Traditional PR vs Digital PR

There is no denying that the world of PR has changed over the years. So, there is a need to establish a more modern definition of public relations. And Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has got it covered. According to PRSA, at its core, PR is about influencing a relationship with key representatives across countless platforms with the goal of shaping or framing public perception about a certain person, organisation or event. Now, this blanket definition covers the two main streams of PR: Digital and traditional. Which one your business goes for is totally dependent on the business’ goals. As a PR agency, we at Monumental love some digital PR…. So, let the battle begin; Traditional PR vs Digital PR. Let’s weigh them out!

Traditional PR

Let’s start with traditional PR. The main initiative here is to establish offline visibility using press outreaches that target more traditional media outlets. Why traditional PR in a digital world? Why debate Traditional PR vs Digital PR at all? It’s valid to argue that traditional media placements are still relevant in today’s digital world. Normally, PR professionals have a little black book of journalists that they are constantly schmoozing just to get their clients into publications. These professionals have a close relationship with their contacts. 

This form of PR reaches a wider audience. However, the communication line is one-way due to the fact that it is more difficult to initiate a dialogue with potential customers through printed media. Being that the message reaches a wider audience, not everyone will be relevant. You may be thinking, ‘then what’s the point?’. The point is still to create compelling content and get it out there into the world, no matter where it gets printed and who the article reaches. It will eventually reach relevant audience members who will resonate with the published content.

Now, let’s talk about the press release as a staple in traditional PR. This is a powerful weapon in traditional PR professionals’ arsenal as it is the main tool at which they can increase brand awareness. This important tool may increase brand visibility. But it can be difficult to correlate if press releases do in fact directly increase sales for a business or positively affects a client’s reputation.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to traditional PR, so feel free to sit back and relax, as results take time to develop.


Digital PR

Just like traditional PR, building relationships with the media and journalists is the forefront of digital PR. Unlike traditional PR, digital PR provides almost instant, tangible results. Digital PR also involves link building and search engine optimisation (SEO) across the internet with the aim to increase – you guessed it – online visibility. 

Digital PR professionals are able to also schmooze their way into being blogged about on influencers’ social platforms. Influencers are seen as royalty in the digital sphere. Social influencers and bloggers have a loyal and engaged following. Let’s take Kylie Jenner for example, she has 130 million followers. No wonder brands are willing to give up a limb for her to post about their products. Influencer and blogger outreach is also used to gain backlinks and mentions on relevant blogs across the web, further increasing online awareness. As we all know, improving SEO and website rankings is vital to direct traffic onto your business’ website.

Many people may not know this but Digital PR is actually really data-driven. This means that any decisions regarding strategy is always informed and targeted. Ultimately, making it more effective in reaching targeted audiences and raising brand visibility. 

According to McKinsey, value is now consumed through a combination of traditional PR and new social media channels. The younger generations all focus one thing – the search for the truth. It is said that Generation Z make quick, informed decisions surrounding authenticity. They can easily determine if a brand narrative is supported or contrary to the value being represented. Brands can’t hide behind their own research anymore because people are much more aware of how a brand is viewed by the public.

Overall, it is important to say that digital PR is now seen as fundamental to the success of any PR campaign and it is not something you can add onto a traditional PR strategy. So, who won the Traditional PR vs Digital PR battle?

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