Philadelphia-based Buchanan Public Relations LLC is a full-service public relations firm that specializes in media relations, social media and crisis communications.

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November 21, 2017

The Battle for Public Relations during the Digital Revolution

By Amanda Mueller, 11:13 am

Should we ‘go digital?’

What are digital services? 

Should we offer digital services?

Are we still a public relations firm if we do?

These are questions that leaders in the public relations world are fervently discussing with their teams around the conference table as the term “digital” becomes more deeply integrated into agency culture.

But what, exactly, is digital? The term has become an indeterminate label for aspects of the communications industry, including content, strategy and services.

Digital can be…

1. A business strategy. Implementing digital in your business practice can ultimately alter the way both your company and your clients report results. Digital often means a heavier emphasis on SEO, which allows your clients to track ROI in real time with tangible results. It can also mean shifting your focus from traditional media relations to reputation management.

2. A connection with non-traditional media. In traditional public relations, bloggers and influencers are often passed over in favor of coverage from print and broadcast journalists. In the digital age, bloggers can be key to not only publicizing your clients’ services, but shaping their reputations as well. In digital public relations, PR execs are developing relationships with industry influencers, and pay-for-play and sponsorships are not out of the question.

3. A type of branding. Many firms have changed their identity from “public relations” to “digital public relations.” What’s the difference? Often, not much. Many firms that still label themselves as traditional public relations firms offer digital services without a branding overhaul; those services simply became another option for clients, in addition to a traditional media relation strategy. However, many firms choose to put digital strategy at the forefront of their services, even though they continue to offer broadcast and print media relations.

Ultimately, we work in an evolving industry that is constantly reinventing its product. Maybe you’re already offering some of these digital services, or maybe you’re just starting to dip your toe into the digital pool.  Either way, it’s important that your timing, strategy and branding are the right fit for your company and clientele.

How is your agency embracing “digital”? Let us know in the comments.

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// // Commented by Jon Ericson, 29Feb2016 // // // //