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

-20 June 2018-

Rach Hallett - Digital PR Account Manager

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.

Currently, 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?

Well, today we’re going to break down for you the differences between traditional and digital PR:

Traditional PR’s aren’t digital natives

Traditional PR professionals have more than likely developed their skill set to manage reputations, to build relationships and most importantly to gain space in print media.

As the tide has changed and digital becomes the source of most people’s information consumption, it’s fundamental that traditional PR’s begin to learn what channels are accessible to them.

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.

They’re digital natives, who live and breathe social media, how to craft stories for online audiences and they 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 realm of micro-influencers, bloggers, Youtubers and previously unexplored channels, who can be hugely beneficial to help share your brand message.

Much in the way that you would traditionally plan-out your audience targets, there’s another level to finding them online, to seeing what and where they’re searching and to incorporate other means of strategic storytelling.


Digital PR is helping your SEO team

After Google’s Penguin update back in 2012, backlinks are still seen to be one the biggest parts of the 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… so in other words, getting your PR coverage right, from a strong site, will have a positive impact all round.


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

Traditional PR with a heavy focus on print media meant that it was often difficult to track your hard work and efforts, however, with digital PR there are an abundance of useful tools to follow where backlinks are coming from, and where your story and value is being utilised.


So – which is better?

Ultimately, there is still a place for traditional PR when it comes to connecting industries with their audience. Digital PR borrows many traditional methods and although there is still absolutely a place for traditionally tracking down the best place to tell your story, without the incorporation of a digital PR strategy, there’s a whole marketplace to be tapped into, that you might not have even considered.

If you want to know more about our digital PR services you can click here, or if you want to discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing strategy, then please do get in touch, as always, we love to hear from you.



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