern PR. It completely revolutionized the game of communication between brands and publications. From a handful of distribution outlets, companies today are faced with a multitude of channels where opportunities for brand awareness are rich. While some touchpoints are more valuable than others, each plays an integral role in building and positioning a brand. So, no matter how impressive the publication, getting one article a month isn’t enough. The more touchpoints are involved, the more effective a brand awareness strategy is.
It all starts with solid, relevant and insightful content. In publishing an article, the main goal of every PR is to reach the right audience and influence them to take action. This also includes:
click on digital content
entering the conversion funnel
Watch branded video content
Clicking on a relevant link through organic SEO
social media engagement
clicking an affiliate link
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Providing value through profit-driven content
Make no mistake: Just because modern PR recognizes the equality of quantity and quality doesn’t mean a company can get away with poorly-executed content. At the end of the day, it’s about how good your content is. Keep in mind that the avalanche of information being delivered to consumers from a wide range of channels can be overwhelming. Hence, it lets them filter these articles based on what is important to them. And during this process, you don’t want to be the noise that consumers cancel out.
Think of it like you’re looking for a new smart TV. You search Google for the latest product, and you are presented with a variety of options. Consumers who don’t have the time of day will most likely stick to page 1 of search results and only click on a few links that they think provide the most valuable information based on the title and meta description. Cut to read the actual article – They will choose only one or two pieces of material that they feel best informs them. From product features to desired benefits, they are instantly engaged with those who provide what they’re looking for. It is a constant process of elimination until they collide with the best.
It is the same with providing valuable content to build a brand. You use the right keywords for optimal SEO; You make sure the headline leads them to the solution they need; You distribute content that promotes the benefits they provide; And most importantly, you answer his implicit question “Why do I need this?”
Remember to always focus on the consumers. Tell them how they can benefit from these products or services. Give them the value they need, and when in doubt, put yourself in their place and think about the type of information that helps you the most. Ultimately, modern PR is a high-wire act of finding the right balance between hitting as many touchpoints as possible and providing valuable content. If you meet these two criteria, your brand will thrive in today’s digital landscape.