Skip to main content

What is the difference between PR and Digital PR?

by Maria Lind | 06.01.2021

Digital PR has become a popular and often successful tactic to earn qualitative links in a scalable way. However, there is often a confusion of the difference between digital PR and traditional PR.

It is not surprising that these confusions appear, and sometimes both worlds may collide. They both thrive on creating and nurturing relationships and, both ultimately work towards building the reputation of the brand in one way or another.  

So, what is Digital PR?

As said many times, links are one of the most important search ranking factors on Google. By increasing the domains pointing to your site you are building the authority of your site.  This will further impact your organic visibility and overall SEO performance.

Digital PR is a strategy within link building. Nowadays, it is well-known strategy to build a high number of links from highly valuable sites. Implementing such tactic could further help you gain an advantage over competitors.

Digital PR is often based on creating engaging assets that publishers and websites can build a story on and additionally include a link back to your content. The content is often built on data-led research, expert insights and surveys as these offer a great asset for the people you are reaching out to, and further provides editorial value to their content or as a resource.

Then, what is traditional PR?

Public Relations is all about building relationships and nurturing them. Because of this, PR practitioners know what publishers and journalist are looking for in a story and how and when to pitch them. The main aim for traditional PR is brand awareness, focusing on shredding light on the business and brand. That means that traditional PR usually focuses on product releases and specific brand announcements and stories; PR tries controlling the conversation of the brand and creates an image the public respond positively to.

How is Digital PR different to traditional PR?

Digital PR is a link building strategy utilising PR tactics to earn links.  It involves building strong relationships and relies heavily on the reputation of the brand. However, there are differences on how Digital PR is both executed and measured.

In link building we use certain measurements to determine the value of a target site. The quality of the site is mainly determined by the Domain Authority of the site.  The higher the DA the better, as this helps pass on “link equity” to your site.

SEO professionals tend to expand on the range of domains they can go after. That means they will not only go after the usual Tier 1 and Tier 2 publications as traditional PR. The aim is always to gain authoritative links, however, digital PR often involves more targeted outreach directed towards websites. This could be anything from product-relevant sites, to industry-relevant sites and local sites.  Therefore, what is considered as a valuable domain may differ between traditional PR and digital PR. For example, educational establishments or government sites are seen as highly valuable and authoritative in digital PR.

In Digital PR you can build links to more specific pages on your site.

The links we build through Digital PR campaigns are usually directed to specific content and relevant landing pages on the site, which has been created to relate to the specific outreach content. Relevancy is another important factor when building links, therefore, the specific content gives context to the link as well as providing value for the publishers and websites you’re contacting.

This also helps building deeper links to your site, which is recommended for your site’s overall performance. Pointing links to specific content and product pages linked to your targeted keywords, increases the chances of ranking more efficiently and further improve your online visibility.

Opposingly, for traditional PR there is not usually a link included, and if there is, it is usually directed to the homepage.

The main KPI for Digital PR is the number of quality links you have built through your Digital PR campaign. Along the way, it may also be measured in terms of increased visibility of certain keywords and target pages of the link building campaign. This will positively affect your site’s domain authority and result in a general increase in organic visibility and traffic driven to your site.

For traditional PR, KPI’s rely more on the amount of coverage or share of voice. The goal is often brand or company mentions, rather than an actual link.

And finally.

Both Digital PR and traditional PR have their advantages depending on what you’re trying to achieve. They can also greatly benefit each other. As traditional PR often emphasises the business and the brand, this also facilitates any link building process, as it increases the status of the brand. It therefore also increases the likelihood of publishers and websites wanting to write about your content and link to your site’s content as a reputable source.