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4 Brands That Are Winning with Digital PR

Creating and maintaining a winning digital PR strategy is a must in today’s marketplace. As nearly all consumers are connected to the internet or to digital media in some way, knowing how to succeed in the digital marketplace is a must.

One of the best ways to learn how to do that – as well as what mistakes to avoid – is to look at what other brands are doing. Some strategies work across platforms, and others are specific to that industry, marketplace, or that platform, but winning examples offer a lot of positive, helpful information. With that in mind, let’s look at four brands that continue to develop and implement successful digital PR strategies.

AMEX Builds Community

Many brands talk a good game about building an “online community” for consumers to connect with each other and engage with the brand. American Express has actually succeeded in this endeavor. The brand makes this happen by adding real value to their online forum. Financial experts, as well as people with knowledge across a wide spectrum of disciplines, are invited to share their knowledge in the forum. Response and feedback are encouraged, so, over time, the site has become a trove of excellent, authoritative content on a variety of topics. Users love it, and search engines do too. The lesson? No matter what happens online, good content is still king.

Dollar Shave Club Makes Tedium Fun

Nearly everyone has to shave. Most of us don’t enjoy it. Shaving can be time-consuming, painful, and frustrating. At best, it’s monotonous and boring… but still necessary. So, for years, shaving products companies have been arguing about features and benefits, offering more technology along with other bells and whistles meant to make the mundane somehow interesting. This approach went on for decades, until the big brands were down to simply arguing over who had the most blades and the most comfortable shave. Enter Dollar Shave Club. The online brand hit the scene running with fun and funny digital PR campaigns that grabbed attention in unexpected ways. The brand asked social media users silly questions that invited engagement and sometimes compelled it. While the brand made sure consumers knew they took their product seriously, they didn’t take themselves too seriously, leading to tens of millions of genuinely happy customers.

JetBlue Shifts the Focus

Instead of a constant stream of brand promotion on its social media pages, discount airline JetBlue uses its social platforms for customer engagement. When a JetBlue customer has a question or a concern, they know if they post on Twitter, help is on the way. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with self-promotion on social media, putting the customers’ concerns and needs first will always work out better. JetBlue customers know the brand is there for them, and that someone will respond when they express a concern. How many other brands inspire that level of confidence through their digital PR?

Zappos Guarantees Satisfaction

This online shoe retailer has to deal with several specific challenges. Not everyone can just go by size or style when buying footwear online. There are a lot of variables, and that means a lot of additional opportunities for customer service. Fortunately for Zappos, the company understands this, and they have built multiple levels of excellent customer service into their platform. This begins with an incredible 365-day money back guarantee, which removes one potential drawback for many consumers shopping for shoes online. People love that guarantee, so word of mouth is easy. This comes from a perspective that permeates everything Zappos does online: they think about what the customer would want, rather than what they want to sell the customer. In today’s marketplace, which makes it easy for consumers to share their feedback with the world, a consumer-first approach creates a ton of positive buzz online.

While each of these examples offers something for every brand to learn, brands should also look at their specific industry to see what their competitors are up to, good and bad. Let those experiences reveal what they have to teach.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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