The focus of traditional PR is on building mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their public through methods like event coordination, trade shows, reputation management, crisis communication, and press release distribution. By far the most prominent initiative that falls under the umbrella of traditional public relations is press outreach, where traditional media outlets such as TV, radio, and newspapers are used to increase brand awareness and achieve other PR objectives. One limitation of traditional PR is that you cannot achieve the exact metrics on audience reach as they are impractical to track. For example, you cannot easily answer the question “how many people actually read or saw my ad in a newspaper, magazine or television?”.
By the same token, traditional PR route requires longer lead time and a bit of patience from the clients. This is so because publicists don’t usually choose topics right off the bat, rather they prefer doing their research and coming up with specific topics and themes that go along the lines of their internal planning and publication schedule. Added to that, outreach efforts (even when they are done right) may not produce the desired results for quite some time because of the very nature of traditional PR, making it a bit challenging for both the publicists and their clients.
The above limitations of traditional PR may be why an increasing number of firms today tend to focus more on digital PR. So, what’s digital PR in plain words? Basically, the tactics involved in digital PR are not much different from traditional PR. The goals and objectives are more or less the same, i.e., to build relationships and secure right placements. What makes digital PR different, however, is its potential to impact SEO and link building across the web. That means digital PR tactics, unlike traditional ones, provide results which are tangible and measurable in nature.
Another key differentiator of digital PR is its ability to establish connections with influential bloggers and celebrities who hold the reins in digital space. These influencers enjoy an extremely loyal following, making them a key resource for digital publicists to achieve greater impact in a shorter span of time.
While the realm of digital PR may sound more tempting, it doesn’t render traditional PR irrelevant by any chance. In fact, both traditional and digital PR routs can be leveraged to help organisations effectively achieve the overarching goal of building strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the public whether they are online or offline.