Is a PR Strategy The Secret Sauce To Long-Term Success? 

2024 marketing trends

Move over SEO and PPC, there’s a new kid in town.

Ok, well, public relations might not be new but it’s new to us here at Repeat Digital.

We have always wanted to take a holistic approach to digital marketing, and PR helps us to complete our ‘power trio’ of services.

In this blog, we’ll explain what PR is, how you can leverage it and how it works in tandem with other services to create a well-oiled machine that converts.

 

What exactly is PR?

PR is essentially a way of increasing brand awareness and maintaining a good reputation for your business. 

It feeds into top-of-the-funnel activity by introducing your brand to people who may have never heard of it before.

And if they have, it helps to push them along the conversion funnel. The more they read or hear about you, the more you infiltrate their mind. Cue an evil laugh.

By creating a consistent and constantly evolving PR strategy, you build more authority and trust in the eyes of your target audience(s).

 

How do you do PR? 

PR isn’t all about creating and distributing press releases to relevant media. That’s just one part of a holistic PR strategy.

These days, there are numerous techniques and tactics PR professionals can employ to get their clients in front of those who may want to invest in their products or services.

You can read more about these over on our Online PR Services page.

What we do differently here at Repeat (compared to many other agencies) is create hybrid PR strategies for clients. What we mean by this is we don’t just do ‘traditional PR’ or ‘digital PR’, we do both – and for all one fee.

Although the lines are a little blurry these days, traditional PR has typically been associated with offline and print coverage. Digital PR is thought of as any publicity that’s online.

There’s a little more to it than that, but we’ll come to that in the next section.

It’s a PR professional’s job to come up with stories for their client(s) that the media will be interested in, which will then hopefully convert to coverage and – even better – a backlink.

 

So, it’s just all about coverage then?

This is where PR truly deserves more credit.

PR has evolved to the point where it is intrinsically linked to other digital marketing services, especially search engine optimisation (SEO).

Remember the backlink I just mentioned? This is where that comes in.

A backlink is a link from one website to another. When a user clicks on a backlink, it is recorded in Google Analytics as ‘referral traffic’.

This means that there is better traceability than ever before on PR performance. 

Think back to newspaper coverage. How would you know who has read your article and then took action on the back of it?

Backlinks have a dual purpose. Not only are they great for monitoring referral traffic, but they’re also valuable for SEO.

You see when a highly relevant and reputable publication links to yours, it’s a signal to Google that your website is trustworthy. Google gives that website a boost in the rankings as a reward.

Some other metrics we can use to determine the success of your PR strategy include:

  • Share of voice (how much coverage you are getting vs your competitors)
  • Brand sentiment (whether your coverage is positive, negative or neutral)
  • Total traffic back to your website
  • New users to your website
  • Number of goal completions/leads
  • Number of social media followers
  • Number of newsletter sign-ups
  • Ranking improvements

Not all clients are likely to track all of these things, but hopefully, it shows that PR performance – like SEO and PPC – is more trackable than you might think!

 

Am I correct in thinking the more backlinks we get the more our rankings will improve then? 

Yes and no. 

Sure, getting a large amount of backlinks to your website is a smart move, but they should be through earned media. That means earning your coverage, not paying for it. 

It’s a trap that many sadly fall into these days because there is a lot of misinformation out there about paid-for links.

Google guidelines make it crystal clear that paying for links to improve rankings is an attempt to manipulate the algorithm and will likely result in penalisation.

PR professionals, working with SEO specialists, will determine which areas of a client’s site would benefit more from high-quality backlinks.

They will then come up with a plan of attack to attract these links by employing a layered PR strategy. A layered PR strategy comprises many different tactics.

While doing this, the SEO specialist will ensure that the website is well-optimised and technically sound. If it’s not, backlinks are unlikely to move the needle in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Do you see how it’s all connected here?

 

Is PR strategy what I’ve been missing all along?

It’s highly likely!

Investing in one service is good, investing in two services is even better, but investing in all three services (PR, SEO and PPC or paid social) is where you’re likely to see the most benefit.

All three of these digital marketing strategies ensure the sales funnel is fully covered, right from the moment a person discovers your brand, to the point where they make a sale.

 

Why should I invest in PR for the long term?

PR should be seen as a long-term strategy that generates results over time.

You can’t expect to get ten backlinks and see an instant uplift in positions on Google, for example. It doesn’t work like that.

What you should strive for is consistency. Consistency equals continued coverage which equals a steady stream of publicity and (earned) backlinks.

The moment this stops is the moment your competitors gain an edge, or you fall even further behind.

This is why we’re advocates of doing six-monthly competitor backlink audits here at Repeat, enabling us to see which businesses are ‘active’ with their PR, where they’re getting featured and what they’re talking about.

This process may reveal that none of your competitors are doing any PR, in which case you’re already ahead of the game. But if they are, it’s time for you to enter the race and start to gain a bigger ‘share of voice’ within your sector.

And one final thing. Links will always come and go. A journalist may decide to remove a link from an article for whatever reason, or a page might break.

Investing in your PR for the long term ensures that steady stream of links over time with new links helping to make up for any that are lost along the way.

Did you know that we offer FREE 30-minute consultations for those interested in our PR services? Check out our consultation page and let’s get talking about the secret sauce to your business’s long-term success.

 

Becca Tee

Becca Tee

Hi, I’m Becca! I am the latest addition to the Repeat Digital team, having joined to help launch the PR and content arm of the business. This is a very exciting time for Repeat and means we can now provide a holistic approach to marketing, offering a seamless and ‘hybrid’ blend of traditional PR and digital PR. After three years as a journalist, I moved to the ‘dark side’ and began my career in PR. I have experience in both traditional and digital, and have worked with a wide range of B2B and B2C clients, from small family companies to international enterprises. I love creating bespoke strategies and compelling press releases and always aspire to become an extension of my clients’ teams, not just a person they work with agency-side. Outside of work, I am a real homebird. When I’m not running around like a headless chicken after my son, or cuddling my two guinea pigs, you’ll find me at the gym, cinema, or enjoying a meal (probably at Wagamama).

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