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Digital PR dynamics – How content is complementing media relations?

The PR and media relationships have evolved in the age of digital. Previously, having strong media relations was foundational for PR agencies to get a footing with clients. In a digital media world, the skills required for effective PR and communications certainly require a familiarity with the nature of online conversations – virality of posts and stories and initiatives taken by brands to connect directly with their customer. It’s not so much about media relations as getting the right brand message delivered across channels.

PR can no longer look at publications and media relations to set the right context for the brand, it must also monitor social conversations and brand advocacy by customers online. The entire communication funnel which used to be one way has now become a pipe going both ways.

Adgully organised a Twitter Chat on Friday, June 25, 2021 that focused on ‘Decoding the PR-Media equation in the digital first world’. The discussion was joined by:

Aman Gupta, Managing Partner, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, SPAG

Naina Aggarwal Ahuja, Founder, Talking Point Communications and Trustee, Dr KK’s HCFI

Paromita Ghosh, Director, Candid Communication

Radha Radhakrishnan, Global Head - Corporate Communications, Wipro

Stuti Jalan, Founder, Crosshairs Communications 

Digital PR dynamics 

Paromita Ghosh remarked, “Digital PR is an online marketing strategy used by businesses and influencers to send online press releases to gain high-quality backlinks on social media increasing their online presence. Digital PR agencies network with journalists, bloggers, and mentions and improve their (SEO).”

She added, “Digital PR success comes with all the trappings of a traditional PR way of working, in addition to SEO benefits: improved brand awareness, increased consumer trust, and spikes in consumer interest around the time that new campaigns are launched.”

According to Stuti Jalan, “PR agencies need to digitalise themselves – follow the opinion makers from media on Twitter; if they’re working for a product and lifestyle brand, then follow the right media and influencer accounts on Instagram. For corporate brands, engage via LinkedIn.”

Aman Gupta noted, “Today, it is important to implement creative storytelling through different media formats while being channel agnostic. We have always focused on creating 360-degree campaigns. That’s the only way ahead.”

Radha Radhakishan felt that content held the key and added, “Customising messaging to make it sharp and relevant to a particular media is also critical. While media relations was one side of the coin, content is the other side. Agencies need to focus on content strategy and management.”

Naina Agarwal emphasised, “The importance of a strong storyline needs to be reinforced right from the pitch stage. Everyone needs to ask – will it be an interesting story to tell and if not, how can I make it relevant?”

She further said, “Journalists and communications professionals should have a complementary relationship. Yet they are often found at polarising ends. Why? Because of cConstant pressure to convert stories that have minimal or no publishing value. Focus on quantity over quality.”

Ghosh commented, “PR has to look beyond press releases. Effective storytelling is about creating an impact via content. Traditional PR practice focuses on press releases and press conferences. Digital PR offers a multitude of other options. This includes listicles, meme marketing, thought leadership blogs, organic influencer engagement, gifting, and branded content.”

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