We let the facts do the talking.

Blurred Lines: Digital PR vs Traditional PR

Part 1: The Integration

The year 2020 was a year of change. A lot changed for many of us – on both personal and professional front. The COVID-19 pandemic altered our perspective on everything and hastened the transformation of the public relations (PR) industry – an industry which is prone to constant change.

This has also affected the way PR professionals work and hence the way brand stories are told. It is a fact that although a brand story cannot be fabricated, a PR professional is trained to help brands delve deep into the specifics that make your company unique.

Considering the huge number of companies that are launched every day in each genre and industry, it is important that your businesses has an USP that makes it stand out and ultimately find long-term success. In today’s world, it is therefore critical to weave your brand’s message into a narrative that touches people and elicits an emotional response.

We live in a fast paced world receiving information, engaging with and interact with brands and media all has changed from what it used to be a few years ago. Things that used to be unthinkable are today a part of our day to day routine.

Today, PR cannot function without digital marketing and vice versa – the two fields complement each other. To be successful in today’s competitive and ever changing business world, brands need to learn how to combine the best traditional PR tactics with modern online marketing techniques to promote their brands and get the desired results.

PR professionals today are expected to be familiar with all relevant digital tools, including mobile apps, social media channels, blogs, SEO, and email marketing. Traditional public relations and digital marketing appear unrelated, which is why many businesses continue to separate the two—their PR team and digital marketing team have separate objectives, tasks, and budgets. However, more and more businesses are quickly realising that combining PR and digital marketing is perhaps a better approach because they share some common goals.

For example, the goal of public relations is to tell stories that create a positive image of your brand. Take  blog posts for example. Blogs can be used in content marketing to tell those stories. You can use email to share those stories for a more direct impact. Those who have not yet begun to integrate their PR and marketing efforts are perhaps lagging behind.

In the next part of this blog, I will talk about how the combination of the two fields can prove beneficial and why it is important to look at both as integrated.

Adnan Wahidi is Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |