Community Management, Convince and Convert, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Conferences and Events, PR 20, Social Media Marketing

Why Can’t PR Do Digital?

Why aren’t PR firms offering digital marketing services to their clients?

On Sunday, David Anderson from Off Madison Ave and I presented this roundtable at the PRSA Counselor’s Academy conference in Palm Desert.

The title is: Revenue.com: Launching Digital Marketing Services to Grow Retainers. Note we only had ~30 minutes, so this isn’t as comprehensive as I’d prefer.

There are 5 Advantages of Digital Services

  • Marketing dollars are moving to the Web (Internet is already 3rd largest advertising vehicle, behind only newspapers and TV)
  • Brands are embracing social media. 63% of global best-in-class companies will increase social media spending in 2009.
  • Most digital services are ongoing, retainer-based programs.
  • Digital services are inherently measurable, making it easier to prove PR firm value.
  • Digital is ever-changing. There’s always a new wrinkle – always something new to sell.

3 Must-Do Digital Services for PR Firms

  • Search engine optimization. Fundamentally linked to modern public relations (or should be).
  • Social media. Listening programs. Engagement and messaging counsel. Social media crisis management.
  • Digital content creation. Blogs. Facebook pages. Podcasts. Videos. eBooks. Helping clients atomize content effectively (see this post from Todd Defren for more info).

6 Steps to Mastering Digital Services at PR Firms

  • Matrix client opportunities. Is the client engaged in SEO, social media, etc. already? In-house? With another agency?
  • Index staff competency. Probably, your existing staff aren’t SEO or social media “experts.” But, are there team members with interest + aptitude? Put your aces in their places.
  • Assign vertical expertise. Don’t try to make an all-knowing digital superstar in your agency. It’s high risk, and it doesn’t scale. Divide expertise throughout the team. 1-2 people per discipline.
  • Train. Find someone reputable to provide serious social media training, SEO training, digital content training.
  • Practice on yourself. Eat your own dog food. Get good at SEO, social media, and digital content on behalf of your own agency.
  • Sell to clients through education. It’s easier to sell digital services in a seminar, rather than a “pitch.” Start scheduling regular education sessions for your clients, and they’ll end up “pitching” themselves.

What did we miss?

  • http://www.whywebpr.blogspot.com/ Ali Magnano

    We offer a unique PR campaign to our clients to have them gain prescence on the Web

    ali magnano-www.whywebpr.blogspot.com

    Ali Magnano’s last blog post..Is Twitter Addictive??

  • http://www.whywebpr.blogspot.com Ali Magnano

    We offer a unique PR campaign to our clients to have them gain prescence on the Web

    ali magnano-www.whywebpr.blogspot.com

    Ali Magnano’s last blog post..Is Twitter Addictive??

  • http://ariwriter.com/ Ari Herzog

    I’m confused.

    I agree with your three necessary steps–SEO, engagement and crisis management, and content creation; but four of your six steps for digital mastery are about SEO. Why the dominance?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..From a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Star Wars Embraces Social Media

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    I’m confused.

    I agree with your three necessary steps–SEO, engagement and crisis management, and content creation; but four of your six steps for digital mastery are about SEO. Why the dominance?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..From a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Star Wars Embraces Social Media

  • Michael Sommermeyer

    Jason,

    Any suggestions for conversation monitoring? I’m seeing few offerings in the digital world, or perhaps I’m missing them. Techrigy has an excellent product, but are there others and how would this play into SEO and reputation management?

    Michael Sommermeyer’s last blog post..News Monitoring: A New Business Model for Newspapers?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Lots of free option for conversation monitoring. At scale, however, I recommend Techrigy, Radian6, Scoutlabs, and Spiral16. All do a great job with their own +/-

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Lots of free option for conversation monitoring. At scale, however, I recommend Techrigy, Radian6, Scoutlabs, and Spiral16. All do a great job with their own +/-

  • Michael Sommermeyer

    Jason,

    Any suggestions for conversation monitoring? I’m seeing few offerings in the digital world, or perhaps I’m missing them. Techrigy has an excellent product, but are there others and how would this play into SEO and reputation management?

    Michael Sommermeyer’s last blog post..News Monitoring: A New Business Model for Newspapers?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Lots of free option for conversation monitoring. At scale, however, I recommend Techrigy, Radian6, Scoutlabs, and Spiral16. All do a great job with their own +/-

  • Stacey

    RE: Digital services are inherently measurable, making it easier to prove PR firm value.

    While I believe in and understand the need to utilize digital media, it’s still difficult to provide ROI to clients. I haven’t seen a great example on bottom line results yet, but will certainly keep trying! Maybe my digital services are behind or perhaps I’m not using the appropriate tools, so if there are suggestions, I’d love to know about them.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Certainly on the SEO side, the metrics should be pretty easy to come by. You can use authoritylabs.com for rankings, and Google Analytics for clicks and action tracking.

      On social media, it’s a bit murkier because the analytics must stem from the objective, and that’s the piece that’s most often lacking – a strategy. But, I have a couple posts here at C&C; about social media ROI, there’s some stuff at mpdailyfix.com and KD Paine’s blog is the definitive source for this area of thinking.

  • http://YourWebsite Stacey

    RE: Digital services are inherently measurable, making it easier to prove PR firm value.

    While I believe in and understand the need to utilize digital media, it’s still difficult to provide ROI to clients. I haven’t seen a great example on bottom line results yet, but will certainly keep trying! Maybe my digital services are behind or perhaps I’m not using the appropriate tools, so if there are suggestions, I’d love to know about them.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Certainly on the SEO side, the metrics should be pretty easy to come by. You can use authoritylabs.com for rankings, and Google Analytics for clicks and action tracking.

      On social media, it’s a bit murkier because the analytics must stem from the objective, and that’s the piece that’s most often lacking – a strategy. But, I have a couple posts here at C&C about social media ROI, there’s some stuff at mpdailyfix.com and KD Paine’s blog is the definitive source for this area of thinking.

  • http://twitter.com/drbowen/status/2007516873 Shannon A. Bowen

    can pr master social media? http://bit.ly/psGiV

  • http://twitter.com/mpstacey/status/2008311743 Stacey Carroll

    RT @tweetmeme Convince and Convert Blog: Where Social Media and Email Collide » Why Can’t PR Do Digital? http://tinyurl.com/mlnucx

  • http://twitter.com/mistymaitimoe/status/2008660374 mistymaitimoe

    Me like this: RT @SocialMedia411: Why Can’t PR Do Digital? (Jason Baer / @jaybaer): http://bit.ly/psGiV <More good stuff from Jason>

  • http://zakmo.wordpress.com/ Zackery M

    Great presentation. I even downloaded it to check out later.

    I’m trying to start a digital agency (I’m 23 and ambitious) by going the freelance route and building exp/clients.

    The three services I offer now are tradition/”social” PR, email marketing and digital content/community strategy. Once I begin growing, I’m really interested in video, social media buying and mobile marketing.

    Thanks, again, for the great post.

    Z

    Zackery M’s last blog post..Freelancing? Don’t knock it ’til you try it

  • http://zakmo.wordpress.com Zackery M

    Great presentation. I even downloaded it to check out later.

    I’m trying to start a digital agency (I’m 23 and ambitious) by going the freelance route and building exp/clients.

    The three services I offer now are tradition/”social” PR, email marketing and digital content/community strategy. Once I begin growing, I’m really interested in video, social media buying and mobile marketing.

    Thanks, again, for the great post.

    Z

    Zackery M’s last blog post..Freelancing? Don’t knock it ’til you try it

  • http://twitter.com/konterfai_rss/status/2009490038 Monsignore Pierro M.

    Why Can’t PR Do Digital? http://twurl.nl/p3gpmk

  • http://twitter.com/woerpel/status/2016947002 woerpel

    Why Can’t PR Do Digital? http://bit.ly/AGXlq Nice article with #slideshare

  • http://twitter.com/nolanantonucci/status/2030970298 Nolan Antonucci

    @mjbradley85 definitely wish i had a class or 2 focusing on these web technologies and trends, thanks for the link http://tinyurl.com/mlnucx

  • http://twitter.com/glasshalffullpr/status/2032736784 Jessica Griffin

    Yes, why DON’T PR firms offer digital services? http://bit.ly/cdl7g I guess I’ll just have to do it myself, http://bit.ly/rS5K

  • http://twitter.com/glasshalffullpr/status/2032771672 Jessica Griffin

    The last few tweet posts were via @jaybaer, everyone needs to follow him. His latest: http://bit.ly/cdl7g & http://bit.ly/Zs4Ed

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/2066297227 Jeff Hurt

    Why Can’t PR Do Digital? By @jaybaer http://ow.ly/cDXo

  • http://twitter.com/emarketingassoc/status/2066308499 eMarketing Assoc

    RT @JeffHurt Why Cant PR Do Digital? By @jaybaer http://ow.ly/cDXo

  • http://twitter.com/mikedmerrill/status/2066321131 Mike D. Merrill

    Why Can’t PR Do Digital? By @jaybaer http://ow.ly/cDXo (via @JeffHurt)

  • http://twitter.com/kyleplacy/status/2274624079 Kyle Lacy

    @monicaherzer good read: Why Can’t PR Do Digital? http://bit.ly/cdl7g by @jaybaer

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/