Want a PR career in Digital Marketing?

Nicola Winters

Head of International

Digital PR

The general perception of digital marketing agencies is that they are filled with techy types talking about HTML, coding and link building. The reality is much different.

With most quality agencies now employing a department of creative, PR minded people who are CIPR accredited, it has never looked so good for PR professionals.

Why choose a digital agency to practice PR

Traditional PR agencies have tended to ignore the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and continued to report in terms of advertising fees, overall reach and coverage of campaigns despite the growing effect that online visibility has on overall sales of a business. However, the practice of PR is used within SEO and should be seen as a way to measure the success of such campaigns.

What better way to measure brand awareness than a search engine?! The more you appear for related search queries in Google News, social media platforms and search engine results pages the more your brand will be positively engaged with online, ultimately leading to increased ROI.

In a typical agency the creative department would be relied upon to come up with compelling stories around clients, brands and products and sell these into the media – reporting on the social and SEO impact of campaigns within a fully integrated business strategy.

How the industry has changed

SEO has long been debated as a dying industry; failing miserably to the good old fashioned PR practices and paid advertising that we were so used to post Google’s reign.

However, for those agencies and companies who were desperately trying to remain ethical and trustworthy during a time of manipulation and high competition, SEO has always been a part of their roles; combined with social, PR, marketing and paid advertising.

Long gone are the days of regurgitating low quality content and blogging about meaningless topics that wouldn’t be of any use to anyone online. An SEO agency was relied upon to generate back links to a client’s website that would ultimately lead to higher rankings. Google has shown through various updates and algorithm changes that the user must be at the forefront and that is definitely quality over quantity that is important (both in terms of links and the content produced).

Umbrella content theme

Using umbrella themed content ideas, our team of PRs and content experts push the content and its message out to the relevant niches and publications in order to gain coverage, back links and social engagement.

This isn’t just written copy, this could be anything from event management, organizing PR stunts around the country to video and imagery campaigns! To do this we need a vast array of skills, creative input and enthusiasm to pull it off.

Typical day in the life of a PR

In short, there isn’t a typical day.

Digital services can be sold in many different ways. For example, we may be the only PR agency that a global business use to market their products meaning the team will work on the more ‘traditional’ side of things from product placement to celebrity endorsed events and sponsorships.

Generally speaking, a day could consist of liaising with the creative team to come up with stories that aim to achieve a business objective – whether that is increased brand awareness online, higher rankings for key terms that drive conversions or lead generated content.

It is important to keep on top of industry news, updates and developments in order to suggest the right content to clients that will serve their intended audience well.

Daily life can include selling-in stories to journalists, maintaining relationships with reporters, editors and web masters; as well as following up media requests to further expose our clients as experts in their industry.

Is this for you?

If you are thinking of starting a career in PR then I would urge you to look broader than  traditional PR agencies. Providing you are looking for a fast paced, competitive and dynamic industry to work in then digital marketing is definitely for you.

Some of the benefits include:

  • A varied role that includes idea generation, content creation and promotion of campaigns
  • The opportunity to build and maintain relationships with key influencers and people within the media sphere
  • All managers accredited by the CIPR and have access to industry training, resources and best practice guides

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