Digital Public Relations in the United States

Alice Lamstaes

Head of Digital PR

Digital PR

If you’re a digital marketer, a public relations professional, or simply interested in improving your website’s visibility—you might have heard of the term digital PR.”

A relatively new term, especially in the United States, digital public relations is a burgeoning approach to digital marketing and one that people are still learning to navigate. The universal understanding of the term varies wildly, depending on your industry, country, or area of specialty.

In this guide, we will definitively explain digital PR (DPR), how it can jumpstart your brand awareness initiatives, and how it will change the current understanding of content marketing, SEO, and traditional PR. DPR provides a more precise, all-encompassing strategic approach that improves your brand recognition and establishes website authority.


If you want to see the true benefits of digital PR, Search Laboratory has many case studies that demonstrate our expertise. As seen in our award-nominated digital PR success with Viking and our viral content campaign with TrustedHousesitters, our team can structure targeted digital PR activity that will get your company noticed.

Digital PR in the United States


What is digital PR?

Simply put, digital public relations is an approach to SEO that combines content marketing and traditional public relations strategies to increase backlinks and build brand awareness for an organization.

Backlinks from authoritative sites, such as high quality and relevant media publications, are vital for your brand because Google uses these links to evaluate trust and authority. Having a strong backlink profile allows websites to rank higher in SERPs, appearing in more online searches, leading to higher relevancy and engagement.

Digital PR utilizes elements of traditional PR (such as press releases and media outreach) and aspects of content marketing (such as keyword specialization, viral campaigns, and backlink acquisition) to achieve online coverage for a piece of original content which links back to the company site.

It spans a variety of professions, including journalism, digital marketing, public relations, communications, and more, combining expertise in each for a genuinely cross-specialty approach to brand development.


What are the benefits of digital PR?

Digital PR can support various business objectives, depending on the company, the brand, and its current priorities. These can include:

  • Increasing SEO visibility around key search terms
  • Building relevant, good-quality links to a site
  • Increasing organic traffic
  • Boosting awareness and engagement with an active audience
  • Building credibility and trust around a brand

What strategies make up a digital PR campaign?

Like traditional PR, digital PR requires planning, a cross-channel strategy, and tapping into some creative energy.

Here are four essential elements of a comprehensive digital PR strategy.


1. Campaign strategy (using traditional PR techniques)

The ultimate goal of any digital PR professional is to generate creative and unique online campaigns that entice journalists to share content with their audience, linking the assets back to a brand.


2. Outreach to the press

A comprehensive DPR campaign considers the best way to pitch an asset, such as research findings, content, or imagery, to industry-relevant journalists so that they will include the asset in their publication, reaching the ideal demographic.

The most successful digital PR experts build and maintain relationships with journalists to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship, learning about impactful pieces before other industry competitors.


3. Media interviews and contributions

Pitching media interviews to journalists is a great way to acquire links and coverage, as journalists are always looking to speak to thought leaders in an industry they are writing about. The more knowledgeable and charismatic the company representative, the more goodwill they can build for your brand.

This approach also allows digital PR experts to react to the current news agenda. An agile DPR team can achieve results by leading conversations and commenting on stories that are already happening, offering commentary from the brand’s perspective.

And much like media interviews, article contributions mutually benefit the brand and the publication.

Submitting articles, stories, or blog posts written by a company stakeholder with expertise on a relevant topic can gain high authority links to your brand.


4. Tactical link acquisition through brand mentions and broken links

A key component of SEO that overlaps with DPR is the value of the all-important backlink. Digital PR experts, in addition to their campaign work, acquire links through existing brand mentions that currently don’t include a hyperlink to the company’s website. Connecting these dots, in addition to the content development mentioned earlier, increases brand authority and organic traffic.

They also identify sites with a broken hyperlink not leading back to the client company’s website – and work to fix it. This benefits companies interested in organic international SEO – correcting the mistake when a publication links to a page localized for a different market.

Digital PR in the United States

While digital PR is a familiar communications and digital marketing strategy in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, the practice and benefits of DPR are only now being realized in the United States.

Historically, the size and scale of the United States, as well as the unique media landscape, presented obstacles for digital marketers looking to apply the practice here. For example, readers in the United States tend to focus on more local publications – speaking more directly to their community – than national publications, which differs from readers in the United Kingdom and other countries.

Plus, with a dynamic journalism industry that follows strict processes and standards, the barriers to entry remained colossal to even the most successful digital PR experts.

That is, until now.

Digital PR sits at the fascinating intersection of traditional public relations, organic SEO principles, and viral content marketing. With our award-winning team that spans the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the world, Search Laboratory is the perfect partner to explore this new approach that broadens the reach of your brand.

Curious to learn how digital PR can jumpstart your marketing initiatives? Get in touch with our experts today.