What can the PR industry learn from digital advertising?

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Analysis, Public Relations

Marketers who know the PR industry inside and out will tell you it’s a universal truth that earned media can be way more effective than paid media. However, in a more integrated age, it might be time to rethink that. Is there anything the PR industry can learn from the world of digital advertising? If so, can it help the people that work within it achieve greater success—and more investment?

What is your target audience?

Long before any money is spent, a digital advertiser such as DIY Digital Strategy will know their target audience inside out. They’ll know their gender, age, how much money they earn and what their social media habits are.

This means that they won’t invest anything in publications or partnerships who cannot prove a viable link to the heart of their target audience. Digital advertising experts believe that there is no point putting any money towards anything that won’t strike a chord with the people they are trying to attract.

Therefore, PR professionals need to adopt the same tactic, instead of just looking at media coverage alone as a sign of how successful a campaign has been. If the media coverage hasn’t been targeted towards the people you want it to, then it’s effectively pointless.

Keep a regular track on any campaigns being run

When an ad campaign is properly tracked and measured, it can lead to smarter decisions about how it will perform, and also, how it can be optimized further.

Data points like click through rates, view through rates and interactions all give a clear indication of where a campaign is and isn’t succeeding. PR professionals need to look at how to tie in the first impressions of a campaign with metrics to achieve greater success.

Does campaign optimization really matter?

Yes, it does. Digital advertising campaigns morph and change all the time. They rarely stand still. Every single view, click and interaction is monitored so that it can continue to be tweaked and improved at every stage.

If one part of the campaign is proving more successful than another, advertisers can use this to their advantage in real time. Data collected in their campaigns will be used and analyzed for their next campaign.

Even campaigns that have been a flop give the digital advertiser the chance to learn more about their audience, and to move on and adapt the next time a similar campaign is run.

The PR industry can learn from this. It’s estimated that well over fifty percent of pros in the industry say that they can’t often determine which part of their content is the most effective. This may boil down to the fact that press releases are sometimes just one piece of content that is distributed to many hundreds of different media points, but rarely adapted. PR pros can make bigger wins simply by taking a little more time to optimize the content they’re producing and tailor it more to their target audience.

Within this, it follows that once the press release is optimized for each outlet and sent out, that isn’t the end of the campaign. Digital advertisers will always amplify their content using social media to continue to target their audiences at different times of day and night to make sure they get the widest outreach possible.

Steve Conway
Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.


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