In today’s digitally attuned society, your PR firm can no longer ignore the digital divide in its offices – or the chilling implications of this divide on the ongoing success of your company. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 74% of online adults now use social media, and more than half engage with multiple social platforms. Forbes’ survey of the same year uncovered further information about the influence social media wields in today’s society, discovering that 78% of people say that a company’s social media posts impact their purchasing decisions. Despite these figures, many PR firms still refuse to embrace social media strategies on a company-wide level and continue to relegate their digital PR strategies to an isolated department or even just a single individual or intern. If your public relations firm is one of these holdouts, you are making a mistake that could spell the death of your company.
The negative effects of having a separate person or department to handle your social media/digital PR duties may already be damaging your PR firm, by making you vulnerable to knowledge loss (a rival firm poaching your social staff could decimate your ability to employ digital PR strategies); restricting your other employees from developing the professional skills they need as vital members of the PR community; and threatening your firm’s ability to compete against the many internet marketing firms, advertising and SEO agencies, email consultants, and other digitally savvy companies now competing for your clients. Only by bridging this skill gap and making sure that every member of your firm is aware of the influence that social media exerts and is fully capable of employing that influence for the benefit of your clients can you ensure your PR firm’s continued survival.
How can your PR firm bridge the digital divide and emerge as a fully functioning, competitive company that provides comprehensive digital marketing and PR services? Once you recognize that the digital divide is damaging the effectiveness of your public relations firm, it’s time to change the corporate climate and revitalize your PR efforts. To grow your firm into a modern PR marketing machine, you can:
- Turn your digital PR department into company instructors
The members of your digital PR team already have the in-depth knowledge of internet marketing and PR strategies that the rest of your employees need, so put their expertise to work! Plan out a schedule of tutorial times, with goals that the team can manage while still maintaining the social strategies they already have in place. Once your employees get the hang of digital PR strategies, have the team members serve as digital PR managers to keep your online strategies on track
- Identify and implement solid social media PR strategies
Randomly writing blogs and making Facebook posts is not the same as having solid social marketing strategies. First identify what you primarily want to use social and digital strategies to accomplish for each of your clients – to build awareness, foster loyalty, increase sales, etc. Next, map out a solid strategy using a variety of social platforms to accomplish your goals.
- Integrate digital PR strategies with traditional PR to create consistent brand messages
When all of your employees use digital strategies as well as traditional channels, it is easy for them to create coordinated PR campaigns that get results.
- Use created content to establish brand leadership – create educational and opinion articles and utilize all available channels to disseminate and remarket them. The same content can be used as blogs, guest blogs, ezine articles, email newsletters, social posts, infographics, eBooks, podcasts, and white papers, in addition to print media channels
- Optimize your PR releases for search – using SEO on PR strategies will raise your clients’ profile by positioning the good buzz you create at the top of search results
- Build customer loyalty through social strategies – Use social media to engage your clients’ customers with genuine dialogue and responsive two-way conversations
Now that you have a better understanding of why the digital divide is the death of your PR firm and how you can bridge the skills gap, it’s time to put this knowledge to work. Using these tips, a bit of effort and a lot of perseverance, your PR firm can remerge as a full-fledged, comprehensive digital marketing and PR firm!
Blue Interactive Agency is a leading digital marketing and PR firm in South Florida specializing in building clients’ brands using the latest digital and traditional PR strategies, from logo and brand development to content creation services, advanced SEO strategies, reputation management services and multi-channel brand building promotions.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for all your digital marketing and PR needs, from expert advice to advanced campaigns to build your brand authority!