Skills that conventional PR folks can leverage to transition to #DigitalPR

The lines between print and digital are blurring rapidly. With most print publications taking a “digital-first” approach to filing stories, the nature of content is evolving from “word” to “voice” and “videos”. The versatility of the digital platform has encouraged creative freedom of reporting. From podcasts, voice-based content, research reports, white papers and case-studies to journalists taking to LinkedIn and Twitter to amplify their stories, the media is beginning to delve into the world of digital.

So, what about PR folks like us who have been operating in an age-old way? What skills can we leverage to embrace this new trend called “digital”? Incidentally, a lot. The skills we’ve spent years developing, see us in good stead to use the digital medium more effectively.

  • Content: This is considered a key aspect of marketing. From press releases, pitch notes and creative content such as invites, we have done it all. The additional force to make it more measurable is to implement certain SEO tools to plug-in trending keywords strategically into our content.
  • Using skills of follow-ups for backlinks: Wait, what? How are these even intertwined? While we know there are other methods of back-linking such as link-builder that usually takes a certain period to show tangible results, our persuasive skills developed over the span of years keep us in good stead to map high performing sites and request for a backlink. We can even make it a barter to provide quality content (thanks again to our content development skills) in exchange for the same.
  • Crisis Management: With consumers interacting directly with brands over digital platforms, it is imperative to have strong online reputation management (ORM) plan in place. It is more common than one believes in PR for the team to be fire-fighting crisis on a regular basis. This expertise of the PR folks can be used to map content on various online platforms and create a pre-approved content for potential crisis situations. Thus, saving precious time during hours of need.
  • Stakeholder management capabilities to develop communities: As ironic as it may seem, the “public” in public relations extend beyond the press. From managing stakeholders for financial announcements to doing test marketing for FMCG brands, we publicists have extended our reach beyond the press. It is this skill that we can use to build, engage and drive conversations among relevant communities.
  • Influencer Management: The role of PR can also aid in better SEO. From publishing quality articles in blogs/online publications to mapping and engaging relevant influencers for the brand, the skills of a PR professional ensures effective implementation of campaigns.
  • Use of Pictorial depiction: We publicists are adept at understanding art too. Our exposure to handling aspects pertaining to conceptualizing and executing infographics for our clients make us skilled in dealing with the creative departments in a digital set-up.

Having said all of this, it is to be noted that the digital space is evolving and needs constant efforts on our part to understand various tools to map campaign progress. However, rest assured our foundations remain firmly rooted that enable us to evolve beyond the regular metrics.

Dilip G
Dilip is a communications evangelist helping clients with their PR & Branding needs. Dilip has been associated with the PR industry for close to a decade. Having executed award-winning PR works for his clients in his previous roles, he embarked on a journey to set up a new-age #DigitalPR firm – Brand Cocoon – with an intent to make brand communications ROI-based. He can be reached at

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