Why you need both digital and traditional PR

Being in the PR industry for more than 20 years, Orient Planet Group (OPG) has witnessed how PR practices have undergone massive changes due to the arrival of online platforms and social media. In the Middle East, particularly in countries that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), both traditional PR and digital PR are widely practiced, making it easier for companies to better communicate their brands as well as maintain their reputation and industry position.

Common practices in both traditional and digital PR companies include brand awareness, reputation management, and crisis management. However, their approach may vary since they are using different media channels. Traditional PR companies aim to establish rapport with media outfits, while digital PR firms need to publish articles that rank well on search engines such as Google. So, what are the differences between traditional PR and digital PR?

Digital PR is now part of online marketing

In traditional PR, there is a clear distinction between PR activities and marketing. However, in digital PR, that is not the case. In fact, digital PR is now being considered part of online marketing.

Google has an algorithm that prioritizes websites and articles that are deemed most relevant. This means that articles that are related to the topic or focus keyword, especially those that add value to the reader, will be displayed first. If the reader also found the article helpful, he or she may also share the link on social media or use it as a reference through hyperlinking.

Meanwhile, a traditional PR firm would focus on news-driven stories that will attract the attention of journalists and media companies to be featured in print or broadcast.

Communication is a two-way street in digital PR

Traditional PR companies focus on popular media such as TV channels, radio, newspapers and magazines, and other forms of print material. These channels do not offer stakeholders the same means to interact unlike social media.

With digital PR, companies have a more transparent and instantaneous way to connect with the online community and receive their feedback, which helps generate trust and organic traffic. People who interact with the post and share it on their timeline help the company increase its community reach for free. It can also be one of the ways to measure the marketing and PR efforts of the company.

Digital PR campaign success can be measured more accurately

Digital PR specialists also have additional tools that can accurately measure the success of their campaign. They can check the post clicks and impressions, time spent and actual activity of the visitor on the website, and more. This can help companies evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign and adjust if necessary.

Traditional PR also has its own set of metrics like the advertising average equivalency (AVE), although they are not as popular and comprehensive as the tools used in digital PR.

Influencers can become effective brand ambassadors

Another noticeable difference between traditional PR and digital PR is in the type of people that they partner with as brand ambassadors. Celebrities and respected authorities in a particular industry or interest are usually tapped by both traditional PR and digital PR to endorse a particular brand. Other companies may decide against this, especially those that want to allocate their budget into something else.

In this case, an influencer may become a viable option since they have a specific following and they devote so much of their time on establishing their social media presence. Moreover, their rate is relatively modest compared to movie stars or football athletes.

On the other hand, celebrities remain an ideal business partner since they took more time and effort to build their reputation. They will only agree to represent a particular company if their integrity and professional career are not at stake.

As we continue to see social interactions move to online platforms, we can expect more digital PR practices to be implemented by PR companies. Nevertheless, traditional PR will continue to become relevant, and most companies choose to partner with a digital PR agency that also offers traditional PR services. Moreover, there are products, services, and campaigns that can be effective if they are promoted through traditional media. Companies should assess which type of PR services they will avail for every plan and activity to ensure brand awareness success.

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Email: business@orientplanet.com