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 brush 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!

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