Just a decade ago, public relations mostly entailed media relations and the occasional press release. Today, public relations involve a higher level of creativity and innovation to get the same results. Subsequently, PR specialists transform static and one-sided news media into a two-way communication opportunity between brands and their target market.

Use Innovative Technology

Because of the new digital age, PR specialists must remain open to innovations in technology. This involves trying new software, programs, and services. It also includes new forms of social media. As the audience and target market moves to new social media platforms, the brand moves with them to keep the conversation going.

When creating content, PR experts must consider optimizing the content for different platforms. PR specialists should optimize blog posts made for websites, assuring easy reading on mobile devices. This is why many blogs now use shorter paragraphs and break up the text with more pictures. Even a 500-word blog post can look like 1500 words on a 7-inch phone, losing the interest of viewers quickly.

Free Press

One of the best benefits of the new digital world of PR is free press. In the past, PR experts relied on placement and paid hefty prices for it. While this is still true, a lot of free press is generated by everyday users just looking to share interesting content with family and friends. This is how a lot of content goes viral on the web. Once a little marketing gets in front of the right audience, there’s just no telling where it might end up afterward.

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Also, as just about anyone can launch a website, the internet is filled with a plethora of bloggers looking to report on current events and write editorial pieces. This often provides free press, even if it’s not always good press. Companies looking to generate free, positive publicity in this way can also provide samples of their products and services to bloggers, put their absolute best foot forward, and then request an honest review.

Search Engine Optimization

Some PR experts believe in using this method, and some do not. The argument against it says readers can spot a sales pitch a mile away, and notice generic phrases used to match likely searches. As a result, the content loses the opportunity of being unique and interesting in favor of easy indexing and finding.

The argument for SEO is it brings more people to a company’s page, or to content related to it on other websites. Once people land on the website or social media pages, they become interested in what the company has to offer. At the very least, it makes the customer aware that, “Hey! We exist!”

So basically, those in favor of SEO play a numbers game, while those against it try to boost brand visibility through truly unique content. Brand and PR specialists should weigh the pros and cons before turning to either method of boosting visibility.

With all this in mind, the key approach to thriving in digital PR is to keep learning. As technology grows, changes, and innovates, PR specialists must keep abreast of changes. This is true whether working with the social media and digital PR division of a firm, or not.

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Technology shapes the way people live and all decisions made regarding brands should take this into consideration. This becomes difficult to do if you cannot grasp how technology affects everyday activities, like how people eat, buy books, or seek out customer support.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.