Digital PR vs Traditional PR

Digital PR and traditional PR are often thought of as the same thing, since they both are used.


Jason Khoo

3 years ago | 4 min read

Digital PR and traditional PR are often thought of as the same thing, since they both are used to achieve the same goals. Brand awareness, crisis management, and building and maintaining a brand’s reputation are accomplished through both digital and traditional PR, but the techniques and methods used are different.

What is Digital PR?

Digital PR covers a wide range of ways to increase brand awareness and manage a brand’s messaging and reputation on digital platforms. It deals with platforms that are online, such as social media, websites, blogs, and online news pages.

This leads to unique challenges and requires a skillset that continues to evolve. Information gets shared online at a much faster pace, yet it is able to be pulled back up at any time in the future, so diction must be chosen very carefully.

Digital PR also must take search engine optimization (SEO) into consideration, as well as inbound marketing and online lead generation. Having to handle so many different variables so quickly makes digital PR difficult for many companies to adapt to.

What is Traditional PR?

Traditional PR is also used to make brands more visible, by utilizing mediums that are older, more conventional forms of media. Traditional PR is still relevant, although it is definitely becoming overshadowed by digital PR as companies and consumers shift their attention to the internet.

Traditional PR is often more direct, covering media such as magazines, newspapers, live events, radio, and television. Consumption of media and news is largely done online, however traditional PR still has an important role in brand awareness and messaging.

What are the Benefits of Digital PR Over Traditional PR?

Digital PR is able to be updated in real time, which is one of the most important advantages it has over traditional PR. Digital PR is also often less direct than traditional PR, which means that companies are able to use more subtle messaging, making consumers feel less targeted.

Digital PR has a much wider reach than traditional PR as well, since the internet offers a global platform, so digital PR is more impactful when creating brand awareness.

Although digital PR involves getting higher rankings on search engines over time, it also has a very direct, immediate impact on social media and other platforms that allow for two-way interactions and engagement with the public, something that traditional PR simply doesn’t accomplish. In this way, digital PR creates stronger personal connections with target audiences, and increases brand loyalty in a way that traditional PR can’t replicate.

Digital PR also has the advantage of being much more quantitative than traditional PR. Digital PR is able to track link clicks, audiences, and demographics in a tangible way, which makes it possible to fine-tune adjustments to any campaign quickly and effectively.

It also shows measurable results, so businesses know the ROI they are getting from a digital PR strategy. Conversely, results from a traditional PR strategy are difficult to measure, and it can be hard to determine what aspects were effective.

What Kind of Companies Benefit From Digital PR?

Any company will benefit from a digital PR strategy, but it is particularly important for certain types of businesses that need to be especially aware of their online presence. These include companies that require a lot more trust from their clientele, such as law firms and businesses in the healthcare industry, which can be greatly affected by a single bad review.

Digital PR is used to not only get noticed and increase brand awareness, but also to increase trust in a brand. Being able to create a reputation as an expert source is invaluable for these types of trust-based businesses, and digital PR is one of the fastest ways to achieve that goal.

In the same way, digital PR is also incredibly important for businesses that need to have exceptional customer service, such as retail establishments, restaurants, gyms and auto dealerships.

These types of businesses tend to build digital “personalities” that interact with consumers, and create the image that they need to cultivate interest and likability. Digital PR is a huge part of businesses that specialize in customer service, since online platforms can change the public perception of a brand so quickly.

What are Some Examples of Digital PR Strategies?

Digital PR strategies may include getting featured in an article on a major news outlet’s website, creating marketing campaigns that are implemented simultaneously across many digital platforms, and creating inbound links that help increase search engine rankings.

Digital PR strategies may also include campaigns that are designed to create brand interaction with a target audience, which is extremely effective on social media platforms. This creates immense organic growth and traffic, and establishes a reputation for the brand, while building trust with their target market.

Another example of a digital PR strategy is to use creative, innovative content to change or maintain a company’s image. This is a technique that doesn’t work as well in traditional PR as well, since traditional PR strategies cannot stay as current as digital PR.

Is Digital PR Hard to DIY?

Digital PR is difficult to do yourself because it requires companies to stay informed about so many outlets and platforms that are constantly changing, as well as having the experience to know how to handle any crisis that may occur.

Digital PR teams also must have the foresight to understand what might be considered controversial in the future.

Since there are so many different types of specialties within digital PR, even digital PR firms need to have a number of staff members who are able to focus solely on specific aspects, platforms, and content involved in creating cohesive digital PR for their clients.

When a company attempts to manage digital PR in house, it requires hiring several people who are experts in their field in order to be effective. Digital PR firms also have a strong network of companies to create valuable inbound links, such as respected news outlets. This is why it’s typically standard practice to choose an experienced digital PR company, rather than attempt a DIY approach.


Created by

Jason Khoo

Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catch







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