Public relations used to be all about media relations, press releases and organising press conferences. Nowadays, because the online world has changed the communications landscape, there are two forms of PR: digital and traditional. While the aim of both digital PR and traditional PR is to enhance the reputation of an organisation and increase their visibility amongst their publics, the methods and measuring of results is very different.

What Is Public Relations?

Public Relations (PR) refers to the strategic and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and its publics. PR is essentially about managing and improving reputation and is practiced by almost every organisation (whether this is a brand, company or individual) because, no matter the size, every organisation depends on its reputation for success. The positive relationships an organisation builds with their audience is what generates higher sales and growth.

What Is Digital PR?

Digital PR is the use of digital and online technologies to manage the reputation of a brand or company by increasing their online visibility with dynamic content. Digital PR recognises that the way people process information and consume content is changing.

Digital PR agencies help to increase the online presence of a brand or company through content marketing, social media, search engine optimisation, online article placement and attracting high quality backlinks. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) capabilities are a crucial part of being successful as a digital PR agency. Effective SEO can be used to optimise digital content, allowing you to secure high traffic online placements and making your message more responsive within search engines.

Another part of Digital PR is harnessing the power of backlinks. This means agencies work to get links from your website onto other websites that have a high domain authority. A domain authority is a search engine ranking score (between 1-100) that predicts how a website will perform on search engine result pages. A site with a DA of 100, for example, is considered highly authoritative by Google.

Digital PR vs. Traditional PR

Digital PR tends to focus on online forms of communication but as the name would suggest, traditional PR looks at more traditional channels of media like radio, newspapers and television. Press outreach within traditional PR tends to focus on these mediums. Offline, rather than online, visibility is their domain so agencies will cover aspects of PR such as crisis management, event coordination, trade shows, sponsorship and the distribution of press releases.

One way of thinking about it is like this: traditional PR is a static, one-way conversation whereas digital PR is a more dynamic two-way conversation. In traditional PR, a brand presents a message to be consumed by an audience whereas digital PR looks at creating a dialogue between audiences, allowing consumers to share and source new information. Social media, blogs and review sites all contribute to generating a dynamic conversation between brands and their publics.

Online platforms allow for more creativity than their print counterparts. This gives digital PR agencies more opportunities in terms of content creation. Content can be more interactive, featuring images, links and infographics rather than just text. Similarly one piece of content or article can be used across multiple mediums or repurposed for different platforms.

Traditional PR can be effective in terms of increasing brand awareness however the audience reach is hard to measure. There is a lack of detailed analytics on the scope of people you are reaching. Many of the numbers provided by newspapers, magazines, and radio stations are actually an estimation of their reader- or listenership rather than a direct indication of how many people a media placement reached.  

In contrast, digital PR uses tools like Google Analytics to evaluate the impact of a media placement online. An agency can see how many people are clicking a link on a website and how they engage with the brand’s site once the link is clicked. This kind of information is invaluable to a brand or company and the feedback allows for positive changes to be made to the site or to the type of content being produced.

What Does This Mean?

Both traditional and digital PR agencies have the same objectives for their clients but different means of achieving brand awareness and visibility. Digital PR has the benefit of being measurable with much shorter lead-times than traditional PR. The fact that it is data-led is an advantage because it means strategies are more informed, targeted and likely to be effective.

Digital PR is more accessible, immediate and broad in its scope allowing you to share content to new demographics and audiences. While traditional PR strategies still have relevance, in the digital age with so many people online, successful PR strategies need to harness the power of the digital world.

How can Prosperity Media help?

Prosperity Media has assisted a large number of companies in Australia to scale Digital PR efforts. Our team has had clients listed on some of Australias largest media publications.

If you are looking for a team with a proven history contact our team today.