10 Stats That Will Make You Rethink Digital PR


U.S. digital marketing spend is projected to reach nearly $120 billion by 2021. A large proportion of that, we believe, will end up being spent on the growing sector of digital PR.

More and more consumers are blocking out targeted advertising, and for many companies this means thinking about new ways of communication. Digital PR is a fast-growing part of online marketing, and it’s something your company needs to consider for its online success.

Here are 10 facts you need to know in order to build or reshape your public relations strategy.

1. Getting Online

Nearly half of all small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website. But over 80% of Americans are connected to the Internet. If you don’t have your own website yet, you need one ASAP. This will be a primary place for consumers to interact with your brand, and for your business to manage how it is presented online.

If you’re not online and customers can’t find you, journalists may also struggle to make contact. This could lead to confusion and possibly even harm your business. If you’re unable to respond or comment effectively in the media, you’ll miss out on opportunities to have your brand’s voice heard.

2. Managing Your Online Reputation

With so many people using the Internet, you have to be online yourself to see what the public and the media are saying about you or your business. Having a website, though, is just the first step.

Disturbingly, research shows that fake reports can spread much faster than accurate reports. True rumors are confirmed within around 2 hours, but it takes over 14 hours for the average false rumor to be debunked. Your PR team needs to be ready to respond to these, and issue statements at any time to combat the spread of misinformation. Otherwise, unverified rumors could damage your business’ reputation.

3. Journalists Have More Access to Information

In a world with data at our fingertips, journalists can dig up innumerable facts, statistics and stories. As mentioned before – not all of these will be right, and false information needs to be dealt with swiftly by your PR strategist. Your team should pro-actively seek out and correct false facts.

However, journalists are in a powerful position when they can put together a well-sourced story from the comfort of their desks. PR professionals need to stay up-to-speed and be ready to provide just as detailed press releases and responses to journalists who get in touch.

Regularly searching for your own company’s name in the ‘news’ section of Google is a good start, but you also need to see what journalists are saying on social — follow them to keep in touch and up to date with their coverage. Using custom searches on platforms like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck can be helpful too.

4. Digital PR Can’t Rely Solely on Press Releases

Nearly every reputable journalist searches the web daily, and 73% of them go online to find press releases. That still leaves a large number of writers who are eschewing press releases in favor of other online sources. So your business needs to cover itself in other places than its own website.

PR professionals and marketers need to expand their reach online, and go to the places the journalists are going — which you may largely find to be social media these days. Traditional press releases are still important, of course, for both journalists and for SEO reasons — so don’t forego them completely. They’re particularly useful when optimized with keywords to help drive organic traffic to your website.

5. Users Are Blocking Adverts

Ad blocker usage is up 30% this year, as users become more and more suspicious of direct marketing. They are actively rebellingagainst ‘Read More’ buttons, sharing buttons and display advertising.

If your site has too much of this clutter, you’ll see the negative results in your bounce rate. However, having a solid pr strategy in place can be used to fill in the gaps left behind by the ad blockers. Even if your customers can’t see adverts, they can still see the hard-won news coverage which your PR team secured. Furthermore, they can still see advertorials and sponsored content.

When users ignore paid-for search results, your integrated digital PR and SEO strategy will make sure they see you in the organic results instead. Hit the right keywords on your website and in your press releases, then sit back and watch your rank move up!

6. Why You Need to Be Using Social Media

The number of active Facebook users now stands at nearly 2 billion per month. People talk on social. They exchange ideas and opinions — and thoughts about brands. If they’re talking about your brand, you need to be active in the conversation and manage how this reflects upon your organization as a whole.

Your customers expect you to be present on social media. But that’s not all – they expect you to respond to them in a timely manner, too. A whopping 42% expect a response to their questions in less than an hour, and 9% want to hear back in just 5 minutes!

Meanwhile, paying close attention to social media can be particularly rewarding if your business is targeting a millennial audience. This group is 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites. Although blogging is not directly related to social media, it does relate to the rise of influencer marketing. See point 9 for more on that.

7. How Are You Using Online Video?

Video is becoming increasingly more common with companies in search of online exposure. There may be more cost involved than more traditional forms of content, but particularly when video is shared through social media, the potential for that content to go viral is huge. The majority of marketers who have used video marketing in their strategy say it has a direct, positive impacton their business.

For public relations, videos can be used to issue statements and now it’s even possible to respond in real-time to questions from the public. If you’re looking to cultivate an image of being an open and honest brand, or want to engage directly with your audience rather than through a media lens, this type of activity is invaluable.

If you’re a B2B organization, you should also be aware that 59% of executives prefer video content over text. Pre-produced corporate videos can help answer a larger volume of questions in a shorter amount of time than traditional content, making it ideal for c-level execs in a time-crunch.

8. Thinking About Thought Leadership

PR professionals should be looking to get C-level executives interview exposure in a setting that lends itself to thought leadership. A regular blog written by (or ghostwritten for) your CEO can also increase your standing in the eyes of others.

A stockpile of content like this can be very useful to share with journalists who are looking for a quote or background information. It helps to get your brand’s name out there and helps you appear as an expert voice in your space.

That being said, you need to be careful and avoid going overboard. In a recent survey where buyers of consulting services were questioned, more than 90% of people think that having great thought leadership content improves a brand’s image — but also that poor content would put them off a firm, proving that quality is better than quantity.

9. Influencers Send a Powerful Message

Influencers are people who have an abundance of engaged followers on their Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts. They partner with brands to promote or review their products and services, and give that brand exposure with a captive audience. Their followers are very likely to watch videos or interact with posts they produce for you.

It might be hard to believe, but 92% of consumers trust influencers more than they would an advertisement or a celebrity endorsement. The use of influencer content is a good way around the issue of ad blocking software, too. Since customers are coming to influencers for entertainment reasons, they don’t get the same feeling of being marketed to that comes with traditional digital advertising.

10. Good Digital PR Means Authoritative and Numerous Backlinks

A good PR strategy will sit hand-in-hand with your search engine optimization (SEO) marketing. One of its many purposes is to generate backlinks to your website, from authoritative websites like major newspapers and popular blogs. For SEO, this is valuable, as these links will ‘impress’ Google, helping to push your own website up the search engine rankings.

While authoritative backlinks are extremely important, digital relations is also focused around brand awareness. You have to get your brand name seen and heard across the web. This is a type of off site, or off page, SEO. That’s just a fancy way of saying that while people aren’t being directly pushed toward your brand, they see it around — and if they recognize a name that’s been spoken of elsewhere, they’re more likely to trust it.

Let These Stats Lead Your Online Success

Digital PR is quickly gaining importance for businesses today, but it’s just one aspect of your overall web presence to keep in mind. Your entire digital strategy needs to consider SEO, PPC, content marketing, display ads and much more — the PR side of things can support and enhance most of these points.

Now that you’re up to date on why this service is so important, we’re sure you’ll be briefing the PR team very soon on making some changes. Of course, your team is likely already very busy. It might be time to consider bringing in external professionals, like iSynergy. Our big picture approach has produced successful and fully-integrated strategies for a huge range of clients. Contact us today – we’d love to discuss how we can help your business thrive online.

Important PR Keywords to Include on Your Website


Traditional public relations has roots reaching back much further than the internet. Embracing technology and using SEO to your advantage will help your marketing campaigns have a bigger impact.

Search engines have become a part of everyday life. Think about the last time you went an entire day without Googling something — almost impossible, right? The total number of online searches has risen every year since it’s invention. In 2017, that amounts to an average of 3.5 billion searches per day!

Using PR keywords on your website will increase your SEO ranking and help you reach more of those people searching. Plus, increased ranking means more visitors and more brand awareness.

Here are some ways to use keywords on your website to ramp up your SEO today!

How to Plan Your PR Keywords

Some keywords might seem obvious to you, like the name of your product or company. That’s a great start, but it’s important to use keywords that people are actually searching for. You’d be surprised at how different your expectation of search terms is from the actual keywords your target audience is using. Hint: businesses usually miss the mark about 90% of the time.

Using Google Keyword Planner

A great way to do that is with Google’s free Keyword Planner. You need a Google AdWords account to access it, but you don’t need to buy any ads.

Once you log in, click on Get Search Volume Data and Trends.

Type some keyword ideas into the box, and click Get Search Volume. You’ll see how many people search for those keywords, on average each month.

For example, if you’re a car dealership, you could try entering keywords like:

  1. car dealership (CityName)
  2. new cars (CityName)
  3. used cars (CityName)
  4. buy a car
  5. buy a car (CityName)

On the results page, choose keywords that have a high number of people searching for them.

Those are the PR keywords you should use on your website because the highest number of people are searching for them. When your content appears in a search result, people will find you and ideally click to visit your site.

Using Google Trends

Google Trends is another good source for keywords.

You can type in a topic to search to see historical search data, or you can see what the current trending topics are. Then, you can use this data to publish content on your website with those keywords.

But where should you add those to your site? Read on to find out!

How to Implement Your PR Keywords

Once you have a list of keywords, you’ll want to use them in several areas of your website:

Page Meta Title and Description

This is what shows up when you look at search results in Google. It’s the title of the page, and the 1-2 line blurb underneath it. Be sure to include your keyword in the title and at least once in the description text.

Image ALT Tags and Filename

Name images on your website with your keywords, such as “car-dealership-cityname.jpg”. You should also include relevant keywords in the ALT tag of the image. This can be done with a bit of HTML.

Some website platforms, like WordPress or HubSpot, have an easy way to add this when you upload an image.

Website Headings

Make sure your keywords appear in at least several large headings throughout your website. Those headings should be <h1> or <h2> tags. Heading tags range from h1 to h6, with one being more important in Google’s eyes than six.

Adding important terms to h1 headings throughout your copy is an easy way to increase your search engine ranking.

Website Body Copy

Use your keywords throughout your body content, but remember to keep it sounding natural. If Google thinks you’re trying to stuff keywords into content, you’ll get penalized instead of rewarded.

For maximum impact, use your keyword 2-5 times per every 250-500 words. At that ratio, you typically won’t be penalized for keyword stuffing.

Remember that although Google algorithms should be in the back of your mind any time you write content, it’s more important to make your content appeal to humans, not machines. Avoid over-using your keywords, which could come across as being spammy. An appropriate suggested keyword density is around 1.5%.

Keyword density is calculated like so: (Number of keywords / Number of words) * 100

For example, if you use a keyword 3 times in a 400-word piece of content, your keyword density would be (3/400)*100 = 0.75%.

Press Releases

This may seem obvious, but you should also use your keywords in your actual press releases.

Press releases distributed digitally through services like PRWeb or Newswire can positively impact your SEO when they include your keywords. Plus, they’re also a great source of links back to your website, further helping your SEO rank.

Social Media

Did you know that search engines take social media into account too? They do— so be sure to use your keywords in posts on your social networks.

Frequently updated, SEO-friendly social media accounts help your ranking. This practice also helps potential customers find your brand.

White Papers

Whether offline or online, include keywords in your white papers.

Even if this content isn’t indexed by search engines, your customers will recognize your keywords. This furthers your brand awareness and helps you remain top of mind to customers.

(Not sure how to do all of this yourself? We can help! Ask us about our marketing and PR services.)

Is Your Website Crawlable?

Google recently changed the name of Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console. It’s a powerful tool that’s free to use.

Visit Google Seach Console, sign in with a Google account, and click Add Property. There are a few ways to verify your website and the wizard will walk you through it. Once you’ve been verified with Search Console, Google will crawl your website regularly.

Crawling means it looks for new content and indexes that content into search results. Your content will show up more frequently in search results if it is easily crawlable by the internet spiders.

Benefits of Using PR Keywords on Your Website

There are mounds of benefits that come from properly optimizing your website for keywords, such as:

  1. Increased SEO ranking
  2. Increased traffic to your website
  3. Heightened brand recognition

When it comes to adding in PR keywords to increase your SEO ranking, it’s not “the more the merrier.” Try a few different phrases that are unique but still relevant to your topic.

A good rule of thumb is:

  1. Include your main target keyword 2-5 times per 250-500 words
  2. Include variations throughout, in a natural sounding way

An example of this is if your main keyword is “dog treats”, you’d want to include that term 2-5 times in your website copy.

Then, use some related phrases like “healthy dog treats”, “dog treat recipes” or even “dog food” in your copy. If someone is searching for those keywords, your post could show up in those results too.

Increasing Website Traffic with SEO

SEO is a long-term strategy, so don’t feel discouraged when you don’t see big results right away. Make sure you set realistic expectations for the amount of time you hope to see results.

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to start seeing a measurable increase in traffic from search engines after optimizing your SEO. Also keep in mind that it’s important to regularly add keyword-optimized content to your site.

Google and other search engines take into account the quality of your content and how frequently you update your website. You should see results from a concentrated SEO campaign within four to six months.

More Ways to Improve Your SEO with PR Keywords

In addition to keyword-rich content on your website, social media, and other channels, you can:

Get Backlinks from Other Sites

Getting links back to your website from high authority domains is a crucial factor for improving your SEO. When you send out a press release, include a link to your website in it. When news outlets publish your release, that link appears on their website.

News sites like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and many others, are great authority websites. Having backlinks from authority sites like those can be very beneficial to increasing your own authority, and domain ranking. For content other than press releases, build relationships with authority websites in your category and ask for links. Comment on their content and include a link back to your website.

Start a PPC Campaign

Another easy way to increase your SEO and make use of your keywords is to launch a PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising campaign.

Typically this is done with Google AdWords, though other options exist. Studies show that using PPC along with traditional keyword optimization can increase your total website traffic from search by as much as 66%.

Write Longer Content

Longform content, typically described as content between 1,200 to 2,500 words, ranks extremely well in search engines. All ten of the top organic Google search results for over 20,000 different keywords were longer than 2,000 words in a recent experiment.

Not every piece of content on your website needs to be long form, but having at least a few posts that are will help your SEO a lot.


SEO is a huge topic to cover. This article has hopefully provided you with an overview of some of the ways you should be using your PR keywords on your website, and other channels that can help you.

Some key takeaways to start implementing today are:

  1. Make sure all of your content is keyword optimized, including social media, press releases, offline materials and newsletters
  2. Be sure to use your PR keywords in key areas of your website, such as H1 headings, subheadings, page URLs, page titles and image ALT tags
  3. Ensure your website is set up with Google Search Console, and easily crawlable
  4. Consider starting a PPC/AdWords campaign
  5. Write longer content for your website

Have big ideas for your PR campaigns, but lacking the time or human resources to implement them? That’s what we’re here for!

Contact us for a consultation, and let us manage all your PR campaigns for you and your clients to help you see the best results.

Role Book: Digital Advertising Agency


Digital advertising (done correctly) can take businesses to new levels of success. It’s an art. It’s not for the faint of heart. And, it’s certainly much more involved than simply building a site on Weebly. A kickass digital advertising agency employs layers of experts – all of whom work to combine modern online technologies with traditional offline methods in order to attract, engage, and delight clients on a daily basis.

Most of all, however, the best digital advertising firms use creative designs to breathe life into the visions of their customers. They define, design, and deliver. They strive to question the status quo. They collaborate and strategize. And, above all else, at the very core, each team member has an innate curiosity and team-oriented mindset.

So, what roles make up a good digital advertising firm?

Creative Director

The begin all and end all – a creative director brings innovative vision and extraordinary interpretation skills to the table. Focus, resiliency, and efficiency help the creative director flush out the best in both people and products. They possess a wealth of experience in consulting, and that insight ultimately helps guide others to a final product worthy of the company name (sorry, new grads – this likely won’t be your first job title).

A creative director must have focus and an analytical mindset, along with diplomacy and courage to effectively work with a diverse staff. Newsflash – advertising agencies are comprised of creative, imaginative thinkers… It’s not all pant suits and briefcases. A good creative director is able to harness all of the creative energy swirling around the office and develop advertising schemes for clients that help them sell products and services.

Project Manager

A strong project manager is uber-organized and skilled in solving complex problems in a simple way. This is the person in the office who keeps an eye on workflow and deliverable accountability at all times (yikes). Hitting deadlines is their specialty. Checking items off a to-do list makes their hearts skip a beat. If you see them standing in your doorway, watch out!

In addition to managing processes, project managers often wear multiple hats – they are team builders, communicators, problem solvers, educators, and detectives. They have the vision to see the big picture and the competence to understand that all parts of the digital advertising machine are essential.

 Lead Developer

When your creative staff comes up with an out-of-the-box website concept but wonders if it can ACTUALLY be done, you want your developer’s answer to be a resounding “yes!” Smart digital advertising agencies find (and keep) themselves a coding genius with mad development skills because a great programmer makes life SO MUCH EASIER.

Not only should your lead developer be someone who loves to solve puzzles, but they also need to be interested in the business (and understand the importance of deadlines). Developers build and maintain the sites that your company creates. Read that again… Developers BUILD and MAINTAIN the sites your company creates – long story short, they are the cornerstone of a digital advertising agency! Treat them well (and always keep their favorite caffeine source stocked).

Director of Digital Media

The director of digital media is an advertising savant fluent in client satisfaction. He or she has an uncanny ability to see the big picture, and knows the idiosyncrasies of each audience – which are, perhaps, their most important qualities. Directors of digital media don’t have the luxury of being slackers. They are the ultimate consultant, so being even a day behind on current trends means that they’re up the creek (without that ever-important paddle).

This person is not just a great salesperson; their capabilities go far beyond that. Directors of digital media are in a constant state of brainstorming. Their love of market research and web analytics sets them apart, and their years of experience gives them a unique perspective for each and every client.

Art Director

The art director is the creative guru – they have an unlimited imagination for print and digital branding. Their years of design experience gives them an ability to see things in a way no one else can, and their talent for inspiring fellow team members always brings out the best in others.

Being collaborative, with the ability to think strategically and creatively, is essential. Art directors possess a thorough understanding of photography, typography, and printing, and often commission specialists in order to complete campaign projects. They take words and create pictures, and are ultimately responsible for bringing the customer’s vision to life.

Interactive Designer

Art makes you feel something, while design makes you do something – great interactive designers use their abilities and knowledge to facilitate both. They are the makers of magic!

These individuals are naturally creative and innately interested in the evolution of design. They are responsible for creating the overall look and feel of a wide range of interactive communication products (ranging from logo creation to front-end web design), and the truly great ones make even the most complex information understandable (interactive designers love infographics)!

Brand Strategist

The brand strategist is the office’s “glass half-full” thinker. This person has a keen eye for design, but also an intense focus on deliverables. A GOOD brand strategist has the ability to take in large amounts of information and then concisely and logically explain it to a client. A GREAT one does that AND generates excitement and anticipation in the process.

The brand strategist is the “authority” with clients, and their confidence and capacity for empathy builds a level of trust that may not otherwise be achieved (if you can’t confidently look someone in the eye, this is not the position for you).

Visual Media Manager

A visual media manager’s day is never the same, which is a good thing for this free-spirited type of individual. They view the world through a (literal) lens –  and can find beauty and uniqueness in even the most mundane things.

Technical skills are invaluable and the strongest agencies will employ photographers who are also certified by businesses like Google (insert our shameless plug for Google 360 Street View for Businesses here… wink, wink).

Content Marketing Manager

The content marketing manager is the new-age copywriter – an in-house wordsmith and brand storyteller with the ability use content strategy at the drop of a hat. They have an inbound marketing mindset, but even more, they realize that (despite the pretty pictures and fancy fonts) today’s readers will only stay if the content is worthy of their time.

Content marketing managers, like their copywriting counterparts before them, still agonize over adjectives, BUT their ability to weave a great story is now intricately intertwined with a proficiency in SEO and inbound marketing techniques. An exceptional content marketing manager can convey exactly what the customer is thinking – even when the customer can’t articulate those thoughts on their own – and often is able to inject a sense of humor and lightheartedness into their creations.

So, what’s the take-away here?

A digital advertising firm isn’t a one-man show… it takes a village (to raise a superior advertising strategy).

Great digital advertising firms don’t simply employ team members – they employ a TEAM OF LEADERS; dreamers and thinkers who can turn words into pictures and pictures into words!

Top 5 Elements of a Superior Website


Web design is definitely not what it used to be. I mean, remember this?


In today’s world, you’re competing with a sea of possibilities for web presence. Add to that the fact that user attention spans are shorter than ever before. The result? It’s super important to grab attention within the first couple of seconds, and in order to do that, there are several elements you should always keep in mind prior to design.

Top 5 Elements of a Superior Website


    Kind of common sense, we know, but you’d be surprised at what we’ve come across over the years. Business owners who already have a web presence can be extremely protective of old, outdated website designs. And, if the website is a new project, you can bet your bottom dollar that most owners already “know what they want.”What everyone forgets, however, is that even though the website (and its design) is ABOUT the company, it is DESIGNED FOR the consumer. The consumer is your target… always. It’s their opinion that counts, so leave your personal preferences at the doorstep. Understand your customers’ habits, demographics, and triggers, and if you don’t already know about buyer personas, now’s the time to learn!

    Always set a goal for your brand strategy prior to your site’s creation/redesign, and make that goal clear to your visitors – at all times. Your pictures and design may be on point, but if visitors aren’t sure why they’re on your site (or what they’re getting from it), they will find one with a clearer message.“Click Here” (gotcha… that, my friends, is a call-to-action)! CTAs are simple – typically an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.” Are you selling products? If so, make the purchasing process accessible from anywhere on the site. Are you trying to convert site visitors into active clients? Give those visitors a reminder to contact you on each and every page (and link that reminder directly to your phone number, email, etc). CREATE A CALL TO ACTION!

    New content = Returning clients. Plain and simple.What this doesn’t mean, however, is to stuff meaningless copy, pictures, blogs, and articles onto your website at random. Have a plan.Consider incorporating social media integration into your web design and PR tactics. Build a following. Followers are likely repeat customers, and, repeat customers often become walking billboards for your brand – so keep them engaged! Or, take it a step further and consider content marketing strategies. Don’t know what content marketing entails? Check out our blog.

    Consistency in branding builds trust and recognition among consumers. Why is Disney such a ginormous success? They are consistent. People know what to expect at all times – magic!In the UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research VII, the article Brand Image and Walt Disney: A Qualitative Analysis of “Magical Gatherings” notes:There is perhaps no greater priority among organizations than developing, projecting, and maintaining positive images of themselves and their products and services. A brilliant image can strengthen an organization’s credibility and help persuade customers to engage in desired economic action—to buy a specific brand or product. Thus, a good brand image will popularize not only a specific product but also the company that provides it (see the full research article here).

    Web design should be accessible on any device – especially on mobile. With more than 45% of internet users connecting via mobile devices, responsive design is more important than ever before and will only continue to grow in importance.Your site’s accessibility is compounded by its need to provide a seamless transition across multiple platforms… a process known as omni-channel marketing. Again, let’s consider the example of Disney.Omni-channel marketing is the concept of providing a consistent experience across all channels and technologies that a customer uses to interact with a particular brand. Disney is the master of this… Think about it. Whether you’re on their website (desktop or mobile), a Disney app, watching tv, or using their My Disney Experience, your expectations for their brand are always the same (and always met).

    For some more examples of great omni-channel experiences, check out our blog Omni-Channel Envy.

Without a doubt, these 5 things will take a website from good to great. It’s impossible to build a solid brand identity without consistency, engagement, and accessibility. How are those achieved? KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Always, always, always keep them top-of-mind, because once you know your clients (and their drivers), everything else will fall into place!