The rapidly changing news cycle, especially over the past year, has enabled digital public relations experts to take a step forward in their outreach strategies. With all the changes and the latest news experienced in 2020, digital PR have introduced traditional PR communication techniques as part of their approach. This is the case with “always-on link building,” popularly known as news hijacking.
Always-on is a public relations strategy that takes place in two main scenarios. One is when a reporter has a request for content, and the PR provides them with information that meets that request and helps them with their story. With the second, which has a more proactive approach, the PR will present comments to affected journalists on the basis of recent or upcoming news or events that may be of interest to journalists – even if they have not requested such information. .
For example, since July is “Plastic Free Month,” we created an article for one of our packaging and logistics customers to raise awareness of the amount of plastic that ends up in the oceans. By jumping on that key date, we managed to get some great coverage from One Green Planet and Business Insider, among others.
In both scenarios, this type of activity requires quick responses and deadlines, and for your content to have a strong connection to the news you are trying to relate your customer to. The permanent activation technique has been commonly used in traditional public relations for some time, but, with the rapidly changing news cycle we experienced last year due to the pandemic, it was also quickly adopted. through digital public relations. This is the perfect technique to use if you’re looking to impact SERP results between campaigns and maximize your PR efforts.
What are the benefits of using permalink building?
There are many benefits to using this technique as part of your SEO and marketing strategy, including:
Increase brand awareness through different types of media demographics – this technique allows you to create more flexible content that will appeal to new vertical media
Broaden your media demographics, contributing to greater reach – which translates into an amplification of the brand’s audience
Increase organic traffic – resulting in a bigger and stronger backlink profile
What Makes a Permanent Link Building Strategy Successful?
Time and relevance are the key to a consistently effective strategy. The benefits of this technique are great, but there are a few considerations you should keep in mind:
With permanent activation, timing is everything. If an event occurs, such as the Oscars or Baftas, the commentary or content that the PR wishes to present to the reporter must be sent within 20 minutes of the news being announced.
However, you should also take into account that if an event takes place in the evening, it is likely that other than the reporter covering the event, the rest of the staff will be at home. So, depending on the nature of our content, you may need to consider submitting it the next day. Keep in mind that journalists also have personal lives. So while it helps to have a quick response, always remember that you are talking to human beings.
Time is also important when it comes to working with a client. You need to make sure that the client or the business you represent can deliver the content you need within a certain time frame. It is important to build strong relationships with your clients so that you can understand if they will be fit to get involved in this type of PR activity and persuade them to commit to faster turnaround times if necessary. It is important to be creative with the content of your ongoing strategy, just like the logistics of managing the process.
As public relations professionals, we take every possible opportunity to have our clients featured in the media. However, it’s important to remember that not all requests are right for your client. Before presenting a journalist’s request to your client, a few questions to ask are: Can my client provide substantial knowledge or relevant commentary on this topic? Is this the type of post my client should be in? Will it benefit my client from an SEO perspective? If the answer to some of these questions is “no,” you may need to go back to the drawing board and look for other opportunities.
A good example of this is when we spotted a request from a reporter asking for information about ‘ex-partner nudes’ and thought that one of our clients in the law and abuse industry might be perfect for collaboration. After asking the above questions and getting a ‘yes’ to each of them, we decided to share the request with the client and seize the opportunity, which brought us great coverage from GQ.
Always-on is becoming a technique more and more used by digital PR, in particular because it has had to adapt to the constantly evolving news cycle. This technique requires a deep knowledge of the media industry and relevant events, a deep understanding of the clients you work with, and an ability to deliver content quickly. In turn, customers’ brand awareness will increase, their reach will be maximized, they will be identified as authorities within their industry and this will drive organic traffic to their website.
Ariadna Gonzalez, senior digital public relations consultant at Greenlight.