Building Links with Digital PR Is Hard

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Results were mixed, but as a rule, most people found ideation and outreach the most difficult.

Outreach

Outreach is difficult, and understanding what journalists want and don’t want is difficult, especially for those new to the game.

Try to figure this out for yourself, and you’ll be inundated with conflicting information from both your peers and from journalists themselves. The game is incredibly subjective, and no two journalists, PRs, or publications are the same.

Knowing when to appropriately slot your client into a story both effectively and tastefully takes a lot of understanding of the media landscape. The kind that can only be learned by interacting with the media on an ongoing basis.

My own ‘news sense’ is something I’ve honed after years of working in and consuming the media. There is no quick fix to level up your media literacy. It takes consistent consumption of news content to be a good digital PR.

That said, it’s the kind of job where being ‘very online’ can be as good as a degree. Much like SEO, some of the best digital PRs I’ve worked with have never studied digital marketing and learned their trade on the job.

Ideation

The next most difficult thing is ideation. I am not surprised; one of the most challenging things in this role is constantly coming up with new and fresh ideas.

To get a client’s website in front of the press in a way that makes them want to write about and crucially link back to the webpage is, at times, exhausting.

Having to be a constant source of new and fresh ideas in a world of high-pressure link KPIs can sometimes feel like too much, especially when asked to do it on the spot in a meeting.

Nearly all of my best ideas come to me when I am not sitting at my desk or in a meeting room. Instead, they happen when I am out for a walk, in the supermarket, or when I am doom scrolling TikTok late at night.

Also, we don’t help ourselves by only talking about our successes. You will rarely catch us sharing the hundreds of unopened emails and disheartening unsubscribes on LinkedIn.

We don’t share the campaigns that have just failed to launch, no matter how we try to realign or re-pitch them.

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