Digital PR is something new as of the last 20 years, while there was PR agencies around there was no distinction between Digital and Traditional PR. With the digital world just around the corner, as times evolved, digital PR agencies started popping up and agencies embraced the opportunities that digital offered.
With now very areas in the marketing industry, Digital PR and Traditional PR agencies offer clients something different, with ultimately the same objective – which is to enhance a client’s reputation and increase awareness/visibility among target audiences.
What is Traditional PR?
Within traditional PR, an agency will focus on offline visibility, which heavily involves press releases. As well as press, press conferences and events will fall under traditional, as agencies work to convey information to a wider audience, usually without much feedback. A press release is the most important weapon in a traditional PR agencies armoury, when constructing one, interviews and information gathering processes will take place, to make sure all of the information is written about in the piece – that can then be passed to press outlets to distribute.
Traditional PR is limited to a particular format and style of content, but can cast a very wide net with distribution. Pitching a press release will often take place via meetings, phone or over lunch, to then feature within particular outlets.
Understanding the reach of traditional PR is where its major downfall lies, it is hard to know whether the press release made a difference to the clients in terms of sales or leads. Being hard to measure, a press release may have appeared in a desired publication, but you will not have full awareness of numbers of actual readers of the piece.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR offers much more insight and options where traditional PR falls down. Working with Google and other search engines to ensure a clients website ranks highly for online search terms and content, is what is heavily involved in this area. It involves high quality links that are pointed back at a clients website.
In order to get the most from traditional PR, having a solid understanding of technical SEO is an essential skill of a digital PR agency. Using data to formulate plans and content creation, identifying influencers within the industry will help to secure a high traffic return if a citation is ensured.
One major thing that will set a digital PR agency apart from traditional, is the opportunity for creativity. A digital piece of content does not have to be limited to 4-5 paragraphs of text, digital content can be in the form of text, infographic, quiz, feature or interactive graphics.
In order to secure high traffic placements, there must be a similar approach to traditional PR in that selling the content to site owners via email, phone or marketplaces will be discussed, offering a variety of different content types to work with.
Social outreach can play a huge part of digital PR also, where digital agencies can help to build audiences around a brand or product, gaining fantastic engagement with key audience groups. This is something that the one-way traditional PR activity will fall short.
Conclusion: Which is better?
Both traditional and digital PR agencies will enhance a client’s reputation and increase awareness of the brand, it is picking which one to focus on to reach specific audience groups. Depending on where your target audience circulate, will determine which type of PR you apportion budget to.
It is simply not the case of only operating online, digital PR agencies understand that people consume information in a variety of ways, and providing this information across multiple channels will help help to successfully deliver a clients content to them.