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Traditional vs Digital PR: OutSpeech Episode 3

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For this episode of our digital PR podcast Outspeech, we invited Laura Hogan from Birmingham based PR agency Jellybean to discuss the latest events in our industry and her thoughts on the blurring lines between traditional and digital techniques.

Traditional PR tactics in digital PR

One of the things we discussed with Laura was the increasingly blurred line between traditional and digital. While the early days of digital PR were all about generating coverage through online assets like infographics, today’s digital PR is far more open to investments in offline stunts, events and product trials as a means to gaining online links.

What digital PRs have over traditional PRs is a working knowledge of how links influence online visibility and great digital PRs know how best to channel the equity gained from their links to best influence SEO improvement.

But what traditional PRs have over digital PRs is the built in ability to spot news stories in every facet of a business – from simple new hire announcements right through to more complex ideas driven from an in depth knowledge of the company, its plans and its values. As Laura points out in the podcast, traditional PRs know brand far better than many of their digital equivalents.

What digital PR does that traditional doesn’t

We also discussed with Laura the key differentiators between traditional PR and digital PR. Measurability, of course, remains a key factor – with digital being arguably much more measurable than traditional in that the interaction earned with audiences is trackable right through to conversion. Meanwhile, traditional PRs will tend to measure on factors such as advertising value equivalent (AVE) or circulation figures of the publication – which are harder to track through the user journey.

Though the measurement metrics differ, there is a common theme of measurability that runs through both traditional and digital. In many ways, PRs at any point of that traditional-to-digital spectrum want to be able to prove their value through measurable gains and as such, consideration of all of those metrics can be beneficial to a campaign.

For example, while a link from The Guardian might be unfollowed and therefore thought by many to hold less SEO-value, the circulation of that newspaper in terms of number could well make it a desirable target for digital PRs to earn visibility for their campaign. Deeper circulation insights can also show how relevant the audience is to the brand, further proving the value of being seen by that audience if the relevance aligns.

Equally, for traditional PRs, there is so much value to be gained through simply including a link in press releases – learning more about links and how they work will undoubtedly increase the value delivered by traditional PRs to their clients.

Other digital PR news

Our podcast also includes the rowdy roundup and DR-op it like it’s hot, two features where we explore what’s been going on in the world of digital PR and the campaigns we’ve enjoyed most.

Check out our podcast today on the link above or via your favourite podcast platform.

Want to be a guest on Outspeech?

We’re always looking for new guests for Outspeech; if you’d like to be involved, email