My main goal as part of Circa Interactive’s Digital PR team is to find relevant and high level news pegs in order to secure media opportunities for our diverse spectrum of professors and programs. By creating opportunities that bring national exposure to our clients while also acquiring credible backlinks to program pages, we accomplish two important client goals: SEO and raising brand awareness. Success in a digital PR role requires having an in-depth understanding of various media outlets and news trends. To stay on top of this, every morning our team takes the time to read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on major national and international events, but it is unfortunately limited in its reach to some of the industry-specific stories that we seek out. This is why having alternative forms of digital news tools is essential to our success, and I highlight some of the top ones below.
BuzzSumo is a great content marketing tool because it allows me to quickly see which content is gaining the most popularity through simple keyword searches. When searching for keywords or topics relevant to our clients, I can sort my list so that I can see which articles, videos, infographics, etc. are the most shared on various social media sites, with a host of other search options available as well. This helps me gain a better understanding of what the media trends are within a particular industry and what types of content have the most success. BuzzSumo also allows me to see who the key influencers are within a particular industry or niche and be more specific and targeted in my outreach, which in turn increases the likelihood of success. For those who want to dig deeper into a particular audience, content type, or network, there are also paid subscription options which will allow for this.
Feedly is a news aggregate site that works great as a PR tool because it allows me to receive news and stories from all of my favorite sources in one place. Though the search mechanisms on Feedly can be difficult to maneuver at first, once familiar with the workings of the site it becomes a very simple way to put all of your favorite sources for news and stories in one place. What is great about Feedly is that you can separate and organize your news by industries and categories, making it much easier to sift through when searching for a particular program or professor.
Flipboard sells itself as a way to create your very own personalized magazine, and it’s a great tool when looking for a PR news peg. Flipboard personalizes its content by having users select seven or more topics that they find interesting, which in turn dictates the types of stories that will show up on one’s feed. The personalization of Flipboard is not quite as detailed as the other apps, but there are some positives that come of this. Flipboard often presents articles that I would almost certainly not have come across otherwise, which makes it an extremely worthwhile tool. As a PR professional, I want to encounter as many story ideas as possible, and Flipboard certainly expands the scope of articles that become visible to me.
With 316 million monthly active users sending over 500 million tweets a day, Twitter is always one of my go-to apps when I’m seeking out the most popular and relevant stories. In just a few clicks, users can follow some of the most influential thought leaders and publications, receiving the most timely updates from them. Hashtags are also greatly beneficial for PR efforts because it makes it possible to see what is trending at any time or discover who is talking about any given topic. For example, it was recently National Health Education Week, and the hashtag #NHEW2015 was created. By searching for this hashtag, I could see who was discussing this event and what they were saying about it, which in turn allowed me to be much more targeted in my outreach. Although the instantaneous nature of Twitter is one of its greatest assets, it can also lead to inaccurate information being published, which is why it’s always important to compare stories and facts to other sources.
George has recently joined the Circa team in California following the completion of his master’s in marketing management and strategy degree, where he graduated with distinction from Plymouth University in England. George is a PR and digital marketing specialist who is passionate about creating high level opportunities for professors within national publications.