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How to Create a Digital PR Campaign

Chiqui Pangan

Public relations (PR) has always been about building brand awareness and managing reputations, so it’s no surprise that it translated so well to the digital space. 

Whereas traditional PR was all about getting your brand mentioned in print media, digital PR focuses on raising awareness through digital media, such as:

  • Online publications 
  • Blogs
  • Social media 
  • Digital press releases 

Digital PR also shares a lot in common with search engine optimization (SEO) and link-building, but there are some key differences. 

In particular, digital PR encompasses more than boosting online visibility on search engines. It’s more people-focused in nature and involves things like media monitoring, reputation management, and social media marketing. 

However, building reputable backlinks plays a huge role in digital PR, which is where the overlap with traditional link-building occurs. 

Why should you bother with digital PR?

When polled, 92% of marketers agree that brand authenticity is essential for success, and digital PR is one of the most reliable ways to get your target audience to view your brand as genuine, high-quality, and authoritative. 

In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview of everything that goes into digital PR, a few examples of effective digital PR, and what it takes to conduct a successful digital PR campaign – so stick around to learn more.

What is Digital PR?

Traditional PR involves rubbing elbows with prominent journalists to get your brand featured in print publications. 

It’s also about keeping the public informed of new updates at your organization through official press releases. 

Lastly, PR steps in to recover an organization’s reputation whenever a crisis occurs. 

Digital PR still encompasses all of these things, albeit in a digital space. 

Instead of forming relationships with print journalists, you’ll focus on networking with bloggers and online journalists. Rather than trying to get your brand mentioned in The New York Times print newspaper, you’d try to secure a mention on their website. 

Also, social media plays a significant role in digital PR campaigns. 

In fact, 79% of marketers claim Instagram is an integral part of their PR campaigns, and that’s just one platform. Digital PR professionals also make heavy use of Facebook, X, TikTok, and LinkedIn. 

The social channels you choose will depend on the demographics of your target audience. 

For instance, if your business markets its products to a younger crowd, you’ll want to have a strong presence on TikTok and Instagram. 

If you’re dealing with B2B professionals, LinkedIn is their main hangout, so you should focus the majority of your efforts there. 

Building backlinks and improving visibility on search engines are two goals of digital PR, but they don’t encompass the entire practice. 

Common digital PR outreach methods include:

  • Digital press releases. Is there a significant development happening at your organization? If so, don’t hesitate to let the public know through a digital press release. These will A) keep your audience informed of new updates at your organization, and B) raises brand awareness and generates backlinks. 
  • Building relationships with online journalists. Digital PR professionals reach out to online journalists to secure brand mentions, guest posts, and backlinks. 
  • Conducting targeted media outreach to bloggers. There’s no shortage of blogs on the internet that encompass every industry, niche, and quirky interest. Reaching out to bloggers for guest posts and brand mentions is a common practice in digital PR. 
  • Partnering with influencers on social media. Just like bloggers, there are influencers in virtually every space online, and you can work with them to raise awareness for your brand. Partnering with prominent influencers in your field will help get the word out about what you do. 
  • Looking for sponsorship opportunities. Another tactic is to find websites and influencers to sponsor and promote your products and services. 

The Difference Between Digital PR and Link-Building 

While digital PR and link-building share some undeniable similarities, they are two different marketing practices. 

Link-building also conducts outreach to journalists and bloggers, but the goal is only to secure high-value backlinks that improve rankings on search engines like Google. 

A digital PR professional, on the other hand, is not only after link placements, but also opportunities to raise brand awareness and boost their brand’s reputation. Therefore, if a journalist or blogger isn’t willing to provide a backlink but will mention your brand, that’s considered a win in digital PR (and a failure in link-building). 

Press release distribution is another tactic that digital PR professionals and link-builders share, but there is a key difference here, too. 

If your goal is to build backlinks with your press releases, you can’t mention any time-sensitive events happening at your organization

Why is that?

It’s because the press release has to continue to exist online for the backlink to provide any juice to your SEO profile. 

If you’re mentioning a time-sensitive event, the press release will have to go down after the event occurs, otherwise you have a web page containing outdated information (which provides no value to users). 

That’s why you can only mention non-time-sensitive events, like adding a new department or hiring a new CEO at your company. This information will remain relevant indefinitely, so it’s fair game for a press release geared toward generating backlinks. 

On the digital PR-side, you don’t have the same restriction for digital press releases. Mentioning a time-sensitive event will inform the public and raise brand awareness, which are your primary goals. That’s not to say that digital PR professionals don’t use press releases for backlinks, too, just that they aren’t restricted in the same way as link-builders. 

Here’s a look at some other key differences:

  • Digital PR appeals to more stakeholders than link-building. Link-builders are only concerned with securing link placements on other websites, and only conduct outreach to do so. Digital PR professionals are constantly rubbing elbows with influencers, journalists, marketers, and other stakeholders. 
  • Digital PR encompasses more activities than link-building. Building links is only one tiny aspect of digital PR. It also entails content creation, crisis management, influencer partnerships, and building relationships with journalists. 
  • Digital PR is about reputation management. Digital PR professionals are tasked with maintaining a positive reputation for their organizations, which is something link-builders don’t have to worry about. For link-building, the only thing that matters is acquiring valuable backlinks without incurring any penalties. 

How Digital PR Will Benefit Your Business 

If you’re already finding success with SEO and link-building, you may feel that a digital PR campaign isn’t worth your time. 

However, this isn’t true, as digital PR can benefit your business in ways that link-building and SEO can’t. 

For example, if your business experiences a crisis, all the links and high-ranking blogs in the world won’t save your reputation, but digital PR will. 

That’s why it’s worth taking the time to put together a digital PR campaign for your business. 

Here’s a look at all the benefits you’ll enjoy from incorporating digital PR. 

Better brand perception 

The businesses that enjoy the most success are perceived as reputable and trustworthy among their target audiences. 

The proof?

81% of customers need to trust a brand before they’ll consider buying anything. 

While link-building and SEO will boost your authority in the eyes of search engines (and help you rank higher), digital PR will convince the public of your brand’s excellence. 

Through a strong social media presence, frequent press releases, and partnerships with notable influencers/bloggers, you’ll improve your audience’s perception of your brand. 

Reputation management 

Should a crisis occur at your organization, such as a massive data breach or embarrassing lawsuit, SEO and link-building won’t save you. 

Instead, you must turn to your digital PR professionals to rise to the challenge and salvage your business’s reputation. 

As long as they’re on top of the crisis as soon as it happens, you should be able to maintain (or even improve) your brand’s reputation in the eyes of the public. 

You’ll have a hard time generating sales if your brand’s reputation is in the toilet, which is why digital PR matters. 

Boosted brand awareness 

Building serious brand awareness goes beyond basic content creation and stretches into social media marketing, community outreach, and newsjacking. 

These are all techniques that are unique to digital PR, and they’re enormously effective at making the public aware of your business. 

In short, digital PR tactics will boost your brand awareness more than publishing outstanding content on your website (although this is absolutely crucial, too). 

After all, who doesn’t want a digital PR professional brainstorming fun ways to interact with your audience through social media and other digital channels?

More backlinks and website traffic 

While this benefit aligns with SEO and link-building, that doesn’t make it a moot point. 

Even if your SEO efforts are paying off, why not generate even more traffic and backlinks through digital PR?

Tactics like press release distribution, content creation, and social media influencing will generate backlinks and referral traffic, which is never a bad thing. 

In other words, with digital PR and SEO working in tandem, you’ll have two teams working tooth and nail to raise brand awareness and generate more leads and sales for your business. 

Examples of Effective Digital PR 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most effective digital PR techniques, including examples of brands that put them to good use. 

These are real-world brands that won big through digital PR, so take notes. 


Newsjacking is the art of using viral news stories to promote your brand. 

Its name comes from the fact that you’re ‘jacking’ a news story to market your brand, and it can be extremely effective when done right. 

In some extreme cases, brands have even made themselves the central focus of a significant news story, which is a true testament to the technique. 

Speaking of that, Oreo had a huge win with newsjacking when they commented on the infamous blackout that took place years ago during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. 

The post was expertly timed and led to a ton of interaction and shares. 

Creative social media campaigns 

People love fun trends and challenges on social media, which can be a goldmine for digital PR when done correctly. 

Try to brainstorm ways that your brand can inject itself into current trends on platforms like TikTok. 

You can also come up with original challenges for your audience to try, which can have outstanding results. 

Chipotle is the master of social media challenges, as they’ve had several extremely successful campaigns. 

Their viral ‘Lid Flip Challenge’ featured prominent influencers from social media and YouTube, and attracted tons of attention online. 

Sponsored content 

You can use influencers, celebrities, and bloggers to promote your content through sponsorships, which have become extremely popular in recent years. 

After all, you can’t watch a YouTube video from a prominent creator without hearing about their latest sponsor, which is all by design. 

Of course, you have to go after influencers that are relevant to your business; otherwise, it won’t make sense. 

Luxury brand Coach reached out to celebrity Selena Gomez to promote their products due to her interest in and love of high fashion. The results were impressive, as her fans responded positively to her sponsorship. 

How to Develop and Execute a Digital PR Campaign in 6 Steps 

Now that you’re familiar with common digital PR techniques (and why the practice is worth your time) let’s learn how to create a digital PR campaign for your brand. 

There are 6 steps to the process, including:

  1. Set objectives
  2. Understand your audience 
  3. Analyze the competition
  4. Create content 
  5. Perform outreach
  6. Monitor results 

Let’s take a closer look at each one. 

Step #1: Set objectives for your digital PR campaign 

What do you ultimately hope to achieve from your digital PR campaign? Do you want to generate more referral traffic, or is building brand awareness more important?

It’s crucial to set objectives and know your goals before you get started – as they’ll inform the rest of your campaign. 

Common digital PR objectives include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Boosting sales for specific products
  • SEO links
  • Company news
  • Generating more referral traffic
  • Improve your brand’s reputation 
  • Boost recruiting 
  • Share important company news

Once you have your objectives set, you can move on to the next step. 

Step #2: Understand your target audience 

You need to get inside the mind’s of your target audience if you want your brand to appeal to them. 

This involves diving deeper than surface-level demographic information. 

One of the best ways to learn more about your target audience is to build a buyer persona or personas if your products/services appeal to more than one demographic. 

What’s that?

A buyer persona is a detailed representation of a typical target audience member. Your buyer persona should have the following:

  • A name
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Hobbies
  • Pain Points
  • Desires 

Frequently visit your audience’s favorite social platforms and forums to learn more about them. 

Tools like SEMrush are also invaluable for gaining insights about your target audience. In particular, its Market Explorer Tool summarizes different audiences and their primary characteristics, including age, employment status, education level, and more. 

Remember to create several buyer personas if your audience is segmented into different age groups/interests. 

This is an extremely crucial step, as the more you know your audience, the easier it will become to appeal to them with your promotional content. 

Step #3: Analyze the competition 

Just like SEO and link-building, you can learn a lot from your direct competitors in the digital PR space. 

In particular, you can pick apart your competitor’s content strategy, backlink profile, and outreach efforts. 

Certain tools really help out with this process, such as Ahrefs’ free Backlink Checker

How does it work?

All you have to do is enter a competitor’s URL, and you’ll see a breakdown of their backlink profile. You should pay attention to where a majority of their backlinks are coming from, as you may find opportunities that you can capitalize on – such as a website in your niche that accepts guest posts. 

Also, pay attention to your competitor’s content and social media presence. Are they getting more engagement from their followers? If so, why do you think that is? 

These insights will help you improve your digital PR strategy. 

Step #4: Create compelling content 

Next, it’s time to put your content creation skills to the test. 

If you want to boost your brand’s visibility online, you’ll need to create informative blogs, entertaining videos, shareable infographics, and other types of engaging content. 

For your content to generate the most buzz, it needs to align with the desires of your target audience. 

That’s where keyword research comes into the picture, and you can use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to help you find relevant search terms related to your business. 

Ahrefs has a free Keyword Generator that you can use to uncover trending topics/buzzwords in your industry. 

Look for keywords that have high search volume, an upward search trend, and relatively low keyword difficulty scores. 

Step #5: Conduct outreach 

This is the time to start rubbing elbows with prominent journalists and bloggers in your field. 

After all, why create all that content if you aren’t going to promote the heck out of it?

Your goal should be to improve visibility for your freshest content and most important product/landing pages. 

However, conducting outreach is often easier said than done. 

In particular, you’ll need lots of insider contact information to make outreach happen in the first place, and it can be difficult to know where to look. 

That’s where the tool Prowly comes in extremely handy. 

It has a massive database of media contacts, which can speed up your outreach process dramatically. 

Step #6: Monitor your results 

By now, you’ve got a digital PR campaign up and running. The only thing that’s left to do is monitor your progress to ensure you’re inching toward your goals and objectives. 

Tools that help in this regard are Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Alerts, and media monitoring apps. 

Google Search Console keeps track of your search performance on Google, and it provides key metrics like search position rankings and organic traffic. 

Google Analytics analyzes your website’s visitors, including demographics, where they visited your site from, and more. 

You can set up Google Alerts to let you know whenever something significant happens, such as acquiring a new link, picking up a media mention, or whenever a trending topic pops up. 

Lastly, there are plenty of media monitoring apps out there that will help you keep track of relevant trends in your industry. 

Use Digital PR to Boost Your Brand’s Online Visibility 

That’s what it takes to get a digital PR campaign up and running for your business. 

When done right, you’ll boost your brand’s awareness, enjoy a better reputation, and generate more links and traffic. 

Do you need help building reputable links for your digital PR campaign?

If so, don’t wait to sign up for our coveted Guest Posts, Content, and Link Insertions services from Authority Builders. 

Our link-building & digital PR gurus will ensure you secure top-tier link placements to elevate your brand into the stratosphere, so don’t wait to sign up today.  


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