What is Digital PR? Understanding Digital PR Services For SEO

21 November 2023

Posted in: Content Digital Ecommerce Marketing SEO

Digital PR services are one of the fastest-growing strategies in the marketing space right now. While traditional PR meant billboards and radio features, digital PR opened the doors to creative digital campaigns and major online growth which in today’s digital society is like gold dust!

Let’s not forget the important relationship between digital PR and SEO too. Securing placements and links on global publications, including the likes of Forbes, Ideal Home, and Business Wire (just a few examples of the coverage we’ve achieved), can profoundly enhance your website’s authority and overall visibility.

If you’re not using Digital PR to drive media coverage, links, brand awareness, traffic to the site, and sales of products, what are you waiting for? Let’s delve into what digital PR is and why it holds such importance in today’s digital landscape.

What is digital PR? 

Digital PR is a strategy that involves gaining links through highly targeted online media coverage. Unlike traditional PR, it’s very closely intertwined with SEO practices but still contributes to the core pillars of PR such as increased brand awareness, visibility, and trust. 

  • Digital PR is all about brand building. This is done by creating an online presence that establishes brand recognition while positively impacting your SEO efforts.
  • Digital PR strategies blend traditional PR advantages, like building brand awareness and getting press coverage, with SEO benefits for online growth, such as better rankings, diverse backlinks, and increased referral traffic.
  • It’s crucial to focus on E-E-A-T signals (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust). Creating campaigns centered around these signals ensures you secure high-quality, relevant placements. These links not only send trust signals to Google but also resonate strongly with your target audience.

The primary goal of digital PR is to craft campaigns that secure links from respected publications and garner media attention that resonates with the intended audience. The outcome is building trust among readers and search engines, establishing your brand as a reliable and trustworthy source.

Digital PR vs traditional PR

While digital PR shares its foundation with traditional PR, focusing on the creation of authoritative, credible, and brand-aligned content, it distinguishes itself by bridging the void through highly targeted and SEO-optimised campaigns.

In contrast to traditional PR methods like radio ads, which primarily aim to enhance brand recognition, digital PR ensures that all online content aligns seamlessly with a brand’s SEO strategy – whether that’s creating an optimised landing page or creating keyword-rich content.  

This approach encompasses building brands across various digital channels, including social media, newsletter sign-ups, and even traditional media. The goal is to create campaigns that leverage these channels effectively to drive traffic, conversions, and ultimately, customers.

Initially, digital PR emerged as a combination of traditional PR and link building. As we move forward, digital PR strategy will become even more intertwined with traditional PR tactics, evolving into a single unified service.


Examples of traditional PR strategies

  • Radio
  • Billboards
  • Magazine features

Examples of digital PR strategies

  • Interactive assets
  • Online press releases
  • Newsjacking

The goal of digital PR

You can set overarching digital PR goals that align with traditional PR goals such as increasing brand awareness or gaining coverage in key online publications but you can also narrow these down to be more targeted.

Digital PR goals can be split into three main areas:

Overall PR goals:

  • Building brand awareness.
  • Gaining coverage in key publications.
  • Featuring thought leaders.
  • Increasing the customer base. 

SEO PR goals:

  • Targeting particular keywords to improve SERP rankings.
  • Generating keyword-specific backlinks.
  • Increasing referral traffic, conversions, and revenue.
  • Gaining high-quality backlinks to reduce referring domain gaps.

Product or service-focused PR goals:

  • Pushing particular categories or product pages.
  • Increasing sales.
  • Increasing sign-ups.

Soft PR goals:

  • Newsletter signups.
  • An increase in social media following.
  • An increase in social media engagement.

These PR goals are interchangeable depending on the business. For instance, a charity may primarily concentrate on boosting donations, while an ecommerce business might focus on growing specific product pages.

Aiming for those overall umbrella goals as well as honing down on more specific objectives can help you get the best results for your business. It’s not just about reaching a set number of links. The quality of those links matters too and contributes to the overall success of your wider strategy.

The benefits of Digital PR

The benefits of digital PR services feed into every part of your strategy including content, SEO, link building, and more. 

Brand coverage

Of course, the main benefit of digital PR is gaining brand coverage. Landing coverage in high-authority publications especially those related to your niche is incredibly valuable whether that’s coverage in online publications, radio mentions, interviews, or other channels. Brand mentions even without a link are still important too. As Google’s NLP and AI algorithms develop, getting your brand name out there will build your authority and trust signals.

Building awareness

One of the primary benefits of Digital PR is the extensive brand coverage it can provide. By securing placements in reputable publications, you can effectively increase your brand’s visibility and credibility. This means more people will become aware of your brand and what it represents.

Brand mentions are valuable, too. Even if a journalist covers a piece without a link, these mentions benefit your brand awareness, especially when people search for your brand or relevant keywords. Google recognises the impact of brand mentions, so they contribute to building your brand’s online presence and expertise.

Forming long-term relationships with journalists

PR revolves around the art of relationship building, and this is especially true when it comes to journalists. The media’s portrayal of your brand has a substantial impact on your reputation,

so presenting the right trust signals across your wider online presence is key. 

The rise of AI and fake news means journalists now place an increased emphasis on the credibility of their sources. Good PR can help you develop a trustworthy relationship and when they’re certain of your credibility, they’re more likely to showcase your content positively now and in the future.

Boosting SEO efforts

Digital PR can have a huge positive impact on your site’s SEO rankings. But as valuable as they are, it’s not just about gaining backlinks as strong digital PR campaigns can help move targeted keywords up the SERPS, increase website traffic, increase domain authority, and more.

Of course, SEO is nurtured in many ways digital PR provides a unique contribution by shaping the online landscape. Where search engines continually refine their algorithms and user behaviours constantly shift, digital PR emerges as a dynamic force that not only bolsters the core aspects of SEO but also breathes life into a comprehensive online presence whether that’s digital on your website or how you appear on social platforms.

How to use Digital PR to boost E-E-A-T trust signals

“Google’s automated systems are designed to use many different factors to rank great content. After identifying relevant content, our systems aim to prioritize those that seem most helpful. To do this, they identify a mix of factors that can help determine which content demonstrates aspects of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, or what we call E-E-A-T. Of these aspects, trust is the most important. The others contribute to trust, but content doesn’t necessarily have to demonstrate all of them.”

Google Helpful Content

It’s important to note that E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. However, it’s a part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, used by “Quality Raters” to evaluate the value of content. Taking these factors into account across your digital PR efforts will ensure that your content meets high-quality standards and fulfills user expectations.

Here are some ways you can use digital PR to boost each E-E-A-T signal:


  • Using Digital PR, you can build up a catalogue of onsite and offsite content whether that’s press releases or radio features that showcase your first-hand experience in the sector.
  • Proactive campaigns provide an opportunity to really show off your experience. Delve deeper into topics you know well and share this experience with your target audience.
  • Thought leadership articles can supply journalists with new angles into relevant topics which indicates your deep insight and experience in a subject area.


  • Ensure your content is presented in a way that makes people want to trust it, such as offering clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved and always providing a brand summary.
  • Does the content create the impression that it is well-trusted or widely recognised as an authority on its topic?
  • Position your brand as an expert by creating and sharing in-depth, informative content that demonstrates a deep understanding of your industry or niche.
  • Leverage subject matter experts within the business for interviews, articles, or thought leadership pieces in media coverage.


  • Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
  • Target publications that align with your industry or niche. Being visible here means your audience is likely to recognise your authority, be more engaged, and spend longer reading the content.
  • Create a calendar of key industry events and awareness days where you can provide authority proactively and jump on trending news topics with authoritative reactive PR tactics.


  • Let Google and your audience know you can be trusted by defining your hook and adding value to the conversation instead of regurgitating what’s already been said.
  • Incorporate data-driven PR campaigns to build trust with potential customers. This shows that you’re not just providing an opinion, you’re providing evidence to back up why you’re saying what you’re saying.
  • Don’t lead every campaign with a gimmick. Sometimes, clear facts, genuine expertise, and informative data are the best ways to build trust signals.

The state of digital PR in 2023 

Digital PR can be seen as a high-risk, high-reward tactic. You’re at the mercy of what journalists want to cover and while some digital PR campaigns may not create the results you were hoping for and others can go viral — there’s no guaranteed outcome.

However, trust, authority, and relevance remain the cornerstones of successful campaigns, providing a reliable compass in the ever-changing landscape of digital PR. They not only ensure search engines acknowledge your efforts but also resonate with your intended audience.

Let’s also not forget how AI is changing digital PR. It’s essential to proactively manage your brand’s perception to convey the precise image and message you want AI to associate with your brand. This will also secure user engagement and please search engines.

Key digital PR trends in 2023 and beyond:

  • Focus on trust, authority, and relevance: Including commentary from trusted experts or valuable resources such as studies in your campaigns will help you build all three pillars.
  • Look beyond your campaigns: Ensuring that other channels are also well optimised, such as targeting specific keywords on landing pages, before you launch to ensure your entire campaign is aligned.
  • Provide trust signals to journalists: Keeping your LinkedIn pages updated for your industry leaders and having high-quality headshots will give a human approach amid the rise of AI.
  • Make E-E-A-T a priority: Google is becoming increasingly sophisticated so keeping E-E-A-T at the heart of your PR efforts will help search engines identify your high-quality, reliable, and authoritative content.

What are the elements of a good digital PR strategy?

Your digital PR strategy is how you want to present your brand to the world. Understanding your target audience is crucial. You should have a deep understanding of who your brand talks to, the problems your brand solves, and your user personas. 

However, don’t limit yourself to only thinking about direct conversions. Consider the wider scope within your sector and the larger audience you could potentially reach. This will help you design campaigns that resonate with a broader audience.

Outline your goals

Before working on a digital PR campaign, you need to define clear and well-defined goals. These goals (umbrella goals, targeted SEO goals, and product-focused goals) should be in alignment with your broader digital marketing strategy. These objectives will serve as the guiding force behind your PR efforts, ensuring that every action is purpose-driven and measurable.

You also need to know your target publications inside out. Dive into the topics they cover, the style of their content and identify trends. The more you understand the publication, the easier it will be to create a story or campaign that aligns with their interests which makes it easy for journalists and editors to say yes to covering your piece. 

Understand what your audience wants

A deep understanding of your target audience is fundamental. You need to know who your brand caters to, the specific problems it addresses, and the user personas you’re targeting. However, don’t limit your focus solely to direct conversions. 

Explore the broader landscape within your industry and identify opportunities to reach a larger audience. This understanding enables you to craft campaigns that resonate with a wider demographic, expanding your brand’s reach and impact.

Use ideation to create strong ideas with engaging hooks

To create compelling campaigns, it’s essential to stay updated on the latest trends in your industry. Ideation can help you think outside the box and come up with innovative, attention-grabbing hooks that will pique the interest of both your audience and journalists. 

Create a digital PR calendar for timely launches

Timing is key in the world of digital PR. To maximise the impact of your campaigns, create a well-structured digital PR calendar. This calendar should outline the schedules for launching your campaigns, aligning them with relevant events, holidays, or industry-specific events. Planning your releases in advance ensures that your content reaches the right audience at the right time, enhancing its effectiveness.

Build a strong list of outreach contacts

To streamline your outreach efforts, it’s crucial to compile a robust list of outreach contacts. This list should include journalists, bloggers, and editors who cover topics relevant to your campaigns — again this comes back to research. Know your contacts thoroughly to understand their preferences, the types of stories they favour, and their editorial style. Tailoring your pitches to align with their needs and interests increases the likelihood of securing coverage.

Types of digital PR strategies

There are two arms of digital PR — proactive strategies, which tend to be bigger hero campaigns such as data-led press releases, and reactive strategies that respond to breaking news or trends such as newsjacking. Including both proactive and reactive PR tactics in your approach will provide a well-rounded strategy.

Proactive PR

Proactive PR refers to pre-planned campaigns that are typically well-thought-out and incorporated into an editorial calendar. The primary focus is on creating hero assets that resonate with the brand’s mission, values, and messaging; they should also create long-lasting and impactful content that can be considered evergreen.

These campaigns are not designed as one-time pieces but rather as assets that can be revisited, updated, and repurposed whenever a new relevant hook comes throughout the year.

Proactive PR campaigns aim to provide multiple angles for outreach, allowing the brand to leverage these assets for various opportunities. By doing so, a brand can maximise the reach and impact of each piece of content created, effectively conveying its message and value to the audience.

Proactive PR campaign example:

Example: The Global Life Balance Index Study

Brand: Remote (HR provider)

Objective: To speak to both employers and employees about modern HR needs and life balance.

Strategy: A comprehensive study was conducted to examine statutory benefits across different countries, focusing on areas like annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, average working hours, and LGBTQ+ equality. This study aimed to determine which countries offered the best baseline for companies to improve their employees’ work-life balance. The study was positioned as an index, giving it data authority.

Results: The study provided a substantial amount of data, allowing for multiple outreach angles. These included the general release of the study, regional opportunities, and breakdowns of specific stats. The study achieved wide media coverage, enabling Remote to reach both employers and employees effectively.

Reactive PR

Unlike proactive PR, which is meticulously planned in advance, reactive PR adapts to breaking news or emerging trends such as newsjacking where brands leverage breaking news stories to insert themselves into the conversation and gain media coverage and public attention. 

This approach anticipates and seizes opportunities to engage with the audience and the media on subjects that are currently trending or gaining attention.

You can also be proactively reactive. For example, there are many events that you can confidently predict will happen at some point, such as an annual heatwave, and while it’s impossible to predict the exact timing of these events, you can get planning so you’re ready to go when they occur!

Reactive PR strategy example:

Example: Responding to a heatwave

Brand: Various (depending on the sector)

Objective: To provide timely information and tips during a heatwave.

Strategy: While you can’t predict the exact date of a heatwave, you can anticipate it. For instance, you know heat waves typically occur during the summer months. So, you can prepare expert commentary, tips, and resources that address various issues related to heatwaves, such as staying cool, protecting pets, heatwave fashion tips, and more. When a heatwave occurs, you can quickly share this content.

Results: These reactive pieces often perform well because they are timely and relevant to the current situation. This approach allows you to engage with your audience on important and timely topics, even though you can’t plan for the exact moment when they’ll be needed.

How to pitch your digital PR campaigns to journalists

Personalise Your Approach: Tailor your pitches to individual journalists based on their previous work. This is more likely to secure placements in the right publications and it shows journalists that you’ve done your research and understand their interests.

Use Intriguing Subject Lines and Headlines: Craft attention-grabbing subject lines that stand out in a journalist’s inbox. Incorporate emotive language or intriguing words like ‘new study’ or ‘expert reveals’ without resorting to clickbait. Strive for creativity to capture their attention effectively.

Clear and Concise Messaging: Journalists receive numerous pitches daily, so keeping your email short and sweet is essential. You want to make their lives as easy as possible so include everything in the body of the email and avoid using too many attachments! 

Make Your Hook Obvious: Capture the journalist’s attention from the beginning by presenting the most compelling aspect of your campaign immediately. Clearly outline why your digital PR campaign is relevant to their audience and how it ties into current trends or issues in their field — timely campaigns are more likely to be picked up.

Follow Up Professionally: If you don’t receive an immediate response, follow up professionally. Journalists are often busy, and a courteous follow-up email can bring your pitch back to their attention and remind them of the valuable information you’re offering.

How to measure the success of your digital PR efforts

The first step in measuring your digital PR efforts is to define success. What is the goal? As mentioned, digital PR goals can be split into several areas including umbrella goals, SEO goals, product or service goals, and soft PR goals. 

Although for most brands, the key performance indicator of any digital PR investment is links you should consider these other areas too. It’s vital that KPIs are agreed to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.

Here are some KPIs you can analyse to measure digital PR success:

Link acquisition

Track the quantity and quality of backlinks generated through your digital PR efforts. Quality links from reputable sources contribute significantly to SEO authority.


Monitor improvements in the SERPs for targeted keywords. For example, if you’ve targeted a specific product category page in your campaigns you may be able to see an improvement in rankings. 

Organic and referral traffic

Increased visibility should correlate with higher organic traffic so check if this has been steadily increasing. Don’t forget about referral traffic too. The referral traffic your website got within the specified time period and narrowed down to specific channels so you can identify your most valuable sources.


Evaluate the impact of your digital PR efforts on conversions. Measure the number of desired actions taken by users, such as sign-ups, downloads, or purchases, directly influenced by your PR initiatives.

Brand awareness

Although growth in brand awareness can be a little trickier to measure, an increase in brand-related searches, media mentions and social media engagement indicates positive changes.

Digital PR wrap-up

  • Digital PR is a strategy intertwining with SEO, focusing on gaining links through targeted online media coverage. It contributes to traditional PR pillars such as brand awareness, visibility, and trust.
  • Digital PR strategies merge traditional PR benefits with SEO advantages, encompassing brand awareness, press placements, better rankings, diverse backlinks, and increased referral traffic.
  • Focus on E-E-A-T signals (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust) for securing high-quality placements. These signals not only build trust with Google but also resonate strongly with the target audience.
  • Work on holistic optimisation that goes beyond campaigns and optimises other channels like social media for cohesive strategy execution.
  • For successful digital PR efforts always define clear goals aligned with broader digital marketing strategies for purpose-driven and measurable results.
  • Include both proactive PR such as planned campaigns with evergreen content for multiple outreach opportunities as well as reactive PR that adapts to breaking news or trends such as newsjacking.
  • When pitching to journalists use attention-grabbing subject lines and headlines with emotive language without resorting to clickbait. Keep emails by leading with your campaign hook and concisely emphasizing relevance to their audience.
  • Agree on KPIs to ensure alignment and common goals. Don’t just focus on larger umbrella goals but also consider more targeted product, SEO, and soft PR goals.







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