The Difference Between Digital PR and Traditional PR

Digital PR vs traditional PR

There is a big misconception out there that all PR is the same. If you want to know how to leverage both digital PR and traditional PR for your brand, and how they differ, read on.

Here are some of the biggest similarities and differences between Digital PR and traditional PR.

What do Digital PR and Traditional PR have in common?

At their core, both digital PR and traditional PR share the same mission. However, this does not mean that they are exactly the same.

Both types of PR are meant to build brand awareness, spread a positive message that positions your brand well, and to help you reach the right audience.

However, the world of PR has changed dramatically over the last decade or so due to the rise of all things digital. Digital marketing is now a key part of brand outreach. Online communications have become a basic part of our day to day lives on many levels.

What Makes Digital PR and Traditional PR Different?

There are many differences between the two types of PR. Some are large and some are small. In this blog post, we will break them all down.

However, one of the biggest differences is this: Digital PR is not a solo act. It needs to be a working part of your entire digital branding strategy. Traditional PR, on the other hand, does not.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest differences.

What Can Digital PR do that Traditional PR Cannot?

Digital PR is a piece of a bigger puzzle. It should fit in with your wider online strategy which includes things like SEO, inbound marketing, and your content strategy.

When it comes to things like SEO and boosting search rankings, traditional PR can’t help you. Well done digital PR, on the other hand, will boost your business’s digital performance and your business overall.

Well-executed digital PR can help you gain quality backlinks from higher authority domains. It can also help you leverage your content output to build a useable sales funnel. You can use it to raise the value of PPC campaigns and the absolute most out of social media.

In brief, you can do a lot more with digital PR than traditional PR.

Consider Messaging

When it comes to digital PR, the way messages are delivered can be a lot more subtle than traditional PR. For example, traditional PR might involve contacting media outlets with a clear message about what you are launching.

Digital PR might involve collaborating with influencers or other social media personalities. In these cases, they will often create content about a subject that interests their audience and tie your brand or product into it.

You have to be more clever about your digital PR content, while traditional PR tends to be much more straight forward. It is more acceptable for traditional PR to be openly salesy.

However, traditional PR will not be engaged with in the same way that digital PR is. Digital PR is often more shareable and more part of a conversation than traditional PR is.

SEE ALSO: How To Master Social Media Marketing In 2020

Interaction: Digital PR and Traditional PR

Traditional PR is not really interactive. Traditional PR might include, for example, a press release in an industry paper detailing a new launch. This gets the message out there but is not a direct window for real-time interaction.

Digital PR is different. It removes the barrier between you and your audience and allows for instant feedback and engagement. If you announce a new launch in a tweet, for example, fans can respond to you and share your tweet instantly.

Also, with traditional PR, the scope of a single press release or interview is limited. On social media, people can like, share, and repurpose content instantly. This means that you could potentially reach more people than you even intended without expending extra resources.

The Tricks of the Trade

Digital PR and Traditional PR use different channels and tools. For example, traditional PR usually focuses on channels like the general press, print publications, radio, and TV.

For many years, this was the only type of PR. However, in the digital age, things have changed a lot. Digital PR focuses on blogs, vlogs, social media platforms, influencer collaboration, online news, and video platforms.

As you can see, both types of PR have unique tools and platforms. They offer different benefits and each poses unique challenges to get right.

Often, getting digital PR right requires the use of tools. This can be SEO software, website analysis, social media tools, and even more.

Measuring Success

This is one of the biggest differences between the types of PR. If you do it right, you can actually view direct metrics of your digital PR efforts. In this way, you can get a very solid understanding of exactly how successful you have been. You can track metrics including:

  • impressions
  • click-through rates
  • how long users spend with your content
  • social shares
  • sales

This gives you powerful insight into the exact success of your campaigns.

The Limits of Traditional PR

When it comes to traditional PR, you cannot really do this. The main way firms have measured the cost of traditional PR for generations is by measuring AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent).

In order to do this, the inches of an article are measured and compared to how much that space is worth according to the publication’s advertising rate card.

This is a very old fashioned technique that gives you almost none of the nuanced information you can track from digital PR campaigns. If you track enough digital PR campaign metrics, you can easily work out your ROI and figure out what works for your brand and what does not.

SEE ALSO: How to Marry Google Analytics to Social Media

Should Your Business Opt For Traditional PR or Digital PR?

Almost all businesses can benefit from a unified and consistent approach to PR. Both kinds of PR have their benefits and present their problems. In most cases, businesses can benefit from utilizing both types.

If you have the budget, a mix of both digital PR and traditional PR will cover all of your bases and provide the most possible exposure.

Here you can learn more about the pros and cons of digital and traditional advertising methods:

PR Is A Must For The Modern Business

As the world becomes increasingly intertwined with all things digital, a strong digital PR strategy becomes an absolute must. While traditional PR is still very relevant today, this may change shape over time. In fact, many traditional PR agencies have recognized this and started moving into the digital side of PR.

Digital PR is a great way to increase engagement. This is because it invites conversation, rather than just making statements. You can also measure performance and ROI with digital PR, which is highly important.

Remember, Digital PR is just one aspect of your brand’s overall digital strategy. It can play a big part in enhancing your digital brand overall. As most businesses are looking to improve their digital presence, they should not overlook this type of PR.

Final Thoughts: Digital PR and Traditional PR

Ultimately, both types of PR are necessary to build brand awareness. However, it is important to understand that digital PR and traditional PR are not the same. They are not interchangeable and each offers many different things.

Depending on your audience, you may want to focus on some avenues more than others. While many businesses hop on trends to try and generate buzz, this must be done strategically.

For example, while TikTok is blowing up right now as a social media platform, it may not be necessary for you to include it in your digital PR. If your ideal market is younger, that might be a great idea. However, if your target audience skews older, more traditional PR routes like TV and radio might be a better bet for your business.

In many cases, a strategic mix of both will suit most businesses.

Which type of PR do you think is most important? Comment below…

Written by
Juntae DeLane
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