Combining traditional PR and digital marketing for success

by | Sep 23, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

The expansion of the Internet has changed the ways we receive information, engage and interact with brands and with media. Digital marketing and public relations are two areas that go hand-in-hand. To succeed in today’s business world, brands need to combine the best tactics in traditional PR with modern online marketing techniques. PR professionals need to be familiar with all the relevant digital tools, such as mobile apps, social media channels, blogs, SEO, and email marketing. Let’s see why combining traditional PR and digital marketing matters in 2020 and how to make it work.

Drawing of people using technology, a symbolic representation of combining traditional PR and digital marketing.

How can PR and digital marketing help you in 2020?

PR helps brands create a positive public image and maintain a favorable reputation. It’s all about getting positive brand coverage in different types of media. PR helps businesses keep customers interested in their brand without selling any particular product or service. Traditional PR deals with channels such as the printed press, niche print publications, TV and radio. Digital PR, on the other hand, involves press relations conducted via digital channels like websites, blogs, social media, influencer collaborations, etc.

Digital marketing is all about using online digital channels (search engines, social media, online ads, email, etc.) to market your brand and connect with prospective and current customers. As the realm of digital marketing evolves, search engines make it more and more difficult to get the desired attention and SERP rankings. Therefore, digital brands need to constantly adapt their strategy in order to keep up.

Person holding a “Time to think about success’’ sign.

A combination of digital marketing and traditional PR can help you achieve your business goals.

The advantages of combining traditional PR and digital marketing

Traditional PR and digital marketing appear to be unrelated, which is why many businesses are still separating the two—their PR team and digital marketing team have separate objectives, tasks, and budgets. However, more and more businesses are starting to realize that PR and digital marketing work better after joining forces, as they share some common goals.

For example, the aim of PR is to tell stories that create a positive image of your brand in the eyes of your audience. Content marketing can be used to tell those stories through blog posts. For a more direct approach, you can use email to deliver stories that impact your subscribers.

Those who haven’t started integrating their PR and digital marketing strategies are missing on some great opportunities, such as the possibility of reaching more customers and publishers, boosting revenue, and improving their audience’s perception of the brand.

Magnifying glass, smartphone, tablet.

Use email marketing to keep your audience interested in your brand.

How to combine traditional PR and digital marketing

Combining traditional PR and digital marketing can be done in many ways. Take a look at these examples to get inspired.

  • Connecting with influencers

Traditional PR relies on journalists for positive media coverage. The digital era has brought us social media, which has become a news source itself. Therefore, traditional journalists (TV, radio, print, etc.) are not the only ones who can help you. Marketing experts from digitaldot.us recommend collaborating with influencers, too.

Connecting with influencers within your niche who can offer their unique perspective on your products and services can benefit both of you. Since top influencers have many loyal followers and a close relationship with them, they offer digital marketers a great way to reach target audiences, increase brand awareness, and increase trafficat the same time.

Face of a young female behind social media icons.

PR experts have recognized the benefits of working with influencers.

  • Using owned digital channels for press releases

Press releases represent the foundation of traditional PR. Traditionally issued to journalists, these official statements concisely convey news about your brand. Nowadays, they are often released through digital marketing channels, such as your onsite blog, social media accounts, and email. This way, your company can convey important news and press updates directly to your audience thus avoiding journalists.

Using owned digital marketing channels as a PR strategy does not mean you should forget about journalists altogether, though. Journalists remain an important link between your business and a wider audience.

  • Using social media to build relationships with relevant journalists

You already know you can use social media channels to provide better customer service and share onsite and offsite content with your audience. What you may not realize is that social media can be used for building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with industry journalists who can help you achieve your PR goals.

Your company’s social media channels are the ideal space for reaching out to top journalists. Find them and follow them on social media and start sharing them on your own channels. If you are genuine with your approach, your input will be noticed and appreciated by the right professionals.

Final words

Traditional PR and digital marketing may not have a lot in common, but they share some key objectives. By combining the two, you can create a successful campaign while spending half the time and money you would spend on two separate campaigns. The most important thing is to talk to both teams and determine what your objectives are. Decide what you want to achieve with your campaign before choosing a digital channel to mix your PR strategies with. Also, start with a smaller campaign; you can easily go bigger when you gain more experience and get more comfortable doing it.

Follow the tips above and start combining traditional PR and digital marketing for a cohesive strategy that will help you run a successful business in the 21st century.

Elizabeth Wilkens


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