What is the Difference Between Online PR and Traditional PR?
Online PR is the name given to the role of marketing a brand’s digital profile via methods such as SEO, link building, blogger outreach and developing relationships with influential websites. It is a powerful way to increase the visibility of a business, organisation or person that focuses only in the online world.
In this piece, we explore how this role differs from that of traditional PR and delve a little deeper into the ways that online PR can be employed to promote positive customer experiences and boost brand credibility.
What Is PR?
PR, or public relations, is the name given to the important of disseminating information about a business, organisation or person to the public. By contrast to marketing departments which generally pay for, or manipulate, the exposure that their brand receives, PR is all about managing communications and cultivating relationships with third-parties who publish this information.
What is Online PR?
Online PR is the name given to the process of handling public relations in a digital environment. The role itself is very similar to any other PR technique, it is just the methods and techniques that may vary to suit online channels, often carried out as part of a content marketing and other online campaigns.
Similarly to a traditional PR role, the prime focus for online PR is to increase the visibility of a brand in a positive way by securing exclusive promotion via authoritative and/or influential platforms and to boost the engagement of the brand directly with customers.
Typically, online PR is achieved via interacting with customers on social media and engaging with audiences. It can also be seen in action via the employment of successful SEO techniques such as quality link-building with trusted online publications and websites with a high Domain Authority .
Online PR is a measurable process and, using tools like Google Analytics, a campaign can be tracked using KPIs (key performance indicators).
What Is Traditional PR?
In exactly the same way as online PR, traditional PR focuses its efforts on managing the reputation of a brand and promoting it. The only difference is that traditional PR does this via other forms of media, principally in print (newspapers, magazines and circulars) and broadcast (television and radio).
You can see traditional PR in action when you find a business profile that has been published in a trade magazine, product reviews and sponsored articles.
However, you can also find traditional PR using digital media as well. This can be seen when PR agents submit press releases to online news agencies or sending sample products to influential bloggers for review, as an example.
Although traditional PR and digital PR may sometimes use the same end-platforms (such as a guest post on an influential website) for their messages, it is the reasons for doing this that differ. In this example, traditional PR agencies will be focused primarily on the exposure that this offers their brand whilst digital PR agencies will also be quantifying the additional traffic that this can achieve for their brand’s website and, importantly, securing that all-important backlink.
Lastly, it can be difficult to quantify the success and performance of a traditional PR campaign as the outcomes are not always immediately apparent. Whilst gaining additional visibility through a trade magazine might be measured through readership figures, it is not possible to know exactly how many people your article has reached. With digital PR this kind of metric is instantly available through measurable performance criteria like the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of a link.
Online PR vs Traditional PR: Which is Best?
There is a good deal of cross-over between both online and traditional PR with both having similar roles and objectives just with slightly different routes to achieving them.
As for the question, which is best; it would be foolish in the extreme to ignore the power of digital PR in the current climate of online marketing. However, this does not mean that traditional PR is no longer relevant. For some businesses, traditional media outlets remain an important platform for building brand reputation and increasing visibility.
As with many ‘either/or’ decisions, the answer is often a combination of both. Ultimately, the choice will often come down to one of budget and overall communications strategy but it is strongly recommended that you don’t ignore the power of online PR as a means to delivering effective reputation management and achieving optimum brand visibility.
Opace and Online PR
Opace is a trusted digital media agency based in the West Midlands with a strong reputation for successful delivery of powerful online PR campaigns. A multi-disciplined team with skills in various aspects of SEO from blogger outreach and social media management to web video creation and digital marketing, we know how to achieve great visibility and produce positive engagement.
Innovative, creative and forward-thinking, Opace is a flexible agency that has a trusted reputation with its clients. To find out why 100% of our customers would recommend our services, contact us today.