Digital PR vs Traditional PR

The mission of Digital PR and Traditional PR is the same - engage relevant audiences with strategic storytelling to build your brand awareness and positively position your business. However Digital PR and Traditional PR are very different, and understanding how to leverage each successfully for your organisation can be a challenge. The three most common questions we are asked when comparing Digital PR vs Traditional PR are

  1. What’s the difference between them?
  2. Which is most effective for my organisation?
  3. What is the best way to measure success?

Let’s answer each question by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each PR type.

Difference Between Digital PR and Traditional PR

The difference between Digital PR and Traditional PR is in the medium of delivery and the objectives of the campaign. Digital PR is deployed across online publications only and maximised through digital marketing channels e.g Blogs, Influencers, Social Media and SEO. This means Digital PR can drive referral traffic and effectively align with your online messaging. Traditional PR is deployed in both online and print media as well as being promoted with conventional mass media channels like Television, Radio, and Outdoor Advertising. This can be an advantage if you are looking for both significant brand awareness and a focus on solely delivering the organisations message.

Effectiveness of Digital PR vs Traditional PR

The effectiveness of PR can depend on the type of message you want to deliver. Digital PR can deliver more subtle messages than traditional PR as the focus of Digital PR is usually through content on a specific subject area that creates engagement with Bloggers, Influencers and Digital Publications. This can be seen as an advantage if you’re looking for online exposure without a focus on sales or reputation management. Traditional PR is usually more direct to an organisations beliefs and stays on the message of the brand or product which gives it an advantage if the objective is product sales or reputational management. Traditional PR is less likely to be promoted on platforms that have shareability e.g commenting on a blog article or social media post, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you are looking to engage customers.

Measurement Success between Digital PR and Traditional PR

Digital PR is considered easier to measure than Traditional PR as lead referrals, social media shares, and online audience demographics can be tracked effectively through Google Analytics and native advertising platforms. Traditional PR is usually harder to measure as offline media coverage cannot be directly attributed to customer purchases or engagement on your website. It is however possible to track search increases for your organisations name after running a traditional PR campaign.

In summary, Digital PR is great for promoting content on a specific subject area and working effectively with other digital channels to engage and convert customers. Traditional PR is great for building brand awareness and providing a more direct message to support product sales or reputational management. The best strategy is usually a blend of both PR types to maximise you’re marketing and engage with your customers in both online and offline touchpoints.

For more tips and advice on using Digital PR and Traditional PR, read more on our Knowledge Hub, and follow Lionbridge PR on LinkedIn. We are also always around to help your business with PR and more, simply email us at LionbridgePR as also featured on DesignRush as a Top Public Relations Company in the UK.