Digital Advertising and Public Relations, Part 1: Introduction

See if this sounds familiar. You, the public relations professional, get a great hit, a great placement in a media outlet. You celebrate, you let your stakeholders know about the hit. Everyone is happy – today. When you come into the office tomorrow, what’s the first question your stakeholders ask of you?

“What have you done for me today?”

This is the public relations treadmill, and one of the reasons why public relations is rated one of the most difficult and stressful professions. Like a salesperson, you’re only as great as your next hit.

What if there were a way to make your efforts more valuable? What if your victories lasted longer? We have a way to achieve this. We have a way to make every hit more meaningful, more impactful, more effective.

The way is paid media: digital advertising.

Public relations professionals often make mention of the concepts of earned, owned, and paid media. However, when they begin to talk about media, they quickly brushed past paid media. Ignoring paid media is a capital mistake; doing so ignores a body of strategies and tactics which complement and enhance the power of earned media and public relations.

Advertising and public relations share a common goal: more attention. We want to attract the attention of new audiences. We want to recapture and reinforce the attention of our existing audiences. Forward-thinking public relations professionals know that advertising and public relations together often generate greater impact than each channel separately.

Why? Today, the concepts of earned, owned, and paid media are largely meaningless. Our audience doesn’t care whether a video, infographic, animated GIF, podcast, or story is hosted by us (owned), shared by third parties (owned), or sponsored (paid). Our audience only cares whether the content is engaging, entertaining, or educational. Thus, if we are excluding the strategies and tactics of paid media because we’re not fluent in them, we’re leaving attention – and revenue – on the table.

In this series, we will explore how public relations professionals can become adept at digital advertising. We’ll examine the different advertising channels available to us; channels such as social media, display advertising, pay per click, and native advertising. We’ll also look at three different use cases for advertising tools in public relations: syndication/amplification, awareness, and remarketing. In the final part of the series, we’ll review measurement methods for both advertising and public relations to guide our data-driven efforts.

Join us as we explore the power of digital advertising and public relations together!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

Download our new eBook, How to Measure the Value of PR

Posted on June 6, 2016 in Advertising, Data-Driven PR, Public Relations

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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