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Digital PR Tips for Charities

Digital PR Tips for Charities

Digital PR has long been demonised and viewed as an unattainable way of getting a charity’s name out there. We are here to change that and help charities with actionable tips to create, execute and monitor their digital PR campaigns.

First off, let’s establish the difference between digital PR and link building. Link building simply consists of acquiring links to the site, and that can be done by many ways, including the spammy and unsustainable method of ‘buying links.’ On the other hand, digital PR is more like public relations, but online.

As harnessing the power of strategic communication is crucial for charities to amplify their voices and foster meaningful connections with their audiences, each digital PR campaign should have its own strategy, tailored to attain the end goal, be it brand awareness, leads, or donations.

Let’s kick off with this comprehensive guide to crafting digital PR strategies best suited to your cause.

Your Actionable Digital PR Roadmap

What makes digital PR distinctive from other media is the focus around creating a positive brand impression. As it’s one of the best tools to improve the online reputation of your charity, setting the goals and the tone to align the sentiment is vital. Here are the vitals of an evergreen digital PR campaign.

Define Your Goals:

Clarify your mission and objectives. Are you aiming to raise awareness, drive donations, or foster community engagement? Setting clear goals is the cornerstone of any successful digital PR campaign.

Understand Your Audience:

Dive deep into understanding the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience. Crafting personalized messages that resonate with their values and aspirations is key to capturing their attention.

Create Consistent Brand Messaging:

Maintain consistency in your brand messaging across all digital channels. A cohesive and unified voice reinforces your brand identity and builds trust with your audience over time.

Encourage Employee Advocacy:

This one is often overlooked but empower your staff and volunteers to become advocates for your cause. Encourage them to share their experiences, insights, and achievements on social media to amplify your organization’s reach and impact.

Also, for the thought leaders in the charity, sharing their knowledge and insights with journalists can be an effective way to earn media coverage.

Build Relationships:

Easier said than done, but cultivate genuine relationships with influencers, journalists, and stakeholders in your niche. HARO, X (though it’s still Twitter), and Featured are great places to find media coverage opportunities.

Create Newsworthy Content:

It’s all about the sentiment when it comes to digital PR. Craft compelling stories that evoke emotions and inspire action. Whether it’s impactful visuals, thought-provoking articles, or captivating videos, quality content lies at the heart of effective digital PR.

Develop a Distribution Strategy:

You can promote content on owned, earned, and paid channels once the PR coverage is in place. The landing page and the resources of your campaign can be utilized to repurpose and remarket in the future as well, depending on the nature of the campaign.

Leverage Social Media:

Harness the power of social platforms to engage with your audience directly – or better yet, drive them to the social media communities you build. From sparking conversations to sharing impactful stories, build and serve your community.

Collaborate with Influencers:

Partner with influencers and advocates who share your values and mission. Their endorsement and support can amplify your message and reach new audiences with authenticity and credibility.

SEO Optimization:

Repurpose your digital content to ensure maximum visibility and discoverability. Strategic use of keywords, meta tags, and quality backlinks can boost your organic search rankings and drive traffic to your website.

Promoting with Other Channels:

Engage your audience through targeted email campaigns or cover more searches with paid ads. You can also partner with listicles and related websites and take advantage of referral traffic as well.

Online Monitoring:

Stay vigilant by monitoring online conversations about your cause. This allows you to address any misconceptions, respond to feedback promptly, and seize opportunities to engage with your audience in real-time.

Google alerts is a free tool you can use to be notified whenever a website mentions your charity.

Data and Analytics:

Harness the power of data and analytics to gain insights into the effectiveness of your digital PR efforts. Track key metrics, analyze trends, and iterate your strategies based on data-driven insights for continuous improvement. Supporting you with charity sector data is the core of what we do.

Some of the key metrics you can set to effectively measure the impact of digital PR include:

  • Clicks and impressions (in Google Search Console)
  • Increase in trends around the campaign topic
  • Social shares
  • Earned links
  • Leads and donations

We would always recommend joining the Charity Digital Benchmark as well to understand what good looks like in terms of traffic split in your cause area.

Benefits of Digital PR for Charities:

What does it all serve, though? Benefits of digital PR encompass visibility, improved brand awareness, better engagement, and more.

Here are how charities benefit from digital PR:

  • Increased visibility
  • Links from authoritative top-tier publications
  • Stronger reputation and sentiment
  • More traffic and awareness
  • Improved fundraising and donations
  • Community engagement

These benefits are not limited to the campaign, and they bring enduring benefits to your charity, including improving your website.

Harnessing the Synergy between Marketing and Digital PR:

Charities can use digital PR to effectively establish their authority and improve coverage online.

Even though it’s a highly competitive field and the results are not guaranteed, we encourage charities to build strong relationships with journalists in their niche and give digital PR a go, over link-building tactics.

This would not only improve visibility and sentiment but grant brands evergreen resources and leverage that can be utilized for years afterwards, and serve as a rich foundation to be built on and iterated.

If you have any questions about the execution or reporting of your digital PR campaign, drop us a line at hello@upriseup.co.uk.

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How to find Journalist Requests for your Charity

A journalist writing down ideas in a notebook

Exploring journalist requests for your charity is a great way to gain coverage and get yourself mentioned in articles on high authority websites. Digital PR may be a channel you are yet to explore, or you are just not in a position to run full scale campaigns. However, by keeping an eye on the news and checking journalist requests on a regular basis, you can find opportunities your charity can utilize.


What is a journalist request?

A journalist request is request from a journalist who is currently writing a story, but needs support from a particular source to provide examples or give an expert opinion. They have found an interesting topic to write about but often want to back it up with comments from a credible source, so their article carries more weight and authority.

As you can imagine, journalists have big networks of different people they have worked with previously. But there are often times where they do not have anyone in these networks they can lean upon, which is where the requests come in.


Where can you find journalist requests?

Journalist requests can be found online via many different sources such as Twitter, Google Alerts and by media inquiry websites. You may find they post to a few of these networks to find the perfect source for their story, so be sure to check as many as possible.


Journalists are extremely active on the social media platform Twitter. This is often their first port of call when looking for a collaborator. Don’t worry if you are panicking that you now need to follow every single journalist under the sun to spot your opportunity. They help us out by using two common hashtags. #JournoRequest and #PRRequest. Follow these hashtags to see all the requests’ journalists being posted, along with more information about what insights they want plus deadlines and contact info. When you find journalists relevant to your charity you can follow them for more updates and opportunities in the future.

someone tweeting a journo request to charities



HARO, which is, Help A Reporter Out, is a media request service where you get emailed regularly with requests from journalists. You simply go to the website, sign up, select the industries and topics you are interested in and wait for emails to come into your inbox.

This service is free, so is definitely worth signing up for your charity. You receive daily emails, in which you get a breakdown of the media title, what is requested, the deadline and who to contact so you know straight away if it’s something you have time to act on.


Paid Tools

Paid for services such as Response Source, Cision and Press Quest are subscription platforms that journalists use to help find that reputable source. We typically use tools such as Cision to find journalists and reporters, but it also has the feature that allows them to pitch to us and if we are a good fit, we can approach with what they need.


Cision logo ResponseSource logo



Google Alerts

Google alerts is a great way of keeping up to date with news and current trends. These are super easy to create in your Google account, you can set up key phrases to track and every time it is mentioned on Google, you can a notification via email. This is useful as journalists may have covered a story but lack an opinion, so it’s a great opportunity for you to contact them and offer expert advice. Great for a reactive PR approach.

Google Alerts


Why are journalist requests a good tactic for charities?

Journalists are always looking for expert advice and opinions and being a charity means you have a lot of this information at your fingertips. Digital PR as a whole can eat up a lot of budget, so charities in particular are always more cautious about where and how their marketing budget is spent when it comes to digital PR activity. Pursuing journalist requests offers a more cost-effective entrance to digital PR for charities.

The more reactive style PR, such as responding to journalist requests, uses up less resource with the automated alerts nudging you whenever there is something you could potentially contribute to. It’s a super quick easy win for your charity and something we would highly recommend you set up.


Uprise Up Top Tip for charities considering the reactive PR approach

The key to being successful with the more reactive style approach to PR is to be organised. As a charity, you will have key dates in your diary that you know people will be talking about in the news. So, prior to these, it is worth putting together a few quotes from senior members of the charity and getting them signed off so you can use them in the press whenever. Having a bank of prewritten quotes that are already approved and can just be tweaked is going to save you so much time in the long run.


Want support with your digital PR?

If you wanted to chat further to see how we can further support your Digital PR efforts, then please do drop us an email on hello@upriseup.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

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    How to successfully email pitch to Journalists

    How to successfully email pitch to journalists

    Pitching to the Media

    So, you’ve started your digital PR journey and you’re well on your way to building up your backlink profile. The ideas are there, the content is ready, and you’ve got a huge list of names of potentially interested parties… the next step is actually getting it out to the press. 

    If you think about how many emails journalists will receive each day, it’s worth taking a moment to learn how to make sure that you’re moving from their inbox to article. Here are the top tips from upriseUP on how to successfully email pitch to journalists.

    Don’t forget to share this post on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn if you enjoy our top tips!


    Do your research 

    The first aspect of getting your story, product, or service noticed is making sure that the right people are finding it.  

    Build up a targeted list of the influencers and journalists in your industry and make sure that you aren’t spamming people with press releases that are completely irrelevant to their publication. 

    You might initially think it’s beneficial to get what you’ve worked on out to hundreds of different people – but more often that not, effective pitches are more personalised and targeted. 


    Remember the little details 

    When you’re writing an email make sure that you’re paying attention to the details and to the people that you’re in communication with. 

    Nothing will put someone off more quickly than being given the wrong name or getting the publication they write for, wrong! 


    Keep it simple… 

    Journalists are busy people and their inbox is always going to be heaving with press releases, pitches, and interesting opportunities. They don’t have time to read everything, so make sure that you get the fundamental points across with a skim of the email. 

    Make sure that you quickly get to the point of your story, why it would work for their publication and audience, and any relevant details attached. 

    If they’re interested in taking it further, then that’s where you can build on the details and start writing longer emails! 


    But stand-out! 

    As we said above, journalists skim emails. The biggest grab from your pitch will be in your email header. Make sure that your subject line quickly summarises the most interesting aspect of your story. 


    Ignore the traditional rules 

    ‘Rule of thumb people’ will warn you to not email on Monday or Friday, as you’ll get lost in a sea of emails or ignored. We’re calling nonsense on that. 

    If everyone else is playing by that rule, then make the most of the opportunity and get into an empty inbox! 

    If the idea or content is good enough, then they will pay attention and will work on quickly turning it around! 


    Be willing to follow-up or pick up the phone 

    If you feel that the journalist would benefit from having a few more questions answered and you’re looking for a successful pitch, then be prepared to follow-up or give them a call. 

    Don’t be afraid to chase for the coverage if you think it’s worth getting. If you aren’t hearing anything? It might be time to re-frame how you’re selling the story in the first place. 


    Nurture the relationship 

    Once you’ve managed to place a story, congratulations! You’ve got the coverage, and hopefully gained a valuable backlink, but don’t just leave it there! 

    Building and nurturing a relationship with a journalist means that you could potentially contact the same person in the future with other things they might be interested in. 

    Thank them for the work you’ve done together and acknowledge their help! You never know how useful that relationship could be in the future. 


    If you want to know more, or want to discuss a how we can help you with your digital PR strategy, then please do get in touch. As always, we love to hear from you.

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      Traditional PR vs. Digital PR: What’s the difference?

      Traditional vs Digital PR

      Traditional vs Digital PR

      PR is evolving. As an industry, Public Relations is one that is continuously in a state of flux. At its core, PR methods (both traditional and digital) rely on creating mutually beneficial relationships between brands and their audience, helping to create opportunities for visibility and to gain publicity for the fantastic work that you do!

      However, there’s been a change over the past few years as the digital landscape continues to expand. Traditional PR methods are now having to make room for the rise of a social media driven world, heavily impacted by the changes that Google has made to its search algorithm.

      It’s no longer enough to get your name in the paper and it’s not enough to make a few calls from the press office. The industry now needs to start paying attention to building in a digital PR strategy. But what is a digital PR strategy? What will you be doing that’s different to the traditional ways we conduct PR?

      What is traditional PR?

      Traditional PR utilises advertising methods such as newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, TV & radio to reach their target audience. This still remains a useful and effective marketing tool. These are platforms all generations consume content on regularly.

      Yet, return on investment for traditional PR campaigns is hard to measure. If you can’t calculate a return on your investment, how can you be sure how much money you should invest in these channels? For example, if you placed an ad in a magazine – you can find out how many magazines were sold you sold, but you can’t say how many people actually saw or engaged with it.

      What is digital PR?

      Digital PR targets audiences and boosts a brands presence online. You can reach a larger range of audiences that are unattainable with traditional methods.

      Most people can access the internet and social media platforms from anywhere is a great advantage for brands. About 62.5% of the world population have access to the internet. That’s around 4.95 BILLION users worldwide. Unlike traditional PR, digital PR is easy to track through analytical data and engagement metrics.

      What are the benefits of Digital PR?

      Digital PR has several key benefits for brands, including:

      • Helps brands build greater visibility online
      • Puts you in front of your target audience exactly when they are looking for your products of services
      • Demonstrates brand authority and expertise to a mass audience
      • Increases website traffic, especially from referrals (backlinks from other sites)
      • Generates backlinks to your website increasing your domains authority
      • Boosts opportunities for your audience to engage with your brand
      • Supports other media efforts such as Paid Media and SEO
      • Offers easier tracking and data analysis

      Digital PR is increasingly being used to enhance businesses ability to compete online and solidify them as leading experts in their given sectors.

      What are the challenges of Digital PR?

      Like all marketing tactics though, there are some limitations. There are two main factors that consider here. One limitation is measuring return on investment (ROI). Sometimes it can be difficult to predict digital PR results due to the nature of the tactic.

      Secondly, digital PR can be very time consuming. Campaigns can take weeks if not months to plan and implement. Without being able to guarantee results, it can often be challenging to get buy in from stakeholders to take the leap.


      Traditional PR vs Digital PR

      Key differences

      Traditional PR’s aren’t digital natives

      Traditional PR professionals have more than likely developed their skill set to manage reputations, build relationships and most importantly to gain space in print media. As the tide increasingly shifts and digital becomes the source of most people’s information consumption, it’s vital that traditional PR’s learn what digital channels are accessible to them and how to expand into these sectors.

      Digital PR agencies are more aligned with what’s going on, the importance of domain authority and are well acquainted with how to gain links that add value to other areas of digital marketing, such as SEO. They’re digital natives who live and breathe social media, craft stories for online audiences and see the value in smaller but more powerful influencers in helping build a brand identity.

      There’s been a change in the channels

      Although most digital PR agencies will have some understanding of traditional forms of media coverage, there’s much more of an emphasis on the channels and methods of reaching an audience.

      While traditional PR may have been more heavily focused on media outreach and publications, in a new age of digital there’s a whole new realm to explore. Bloggers. Vloggers. Youtubers. Micro-influencers. These channels are packed with PR potential which can be hugely beneficial to help share your brand message.

      Social media has gone into overdrive across the past few years, with new platforms regularly popping up and opening up new avenues to engage with your audience. Snapchat. Tik-Tok. BeReal. Each platform offers unique ways to interact with your customers that just simply didn’t exist before.

      It’s easier to keep tabs on how you’re doing

      Traditional PR, especially that which focuses on print media, is often difficult to track in terms of results and return on investment. Comparatively, there are an abundance of useful tools to support digital PR tracking and data analysis. You are able to create a more extensive and detailed view of where your story and value is being utilised.


      How does digital pr support SEO

      How does Digital PR support SEO?

      After Google’s Penguin update way back in 2012, backlinks are still seen to be one the biggest parts of their ranking algorithm. By securing high-quality placements on top ranking websites, a digital PR agency can make your messages much more attractive to Google and other search engines.

      Visibility and ranking on search engines will be improved when you gain high-quality backlinks from high-ranking sites. Getting good PR coverage, from a strong site, will have a positive impact all round.

      Top tip: We would definitely recommend ensuring your website is technically sound and fully optimised to target the correct keywords before investing in Digital PR. If you have key landing pages that are blocked and not crawlable, no one will actually be able to see your content in search. The same goes for keyword targeting. If you are ranking for keywords that aren’t relevant, you’re not going to see the rewards Digital PR can bring you.

      Which is better? Digital PR or Traditional PR?

      Ultimately, there is still a place for traditional PR when it comes to connecting industries with their audience. Whilst results can be limited, if that is where your target audience is, then absolutely use these methods to reach them.

      Digital PR builds on the impact of traditional methods or PR. By exploring opportunities to target your audience via online channels, you will discover many additional benefits for your brand. Campaigns do not need to be huge and expensive. Nor do you need to create the next viral PR stunt. Small and simple campaigns that reach your intended audience can be powerful in their own right.

      Considering how to build digital PR into your overall marketing strategy is well worth your time. With more people sourcing information and content online, you could be missing out on a fantastic opportunity to share your brand.

      Complement your marketing strategy with digital PR

      Want to chat? We’d love to talk all things Digital PR with you! Get in touch today to speak to our team. For regular digital marketing news and updates, follow us on Twitter.

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