Digital PR—Building Relationships, Not Links


Link building is still deemed to be an essential SEO technique, and many organizations have jumped on this bandwagon without understating all the moving parts. To get it right, it has to rely on the pillars of trust, meaning that relationships are the glue that holds marketing efforts together.

In fact, many experts claim you should turn your priorities around and realize that the best way to acquire meaningful links is to commit to conducting good PR. The best thing about this approach is that it often does not cost you anything other than time and energy.

In the Public’s Eye

Many enterprises go to great lengths to find the backlinks their competitors are using, harnessing the power of tools like Ahrefs in the process. While this may give you a head start, one cannot hope to outmatch their competitors in the arena of building links alone. 

So, the point is not that you should stop building a healthy network of links, but that you need to rethink your strategy and aim marketing campaigns at PR.

Links can be easily replicated, and others can use an intricate series of digital tools to take the proverbial wind out of your sails. To make this scenario less probable, you can engage in crafting distinguished content and promoting it with various outreach and advertising campaigns. 

Finally, there is one type of “free content” which is hard to copy, and it is called PR. Basically, there are no tools for tracking how you obtained connections under the umbrella of PR.

Bridging the Gaps

The beauty of it is that this practice enables you to reap many benefits in their own right.  First of all, it nurtures a continuous support for your company, and helps you convert numerous people into your brand ambassadors. 

Next, as this practice establishes mutually-beneficial bridges, the volume at the top of the funnel is increased. Also, companies that stay open and responsive to customers are able to gather valuable feedback. This supplies you with deeper insights into the problems, dilemmas and cravings of your specific consumer base.

This shifts the way in which marketing campaigns work, enhancing them with new data, connections and channels. Also, the efficiency of outreach activities is taken to the next level through higher response rates. 

Still, to ensure that the aforementioned blessings are bestowed upon you, understanding the different phases of the relationship building process is crucial. Those who are not confident in finding a way through this labyrinth should contact a creative advertising agency and see if a formal partnership can help them make any headway.

Search and Deploy

It all starts with prospecting—one must invest time in finding websites, blogs and companies for establishing lasting connections. Sites that cover similar topics as you do and actively participate in your niche’s digital community are a safe bet. 

One of the best tools out there is Google Alerts— the user sets up email or RSS alerts and is notified whenever keyword-related content talking takes place. There are various settings to be customized according to the type of keyword that’s desired and the rigor of the relationship building strategy at hand.

Now, the next one may seem obvious, but Google search is still a powerful, yet often underutilized tool. With the majority of Internet users present on this digital highway, the possibilities for forging relationships are endless. 

Some of the results you may recognize as competitors, but there will also be helpful results that come your way every now and again, too. If this does not satisfy your needs, turn to solutions such as Topsy. They are used to search for conversations on Google+ and Twitter where your article could be shared and talked about without you even realizing it.

Once targets are identified, one must figure out the best way to approach them. Email correspondence is still king, but many make the mistake of automating email engagement, depriving subscribers of any sort of human touch. 

What you should opt for is a highly personalized message with a catchy subject line and content that quickly grabs a reader’s attention. You want to appear as someone who has time, as well as something valuable to offer. Always be genuine in your PR activities, and use a distinctive voice to communicate any and all messages.

Winning on More Than One Front

Many marketers are slaves of links, amassing them like some sort of online gold rush is underway, while all this time, there was yet another “gold mine” waiting to be discovered.

Building relationships (not links) is what sets solid ground for enhancing your online presence, and helps you gain an edge over the competition. Get into the art of prospecting, find the best targets and send personal, eye-catching emails. Links will come as a natural byproduct of such diligence, and you will soon realize that you have a win-win scenario working for your benefit.


Raul Harman is a B.Sc. in innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he's not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on