Charlene White (DigiPR), 02 March 2021: Over the past couple of years, I’ve worked with PR agencies, in-house teams and individuals all over the world to adapt to Digital PR. One thing I’ve found most have in common at the start…they’re at a cross-roads. They know things have changed but just don’t know how to evolve their work beyond traditional PR practices.

The emergence of digital has changed everything in the last few years – particularly the behaviours of our audiences. People’s attention spans are significantly lower now that we live in a ‘search and scroll’ society and their choice of channels is also fractured. This has made it pretty challenging for traditional PR practitioners. There’s been plenty of studies recently which have found that over 50% of people now get their news predominantly online, with some studies tipping social media and the likes of Google and Apple News now collectively outperforming traditional media apps.

No surprises why all eyes were on the ‘Facebook vs the Australian Government’ discussions recently because it has a significant impact on news organisations and our future as Comms practitioners too. Add to that a solid 80-90% of people now pre-research almost everything themselves prior to making any kind of decision and you soon realise our audiences’ journey to action has changed.

Significantly. And so has the way we now need to do PR. So why are so many PR agencies still doing the same old work they’ve always done and not realising the wider opportunities available to us?

Don’t get me wrong, media are still an important part of the mix and, if leveraged properly for digital, have a huge impact on a brand’s overall digital authority and outcomes.

But have you actually stopped to think about what digital means for you and your agency and what you need to do to evolve your work for clients?

And it’s not just our audiences behaviours we need to think about…our clients’ expectations have also changed. They want PR experts who can show them the future of PR and also help them grow their knowledge and expertise in this area to help their brands communicate better in the Digital Age.

In this current climate, they also want more hard ROI evidence of its impact. Yet, many agencies remain stuck in ‘old school, traditional PR’ land.

While some have bolted on influencers and a bit of social media to their work, most haven’t properly evolved their practices to fully embrace the digital world and understand why our work is so important in the overall mix.

I’ve seen many still pigeon-holed into traditional media relations work without getting a look into the wider spoils that are available to us.

At the same time, other hybrid ‘one-stop-shop’ digital agencies have emerged in the market that now specialise in not only digital marketing and SEO but Digital PR as a combined service as well and are now pitching to the same clients.

Why Digital PR provides agencies with opportunity

What I love about Digital PR is that it helps us all (both inhouse or agency-side) evolve our work in five key ways by:

  1. Adapting our core skills to a new audience mindset that helps us go wider with our work
  2. Not only raising awareness in the moment, but also ensuring our work benefits a brand longer-term
  3. Providing us with access to new data insights, digital tools and processes that help us make more informed decisions and design better PR strategies
  4. Leveraging the right channels and driving audiences in a more focused, integrated way to achieve better outcomes for brands

Helping us better measure our work, beyond column inches, likes and sentiment

After working with literally hundreds of agencies in the last couple of years, I know how stuck some can be on that media hamster wheel…but there is a better way.

As PR practitioners, we hold the key to some of the most valuable levers in the online world without even realising it.

You just need to understand where our work fits in to the wider digital world and how to leverage it to your, and your client’s, advantage.

It starts first with understanding how Digital PR works and then teaching and applying it to your clients.

Not only can this create new revenue streams for you with existing clients, but it can also attract new ones and set you above the rest of the ‘same-same-but-different’ PR agencies out there.

Author: Charlene White (DigiPR) and originally posted by