Public relations (PR), viewed as an art of mastering human connections, has been channelling itself either through digital or traditional means. For an organization’s perspective, it helps represent and cultivate company’s connection with the masses.
Both traditional and digital PR cater to a common objective – generating brand reach and awareness, ultimately leading to more sales and revenue. However, the approach they have towards achieving the objective varies. Here are some of the most notable differences outlined:
While traditional PR largely focuses on offline mediums such as newspapers, television, etc., it estimates its reach and visibility by analysing the number of people watching or reading the advertised information. Digital PR, on the other hand, aims at generating links and positively impacting the search results. While reviewing google analytics, they track the number of readers visiting their site.
While traditional medium is a one-way street with its monologue-driven approach, the communication in traditional PR is very lopsided. Digital PR on the other hand, creates a dialogue between the company, and the customer using blogs, social media, and websites as the sources of customer engagement.
Being more time- consuming in addressing the target audience, traditional PR route proves to be challenging for people looking for instant results. Requiring extended lead time, the hours are stretched to the print publications, whereas digital medium is prompt, requiring short-lead time, which is generally used within 24 hours.
The effectiveness of Digital PR is easily measurable due to pre-established KPI’s (key performance indicators, such as hits, referral links, and search engine ranking. Traditional PR measurability is not pre-defined, making its effectiveness difficult to comprehend.
Traditional PR focuses on positioning the brand with media placement. Traditional publicists take into account their client portrayal, and if the message is being shared with its true intent. A digital PR helps ensure that a client’s brand ranks highly in search engine, and if he is able to secure high traffic metric placements.
Which road you should go? Traditional or digital?
Traditional and digital PR differ in the way their customer relationships are built, and the channels in which they reach their audience. However, both provide a strong approach towards engaging brand awareness and absorbing wide audience. With companies moving towards the digital revolution, the merits of traditional PR cannot be undermined, as customers seek offline information too. An ideal marketing strategy, would incorporate both traditional and digital PR, for 360 degree holistic reputation management, and brand awareness.
For both the strategies, the underlying objective is to increase the brand’s visibility, while engaging more customer’s, adding to its overall credibility.