With the rise of the Internet in recent years, the communications industry has experienced unprecedented change.
If the traditional press used to be a must or even a single channel in some cases, now it is just one channel among others for communicating.
The playing field has widened considerably, with endless possibilities. Discover the digital tools to use and the new contacts to take into consideration to boost your press relations in the digital age.
1 — Reinvented press relations
More than press relations, we could speak of digital press and media relations as the field of possibilities has grown. The number one digital tool has thus become the Internet, with everything it includes:
- Videos on YouTube;
- Consumer review sites;
- Social networks (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.).
You, therefore, have a wide choice from a multitude of interlocutors to serve your digital and editorial strategy, and relay your communication:
- Traditional or specialized journalists;
- The more or less known influencers (personalities followed on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter...);
- Experts in the field: people related to your topic and who can talk about your offer to a target audience (eg: leader of an association).
It's up to you to define your press relations strategy to determine who are the interlocutors to favor, but do not neglect the impact of each of them: if traditional journalists have a good reputation, the others can also offer you a strong impact with the public.
For example, blogs specializing in your sector can highlight your products or services with a community of enthusiasts or visitors looking for advanced information, but articles on more mainstream blogs will introduce your offer and your brand to a much wider audience.
The same goes for influencers on social networks: these new 2.0 stars have communities that can include hundreds or even millions of people.
Their power of influence is not limited to the simple promotion of various products in exchange for remuneration, the influencers are also consumers who do not hesitate to talk about the brands and products they like or hate, without necessarily have been contacted directly by them before (hence the interest of maintaining good relations with them, even when you have no news to make them relay).
If they talk about you, there are potentially millions of people who hear the name of your brand or product, in a context where these people are generally attentive and trust the opinion of the influencer. Even without promotion, you can gain visibility and register as a public-known brand.
Of course, this is not about communicating anything to anyone, but to be aware of the influence of these new interlocutors and the possibilities that exist to relay your news.
It's up to you to explore these possibilities, to try new methods, to communicate with various personalities (but still relevant) and to analyze the results obtained in order to refine your press relations strategy.
2 — 2.0 content for your press relations
Many digital tools allow you to communicate in the Internet age:
- Company Blog;
- Press Releases ;
- Partnerships with influencers;
- Presence on social networks.
For social networks, favor viral content, that is to say, images, infographics, videos, links to articles…They are more likely to be relayed than simple texts.
Texts that are too long, especially without media content, are not well adapted to new practices: Internet users, and even more mobile users, appreciate content that is quick to read and goes straight to the point, which has an attractive presentation and which makes you want to share it.
Long texts are not to be prohibited, it is above all a question of defining the right format according to the information to be communicated, the target audience and the place where it is published. A long text published on a site consulted by enthusiasts is possible, while on Twitter a short infographic in dynamic colors will be better received, and on Instagram, it will be more interesting to post photos and video content.
In the digital age, it is essential to think in terms of a cross channel. It's no longer just a matter of communicating, but of designing a real press relations campaign, building an impeccable e-reputation, optimizing its visibility and acquiring more and more leads.
Influencers and content marketing are formidable weapons in your strategy, but their effectiveness depends above all on how you manage these relationships and the relevance of the content offered. It’s not just about communicating more, it’s about communicating better.
Don't limit yourself to just one type of contact. Take the example of other brands that communicate with both specialized journalists and various influencers, with specific content chosen according to the interlocutor and their audience.
For example, a car brand will allow a specialized journalist to test a vehicle and make a detailed article, then will propose to a popular Youtuber to create content where the vehicle will become a simple accessory in a video whose purpose will be the entertainment of a large audience.
With the Internet, you should take advantage of the endless possibilities to be creative and communicate your ideas and news. Do not hesitate to think bigger than before in your public relations.
3 — Measure its performance
With the Internet, you have a range of tools to measure the effectiveness of your actions. From SEO on search engines to ROI (Return on Investment), using press relations software, you can follow a large number of indicators to find out, among other things:
- How your business is positioned?
- By whom, how and in what proportions your content is consumed and relayed?
- What are the effective actions and those which do not reach their objective, etc?
This is a real opportunity, for you can determine in real-time the scope of your communication actions. If your news is not relayed from the first days, it is unlikely that it will be afterward, especially since they will no longer be news. This will indicate several elements:
- The information communicated was not considered interesting or relevant: observe what information attracts the public to highlight it in your communications.
- The way you communicate is not adapted: there are improvements to be made in the way you present your communications, such as including more media content, adopting a more unifying tone or vocabulary with your target ...
- The choice of interlocutors is not satisfactory: it can come from a poor choice of interlocutors or from poor communication with them. It is necessary both to select interesting profiles for you, which target the right audience and know how to transcribe your ideas, but also to create a pleasant relationship with them, make them want to talk about you, present them with interesting information for them ...
4 — Become your own media
To remain competitive and optimize your visibility on the Internet, you must rethink the press relations professions: you must become your own media!
Besides content marketing, you have to think in terms of brand content. Your media relations and your digital press releases should not only focus on your offers, but also on your brand.
Don't just talk about what you offer, talk about the values that drive you, the innovations you bring, what differentiates you from other actors in the market ...
In this age of social media, a brand's identity is at least as important as the products and offers it provides. Consumers no longer hesitate to challenge companies publicly to express their dissatisfaction with their offers and their values.
There have been many examples of bad buzz in recent years. Consumers no longer just want to consume, they want to be able to identify with values and a vision. This is why your different content must speak as much about your offers and news as about your brand identity.
This content will, of course, find its place in your external communications strategy, but above all, it allows you to produce specific content for your site, your social networks, and your blog, so as to create a community that will recognize itself in you and that will naturally bring traffic directly to the source.
As you can see, press relations are undergoing a distinct change. This requires making adjustments, taking an interest in new interlocutors and rethinking the way you communicate. It’s a real opportunity to reach a wider audience and achieve your goals more effectively.