Written By Guest Author Robert Riley

Charlene White is a Public Relations expert who specializes in Digital PR and founded Digipr.com. Now based in her native New Zealand, she has worked all over the world. Over the last six years Charlene has seen a real change in the public relations and marketing landscape as the industries move more and more into the online world. It was this trend that sparked Charlene’s interest in all things digital and she began to explore what this change meant for PR professionals and what the effect would be on the industry.

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The Original Storytellers

Charlene believes that PR people are the original storytellers and content creators but have been left behind in the move to digital. She tells us that marketeers have been smarter at carving out this space online and have had a better understanding of the value of social media. PR people need to take back this space and maximize the strengths of their profession.

Building Trust Online

PR can do more than raise awareness, PR people are reputation managers and with digital PR skills, can grow a brands authority online. At the moment, most PR practitioners still carry out campaigns in the traditional way and then tack some social media on the side, this is not enough anymore. Charlene trains people in how to create a comprehensive digital pr strategy. This includes social media, website content and SEO. She stresses the importance of understanding SEO and other elements such as backlinks and shares to boost rankings on search engines. This in turn will create credibility and trust in the brand with audiences, “people trust what comes up on the first page of Google”.

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Understand the User Journey

Charlene says that PR people are still very good at bringing an audience to their clients, its just that they haven’t been using social to its full potential. They need to better understand the user journey that may start with browsing a post but may lead to a deeper dive to the brand website and beyond. Good website content is needed to support the post and meet the user’s needs. A comprehensive thought-out strategy is important across all the brands platforms that delivers content and will drive audiences back to the brand again and again.

Analytics need to be considered and marketeers are using them very effectively to show the value of their work and validate results.  Its fair to say that stats and pages of graphs and numbers aren’t everything, but they can certainly help to measure success and show a client the impact of a campaign. PR people need to start taking credit for what they achieve and have the stats to back it up.

Charlene’s interview gives great insights and tips on how digital PR works and is essential listening for any PR professional who feels left behind in this space. It is time for the PR industry to catch up and reclaim lost ground in the digital world. Hear the full interview on the Mediascope podcast and check out Charlene’s website here 

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