How Digital Media Impacted PR

How has PR changed in the digital age? I’m David Goethe Richard, present founder of Big Fish PR. So, we probably all heard that news agencies are cutting back every which way; that they’re not getting advertising dollars that they used to get.

That’s impacting the news cycle. There’s just less traditional press to be gotten, and for a lot of publicists and for companies that are looking to get out there and get press, they need to become more entrepreneurial in their approach to Public Relations.

Modernize Your PR Approach

If you do this, you will find that there are a lot more opportunities even than there were before the big data explosion of digital media.

You will also find that there are better ways to tell stories using visuals like photos and videos, and ways to measure the impact of what you’re doing things you wouldn’t ever think of before

The impact on a website, driving traffic, seeing who is responding to your stories, getting your fans and likes, and having your story shared across the Internet and being read on the other side of the world without it ever being on national television or in a newspaper.

Ensuring that the media coverage that you’re getting, even traditional media, is always making it on the web is super important. What that will do as it will drive traffic to your website.

A lot of traditional news agencies these days still haven’t caught up with the times and put stories that broadcast on national television or in a newspaper.

Not all of them make it online, so it is really important to to run your stories to the ground and make sure they get online, and when they’re online that their linking to your company’s website.

Changing the PR Game with Web-Based Analytics

It used to be that the success of public relations was measured in terms of circulation or viewership or listenership.

That still to a certain extent is true today, but because of the digital web, we’re able to add deeper layers of data to the impact that PR is having.

For example, you can look at your website analytics and see what pages people are looking at, or what referral links are driving traffic.

You might think that the New York Times is the biggest driver of traffic to your website, but really it could be some kitschy little blog that really focuses on your industry, and that’s what’s driving your core customers that are reading about you online and are finding you that way.

Also, looking at the keywords that people are using to define you and making sure that those are woven into the stories and storylines that you’re pitching so that they jump from the pitch into the new story and then in turn drive traffic to your website.

All of this is happening in real-time, and it’s really important to make sure that you don’t take your eye off the ball and that is: always be driving traffic to your website with the new stories that you’re pitching.

Find the Right Reporter to Tell Your Story

Digital media makes it really easy to find the right news outlet and the right reporter to tell your story. Instead of the “spray and pray” the tactics of old, what you can do is you can find a reporter just by using a simple search on Google to find the right reporter in the right news outlet to be able to tell your story to.

What you can do is you can literally set up: here’s the story; here’s the reporter; line it up almost like a sniper and tell with one shot, one kill, get your story told.

Why Public Relations is Crucial for SEO

PR is now a key SEO strategy. In fact, a great new story on a highly influential, highly credible, well trafficked new site will do better for your SEO then any group that you could hire anywhere in the world that will get you links or tweak your keywords.

I’ll tell you why: those websites that are highly influential and credible are seen by Google as trendsetters.

When they write a story with your company’s brand name in it and a link to your website that is SEO gold!

Most SEO companies would love to be able to pay a site like the New York Times or TechCrunch to be able to just post something simple with a link to your website because they know that is what drives traffic and that’s what moves you up in SEO and in search engine rankings.

About David Richard

David Gerzof Richard is the founder and president of BIGfish Communications, an award-winning public relations agency that works with disruptive innovation and technology brands. Over the past 16 years, David has successfully developed and executed numerous PR, marketing, and social influence campaigns across a broad range of industries.

In 2003 David was appointed a professor at Emerson College where he currently teaches a range of marketing and public relations courses. He also lectures regularly at Harvard University and contributes to a variety of national online, print and broadcast business news outlets. David can be found on Twitter @DavidGerzof and on the web at

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