Bridging The Gap: Why Digital PR and Outreach Teams Should Collaborate More

25 July 2023

Posted in: Agency Culture Outreach

As someone who has been in both the Digital PR and Outreach teams here at Seeker, I believe that everyone in PR should do a bit of editorial outreach (and vice versa), at least at the ideation and prospecting stages. After all, digital PR and editorial outreach are two sides of the same coin, inevitably trying to achieve the same goal: driving traffic to client websites.

If we combine our powers for good, we can achieve the ultimate goal of brand visibility and SERP domination. Like when the little monsters and the beehive held a cease fire in the stan wars to celebrate the bop that was Telephone. See the beauty that happens when we work together? Let’s start with ideation.


Ideation is the part of the process where you figure out what your campaigns are going to be about. We’ll likely use similar information (if not exactly the same stuff) to generate the ideas needed to build our campaigns. So why not bring everyone together? Especially given the following:

  • Assets created for digital PR efforts can also be used for image-based (passive) link building using Creative Commons.
  • Campaign pages created for the purposes of digital PR can also be used in link-building campaigns, especially if they can be internally linked to your target pages.
  • Sharing the responsibility of finding information for ideation (like relevant awareness days) can prevent duplication of work, saving resource for other tasks and allowing both teams to be fully informed
  • What may not work for one type of outreach may work for the other. If everyone has access to the same ideas, fewer worthwhile ideas will go to waste.


Traditional editorial link building and digital PR function differently, but their aims are similar:

Link building

  • Business owners and website owners need to have the value of link placements explained to them, often in great detail.
  • Contacts’ lack of time pushes them to need support with relevant actions. Uploading content for them, handling revisions, writing updates for existing posts, outlining content they’ve been planning to produce… Helping out makes things go much more smoothly.
  • Audiences aren’t very broad, but they’re ideal for dialling into niches.

Digital PR

  • Journos know the value of sources when they see them, so there’s rarely a need for a back-and-forth to iron out details.
  • Contacts’ lack of time mainly hits them when considering prospects, making them impatient. You need to lay out everything right away, making it as easy as possible for them to read, understand and assess your pitches.
  • Publications have wide reach, making them good for reaching new people.

When you prospect for editorial link-building, you very often come across sites that won’t respond to outreach emails (ostensibly because they don’t have time). It’s easy to just throw away the contact details for those sites, carry on with editorial outreach, and trust that those working on digital PR will find those sites when they do their own research.

However, I can tell you from experience that the top-end PR databases digital PR pros tend to lean on are far from exhaustive, so there’s no guarantee the sites you found will appear. And even if they do appear, they may be lacking relevant contact information. So if you find site details that aren’t suitable for your work, consider whether there’s value in passing them on.

That’s all good, but what does it look like in action?

I’ve told you the why of digital PR and editorial working together, so let’s get to the how:

Collaborative ideation

  • Set a task for one person/party to do the awareness day calendar, then granting both teams access.
  • Arrange a joint ideation session with all teams pitching ideas for digital PR or link building. This will help cover the teams’ respective blindspots.
  • Plan campaign tasks (based on the joint ideation) around the timelines of both teams’ other outreach campaigns.

Mutual prospecting

  • Use tools typically used in editorial outreach to vet sites in databases (like Vuellio and Roxhill) for metric quality (traffic DR).
  • Don’t discard sites prospected in editorial outreach that are unlikely to respond to that team (consumer titles, newspapers, etc.). Instead, create a space for them (a campaign in Pitchbox, a spreadsheet… whatever is easiest) and encourage the digital PR team to view them.
  • Use prospecting methods usually reserved for editorial outreach to look for new publications when PR databases aren’t cutting it. For instance, if you’re not finding enough regional or national Spanish journos in the tech niche, you can put a news announcement into the Ahrefs backlink explorer, filter for DR 55+ sites in Spanish, manually inspect them for viability, then find personalised contact details using and Google Translate.

Skill-swap training

Task experienced team members from editorial outreach and digital PR with looking for opportunities to share skills. A tactic devised for digital PR may prove to be effective for editorial outreach with some minor tweaks, and vice versa.

Sharing information will also serve to improve cross-team collaboration, something that typically leads to reduced task duplication, less wastage of good opportunities, improved morale, and better resource management when people are ill or on holiday.

If anything is taken from this, I hope it’s the awareness that collaboration is key to making an impact in an industry that’s under a lot of pressure to prove its worth. Editorial outreach and digital PR have different strengths, and if they pool their efforts then they can power each other up. If there’s anyone who knows that, it’s me! In the words of the spiritual leaders commonly known as the East High Wildcats, we’re all in this together.

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