6 tricks for building the ultimate digital PR strategy

man sat at a desk with a blue print saying digital PR strategy behind him.

It can be difficult to know where to begin when you’re thinking about creating an effective digital PR strategy.

You want your tactics to produce standout digital PR campaigns, increase your brand’s awareness, generate engagement, and gain endorsements from authoritative sources.

However, this can be easier said than done.

To make the process easier, check out our six tricks for creating the ultimate plan that can help your brand reach new heights…

1. Set clear goals and objectives

Much like any other plan, your digital PR strategy requires clear and achievable goals, so you can best decide where to focus your efforts.

An effective way to set your objectives is by using the S.M.A.R.T. method, which ensures that they are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time Bound.

Common targets set by brands when creating their promotion strategy can include increasing authority score, building a set number of backlinks, and boosting rankings.

For example, if you wanted to increase your sites authority, your S.M.A.R.T. goal would look like this: ‘During this campaign we aim to increase our authority score from 65 to 70 and receive backlinks from tier one sites with a minimum authority score of 70 to improve rankings by 20% by the end of Q4.

By setting goals and objectives, you will have metrics to monitor and measure throughout the campaign. Afterwards, you can see how much value each metric added and use this data to inform any future digital marketing endeavours.

2. Ensure you are targeting relevant publications

Relevancy is key when you are creating your digital PR strategy, as it is what is going to have the largest impact on your campaign’s success and your return on investment.

While it might be tempting to reach out to as many publications as possible, you may find that they are not relevant to your brand and therefore your target audience.

Moreover, we know Google values and rewards sites with relevant links and content, as it allows the search engine to read your site easily and understand your brand better.

To ensure you are targeting the most relevant publications, you need to consider the following points:

  • Is the publication relevant to your audience?
  • Do they cover topics that your audience would be interest in?
  • Is the publication credible and well-respected?
  • Does it make sense for your brand to be talking about this particular topic?
  • Has the publication covered similar topics in the past?
  • Is your campaign relevant to the publisher?
  • Is your content relevant to the current media landscape?
  • Will your content help you achieve your overall objective?

In addition to considering if a publication is the right fit for your campaign, you need to consider who their readers are too.

For example, you may know that your target audience regularly reads The Times, but the audience of your target publications may be broader than this, so it is important to consider if your content will be relevant enough to the publication’s audience.

By answering the above questions when considering which publications to target, you are unknowingly narrowing down your research and identifying the most relevant publishers to reach out to, i.e. the ones that have a direct connection to your target audience.

3. Check out the competition

Like other areas of digital marketing, there is nothing wrong with carrying out a competitor analysis to see their strengths and weaknesses.

Analysing your competitors’ activities can help you gather invaluable insights which you can use to inform your own campaign efforts.

Before you begin your analysis, you need to establish who your competitors really are, and by this we mean, what are they promoting, is it similar to what you are offering, and who is their target demographic?

By delving deeper, you may find that you and your competitor are offer a very similar product or service and targeting the same audience.

Continue your analyse by segmenting your competitors into the following:

  • Direct. A competitor that is offering the same products and service and targeting the same market as your brand. Your direct competitor will measure their performance against yours in order to exceed your results..
  • Indirect. A type of competitor that will offer a similar product or service to yours, but they will be working towards different aims and objectives.
  • Substitute. A competitor who offers similar services and products to you but is only seen as a potential threat.

Once you have established who your main competition is, you can start focusing on the finer details of their output.

During your analysis, you may want to consider the following:

  • What tone of voice are they using?
  • Which keywords are they targeting?
  • Do they promote their content on social channels?
  • What other channels do they use to promote their campaigns?
  • What is their backlink profile like?
  • Which publications are they targeting through outreach?
  • What campaigns are they currently running?
  • Which campaigns have been successful for them in the past?
  • What type of content are they producing?
  • How are they engaging with their target audience?

Whether you are putting out your first campaign or your tenth, it is always important to look at the work of your competitors, as it can help you to improve your own strategy and create your own fantastic ideas going forward.

4. Create the right content

Now that you have successfully narrowed down your target audience and checked out the competition, you are ready to start creating content.

This is your opportunity to get creative and produce content centred around topics that will appeal to journalists at your target publication.

If you are unsure of where to begin when choosing topics, BuzzSumo and Exploding Topics are both great tools for identifying what users are currently searching for.

Once you have established your topic, you can produce a variety of content, such as:

  • Infographics – complex information like survey data, processes, and comparisons can be easier to digest once they have been transformed into engaging imagery. Once you have created your infographic, you can send it out to your target publications to see if they would be interested in publishing it.
  • Interactive tools – adding tools users can engage with is a great way to encourage backlinks to your site. For example, a law firm could develop a personal injury compensation calculator, interactive checklists, or cheat sheets.
  • Free templates and downloads – creating high-value resources for users can be highly beneficial for building up an authoritative backlink profile. Take your time and create templates and documents that journalists will want to link to, such as an e-book packed with statistics. Other downloadable assets you could consider are worksheets, guides, and glossaries.

5. Build a media list and start pitching

One of the most powerful tools you can use in digital PR is a media list.

A media list is essentially a database of relevant contacts who you would like to cover and promote your work and link back to your site.

Typically, a media list will include contacts such as journalists, bloggers, and influencers.

The main benefit of a media list is that it allows you to pitch to authoritative members of the industry who have a direct connection with your target audience quickly and efficiently.

However, to create and maintain an effective media list, you need to ensure it is kept-up to date – otherwise, you could be pitching your work to an inbox that is not monitored.

6. Monitor and maintain your outreach

Now that your work is out there, the final trick is continuing to monitor and maintain your outreach plan.

An important thing to remember is that just because your digital PR campaign may be running successfully does not mean it should be left to its own devices.

For example, if one of your goals is to improve your domain authority following media coverage, you can use Google Search Console to carry out a link audit to find out what sites are currently linking to yours and if they include black-hat SEO tactics.

If you have identified any toxic or low-quality links, you can then disavow them and begin work on increasing your website’s domain authority through high-quality content, media outreach, and guest posting.

Strengthen your outreach efforts by continuing to build relationships with those you want to pay attention to your work. You can do this by engaging with them on social media, sharing their work, or sending across content that may be beneficial to them.

Ensure you are setting aside time to regularly review your media lists, updating them accordingly, and responding to requests for information in a timely manner.

If journalists are receiving consistent and credible information from you, this will help you establish yourself as a reliable source and increase the likelihood of them covering your stories and campaigns in the future.

To gain a greater understanding of your current outreach efforts, you need to make sure that you are tracking key outreach metrics, such as the number of pitches sent, response rates, media coverage, and the impact of this coverage.

You can then use this data to assess the current performance of your outreach efforts, adjust accordingly, and use it to inform future outreach plans.

Need help with your digital PR strategy?

If you do not know where to start with creating an effective digital PR strategy or have limited resources, get in touch to see how we can help.

You can also book in for a Free Acquisitions Workshop, where you can gain invaluable advice and insights from our expert marketers, receive a personalised action plan tailored to your concerns, and receive free resources you can use right away.


Sophie Brodie

Senior Content Executive

Sophie Brodie is the Senior Content Executive at Skittle Digital. Sophie has worked in digital marketing since 2019. She has produced content for hardback books and magazines for design et al, followed by managing the content and SEO for multiple brands at Sykes Holiday Cottages. She enjoys creating a variety of content across different mediums and working with new clients to achieve their content goals. In her spare time, you will find Sophie listening to podcasts, at a music gig, or absorbed in a book.

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