25/01/22 // Written by AmbaWilkes

Digital PR and Outreach: Working Together to Drive Better Results

We regularly hear of digital PR and outreach services being confused or assumed they are the same tactic. While different in nature, these tactics go hand in hand, working alongside one another to drive quality links at volume and brand citations to support your SEO strategy.

As an agency focused on building industry authority for our clients, we find that using digital PR and outreach collaboratively is the most effective way of delivering results.

In this blog…

We share insight into:

  • How digital PR and outreach can work together to drive even better results
  • How our dedicated teams work collaboratively
  • What the benefit of this approach is to your business

Building authority with digital PR and outreach

The three pillars of SEO – site, content and authority – underpins our approach to boosting organic rankings and online presence.

  • Site: This refers to creating a logical navigation, site structure and meta structure which are all crucial to help search engines find and map your pages.
  • Content: The content of your pages must be high quality and targeted to deliver your website into the listings.
  • Authority: This is the area where digital PR and outreach can really support. Through the acquisition of brand citations and quality links on notable websites, you can show search engines that you are a trusted business with authority and expertise in your sector.

But what is link building?

Link building is an effective method of improving organic rankings and visibility to drive traffic and sales. As such, this tactic should be a key part of your SEO strategy and with in-house digital PR and outreach teams, it’s something we’re very familiar with. 

Why do you need links?

Links are extremely valuable to Google, forming part of the search engine’s algorithm that ranks your website. Google uses links as trust signals to understand how authoritative your website is and rewards you for high quality links.

They also play a role in helping your website rank higher organically. If you can do this, you have the freedom to reduce your investment in paid media.

How do you get links?

There are a number of ways to get links, but this is where digital PR and outreach usually comes in. It’s possible to gain links naturally by people mentioning and linking to your business on forums, posts and other outlets. However, most businesses opt to try and earn high-quality, relevant links proactively through link building activities such as digital PR and outreach.

What’s the difference between digital PR and outreach?

Within our business, we define the difference between digital PR and outreach by the types of sites that are targeted which, in turn, impacts the content format or campaign style that is created:

  • Digital PR: This tactic focuses on targeting high domain authority and relevant media news outlets. The links and brand citations gained via digital PR usually come from content that is designed for the media, and these news websites are usually mid to high tier domain authority (DA) sites.
  • Outreach: Outreach isn’t always a defined service and definitions can vary. Our definition covers the link-building tactics that typically sit outside of digital PR. Outreach focuses on gaining links on sites that are targeted to your niche such as councils, tourist boards, universities and niche bloggers or micro influencers. These sites may not always have high DAs, but they are extremely relevant to the brand making them a powerful addition to your strategy.

Both digital PR and outreach also take a brand’s target audience into consideration.

Why are digital PR and outreach used together?

Using in-house developed tools, we’re able to conduct domain authority (DA) bandgap analysis, link gap analysis and competitor analysis alongside extensive keyword research. This means we can really understand your position in the market versus where you want to be. We can then spot untouched avenues that can be used to improve your performance.

Taking a dual approach with the backing of two specialist teams allows us to earn an impressive mixture of links and brand citations across a variety of relevant sites with a range of DAs. This creates a naturally varied backlink profile which is seen as trustworthy in the eyes of Google.

How do our teams work together?

Our digital PR and outreach teams work closely together, you might therefore wonder why we choose to have two separate departments as many agencies have a single group of specialists to cover these tactics. Essentially this comes down to the knowledge and experience our people hold and how we believe that can be best leveraged to reach full potential:

  • Our digital PR team has impressive media know how that can be applied to our strategies and campaigns
  • Our outreach team holds vast knowledge of various other types of websites and team members also have specialist expertise in specific sectors
  • The generation of aligned ideas that complement one another
  • Fresh ideas created through joint brainstorming sessions
  • The ability to get even more out of our content by sharing assets
  • Ideas that are aligned with the wider SEO strategy
  • Improved relationships and a higher standard of work
  • A better understanding of how digital PR works in the outreach team and vice versa
  • Broader knowledge and experience sharing, while still having specialists who focus on particular areas
  • Scope for new and high performing strategies

We talked to Head of Digital PR, Cheryl Crossley, and Head of Outreach, Vickie Bailey, to learn more about their teams’ expertise in their markets:

We know what formats typically appeal to target press, and we are constantly reading the news to ensure we have the best idea of what’s likely to work at any given time. An extensive media list is created for every piece of PR content we produce with each list bespoke to the specific campaign we’re working on. Press regularly move around, or their focus areas change, so we continuously update and add to these lists.” – Cheryl Crossley

“We look for sites that are contextually relevant to our clients, and that are of a good enough quality for us to want to place content on. As well as this, SEO insight is used to determine what sites could be a good fit and we keep track of the sites we’ve worked with before, so we know who to contact and what kind of content they’re most likely to want. Once our topics list and prospected site lists are ready, we reach out to webmasters at each site to see if they’d be interested in a bespoke piece of content from us on one of the outlined topics.” – Vickie Bailey

What’s the benefit to your business?

By having two separate teams, we can be confident that we have experts in both tactics working on your strategy and campaigns. Ultimately, we want to refine and streamline our processes to ensure the way we work and where your budget is spent is as efficient and effective as possible.

The benefits of this approach are clear:

  • A varied link profile: Using both digital PR and outreach means we can get links from a broad mix of websites to grow a naturally varied backlink profile.
  • Increased consistency: As the media landscape is so unpredictable, PR results can sometimes be hard to anticipate. Working in conjunction with outreach ensures a more consistent stream of results.
  • Team collaboration: Joint brainstorming sessions and regular communication between teams ensures content is aligned making the messaging to your audience even stronger. Alongside this, our teams frequently share assets such as repurposing a PR campaign to be used by the outreach team allowing us to get the most from anything we produce.
  • Covering more website: There are simply too many websites out there for one team to tackle. A dual approach means we won’t miss important outlets and all bases are covered.
  • Easier to measure: Joined up reporting makes it easier for our teams to keep track of metrics and report on value as part of your wider SEO strategy. As such, it becomes clearer to see the ROI these tactics are having on your business.

Our approach in action

Using this approach with multiple clients, we’ve seen impressive results:

  • 234 high-quality PR links for a bespoke UK furniture company: After running surveys to gather consumer data, we could create multiple engaging PR articles with various angles. This content could also be adapted to work across different formats such as visual graphics that the outreach team leveraged to appeal to a wide range of bloggers.
  • Achieved an average ROI of 1,100% for an independent jeweller: Using data gathered from PR campaigns, we could create informative articles that not only earned media coverage but could also be adapted to be ideal for outreach placement too. The data allowed us to develop a range of different content angles for relevant websites to gain higher DA results.

Our digital PR and outreach specialists are dedicated to driving performance through high-quality link and authority building activity. Combining the expertise of our teams, we can produce and implement high-performing strategies that hit objectives. If you want to find out more about the way we work, please contact our experts.