Roberto Popolizio, interviewed Darcy Cudmore, founder of Darcy Allan PR, a Digital PR agency securing coverage and links from top media sites, leveraging outreach platforms like HARO, and several other strategies.
Darcy is going to explain what digital PR really means, why it’s not to be confused with link building, how he has leveraged Fiverr
to start his career, and how he sees AI impacting the industry.
Please Present Darcy Allan PR To Our Audience. What Services Do You Offer?
Darcy Allan PR is a small PR company that helps our clients secure online coverage so they can grow their presence and, in turn, their business. After working with a PR firm for a number of years, I gathered an array of experience that I can use to help clients secure the coverage they desire.
We currently work with clients in a variety of areas, including linkbuilding (SEO), traditional PR coverage, influencer marketing, media mentions, podcast appearances, and so much more!
How does digital PR work, and what’s the difference with linkbuilding?
Digital PR is the adaptation of traditional PR, but in an online world. Instead of having your brand talked about in newspapers and news stations, it is now more effective to have it talked about in the online world. Gaining mentions on blogs, podcasts, and even social media is a much more effective way to get noticed. Much of the same methods are used – while new methods have also been developed – but the target publications are a bit different, with a specific focus being on the digital world.
What types of digital PR campaigns are most effective in your experience?
It’s still effective to pitch local news outlets with the hope that they will write about you and publish it online. This allows your company to gain online mentions specifically in publications that could be read by potential clients. If you are a brick and mortar company with an actual location, then having a news outlet feature your company for readers to see can benefit you in a number of ways. From traditional news outlets, local blogs, and even influencers, I’m a big fan of local PR because of the relevancy it can have for readers.
I also recommend you target niche blogs related to the field of your work you are involved in. For example, if your company sells suspenders, then it will be beneficial for you to gain PR coverage in a fashion outlet. This will allow you to be seen by potential customers and could provide a variety of benefits for you over time. Niche publications are outlets dedicated to a specific area of work.
Can you give an overview of your process to create an effective Digital PR campaign?
Every company can benefit from PR in a different way and the niche you are in might mean a different strategy. I always meet with clients virtually to get an understanding for who they are, what they do, and what type of coverage they are hoping to acquire. In short: what is your goal with digital PR?
After I can understand their goals, I can propose a number of strategies that can help them achieve it. Oftentimes, there are a few different strategies we can pursue and this often leads to an A/B (and maybe even an A/B/C test), especially to start our campaign. Once we’re recognized the best strategies to pursue, we’re prepared to begin our work.
Initial tasks usually include compiling a list of targets, writing a press release, and putting together media kits that will be helpful in our outreach. It all starts with an onboarding call and is perfected through ongoing conversations between me and the client.
What are the key elements of a good digital PR campaign?
Clear expectations, persistence, and a good story are the 3 key elements for a digital PR campaign.
- Expectations need to be set and understood before starting with a client. Be sure to keep expectations relative to the work you are doing and write down your goals before starting. You must have a target to make the most out of your work or you could end up operating aimlessly toward nothing.
- Persistence. PR is not something you can turn on and off at will. It requires a persistent strategy that is executed over a period of time. Don’t expect results immediately and don’t quit too early. Dedicate yourself to your PR and tweak things as you go. The companies and individuals who can put together a persistent PR campaign are the ones who will see the biggest benefits.
- A good story. The key to a very successful PR campaign is a good story. Everyone has a story, but making the most of it is crucial in securing the coverage you want. Find the story and run with it. Without a story, what do you have to offer?
You had quite some success on freelancing platforms. Which one is the best right now to start a career in Digital PR?
I loved working on Fiverr and occasionally used it to find new clients. It’s an excellent platform that allows you to set up specific gigs you are specialized in and you can get a read on views, prices, and more in real time. Fiverr has done a great job in gamifying their platform and you can earn real money using it.
Take pride in your profile and create gigs that people want. If you can do it well, you could end up being quite successful!
How Do You Think AI Will Impact The PR Industry, And How Do You Plan To Use It?
New AI writing tools are being used to automate some of the processes in PR, which can be quite helpful. AI is a powerful tool and it only makes sense that PR professionals adapt to it and benefit from its usefulness. I believe AI will continue to grow in its ability to write and automate basic tasks, but I believe the best PR campaigns will always thrive because of the personalization process.
For me, I try to implement personalization as much as I can in my client’s PR strategies and I believe it’s one reason why I have been successful in the work I do. The more genuine and authentic you can be, the better results you’ll get. In my outreach and relationship building, I always try to show my personal side. I want people to know that they are interacting with a real person and use those authentic features that can make a real difference in the work I am doing.