Every business wants its brand to have the best possible reputation, right?

Whether they’re selling package holidays or packaging tape, increasing brand awareness is detrimental to their marketing strategy. But, how can a brand not only achieve but maintain its positive image? 

Public Relations (PR) is a crucial tool for harnessing a brand’s reputation and in today’s world, there’s a more extensive toolkit at our disposal than ever. These methods fall into two categories: Traditional PR and Digital PR.

Traditional PR is a direct approach to public relations through traditional mediums such as billboards, newspapers, TV, and radio in order to manage their public image whereas Digital PR uses digital channels on the web to manage brand awareness whilst simultaneously maintaining their SEO and link building practices.

Let’s explore the differences between the two and how to determine which is more suitable for your business needs.


Traditional PR

Despite the fact that we’re currently thriving in the digital age, there are still millions of people who consume their media through traditional means daily. Whether it’s catching up on the news with the morning paper or tuning into the radio at work, traditional media won’t be going anywhere any time soon. 

For this reason, traditional PR can be valuable. This is especially true if the majority of your brand’s audience consumes their media through traditional means. 

One of the unique draws of this method is that traditional media has a shorter lifespan than digital media. A magazine or newspaper will only print on a given day and sell copies over the course of a given week. 

This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage as it means that you can have more control over when a PR campaign reaches an audience, whereas digital PR campaigns can remain accessible for months, even years, despite their relevance.


Digital PR

Did you know that, according to a recent study, 90% of people are not certain of their opinion of a brand before searching for them online?

Digital PR consists of aligning your broader online strategy for SEO, link building, and lead generation with public relations, improving brand awareness and brand image for those who see your brand online. When digital PR is done well, it can aid in the improvement of performance across the whole of a brand’s online presence.

So, why do we need two different methods of PR if they both share the same goal?

Well, it’s simply because SEO and search ranking improvements are something that traditional PR just can’t lend a hand with. While they may share the same foundations, the architecture is vastly different and requires different skill sets to succeed.


Measuring the Effectiveness of Traditional and Digital PR Efforts

Traditional PR is a one-way communication channel and the success of these campaigns is notoriously tricky to measure because of this. 

You can try to predict how many people may have read a particular article within the newspaper but there’s no solid way to determine what the impact of this article was. 

Did it instigate a positive or negative response? How many people read it all the way through to the end? This is one of the drawbacks of traditional PR.

Digital PR is a two-way communication channel meaning that the audience can interact with PR efforts and give real-time feedback. 

Because of the technological nature of digital PR, we are able to retrieve accurate statistics and data such as click-through rates, impressions, and how long users spend on a particular piece of content in order to determine the success or failure of those efforts.


Traditional PR or Digital PR?

The best approach for your business is entirely dependent on the channel that will bring them the most impact. This could be measured by looking at the ways in which your audience interacts with your brand. 

If your audience mainly digests media from the radio or TV, then traditional PR may be the best method. Alternatively, if your audience frequently consumes their media through social channels, then digital PR may be the route for you.

There is always the option to use both traditional and digital PR in tandem with one another. 36% of marketers are attempting to integrate traditional and digital marketing efforts – and climbing. 

Ultimately, the goal of using both of these strategies is the same. In order to reach the largest audience, a combination of the two might just be the most rewarding approach.

To learn more about what we can offer from our digital PR efforts, get in touch today. For further advice, check out the It Works Media blog.