What’s the difference between print and digital PR? And why does it matter for your business?
Many businesses struggle when it comes to deciding on the best kind of PR campaign to pursue.
Which method of PR will give me the most bang for my buck? How do I know if the PR is working? Who should I trust? So many questions when a company is wanting to start their PR journey.
Since PR coverage gained in print newspapers and magazines is more traditional, many brands assume it is much more valuable than digital media coverage. We have seen many businesses start their tech PR journey with their hearts set on featuring in the Guardian or Telegraph.
However, not only is this often the most difficult type of coverage to achieve, it is not necessarily the most valuable PR opportunity for every brand.
Let’s take a look at the differences between print and digital media coverage, as well as how to tell which is most important for your business.
Benefits of print PR
1. You can easily reach your local target audience
For example, a radio appearance might play in one location: your city or region. A paper will go to households in a select number of suburbs.
2. The materials can be kept
The audience can have a hard copy of materials of which they can read or browse through over and over again.
3. It’s easy to understand
It can be easily understood by most people because they are already exposed to this kind of strategy.
Disadvantages of print
1. You have little interaction with your audience
Print media provides information to the public, not growing a relationship. Digital is more effective for encouraging conversation and debate.
2. Print can be very costly
While the cost of printing and distributing newspapers and magazines is usually absorbed by the publisher, this can push costs up when it comes to sponsored content or advertorials. Not only that, but the number of consumers paying for print media is still on the decline, which can affect the number of views your PR coverage receives.
3. Results are hard to measure
It’s harder to measure how far your paper PR has actually reached compared to a digital trail.
Benefits of digital PR
1. Global reach
You can target a local audience, but also an international one. You can tailor your campaign to specific demographics gender, location, age and interests.
2. Your audience can choose how they want to receive your content
While one person likes to read a blog post, another person likes to watch a YouTube video. Print PR doesn’t give the audience a choice. Online people get the choice on what they want to read and can be more specific and directional in their search.
3. Interaction with your audience
Social media networks are social meaning interaction is encouraged. You can encourage your followers to take action like visiting your website to find out more.
4. Digital marketing is cost-efficient
Although there is the option to pay for extra social reach and engagement. Digital marketing can start out at a very lost cost, meaning it’s a possibility for small businesses and startups.
5. Data and results are easily recorded
Google Analytics and insight tools offered by social media channels or the publication, you can check on your campaigns at any time. Unlike print PR, you can see in real time what is or is not working for your business. Meaning you can adapt very quickly to improve your results.
6. Level playing field
Any business can compete with any competitor regardless of size. Traditionally a startup may struggle to match the finesse of large corporations. With digital PR it gives any startup or any size company a chance to be seen.
7. Quick Results
You don’t have to wait weeks for a boost to your business. You can see the numbers of visitors to your site and its subscribers increase immediately. You can get quick results and find out if what you’re doing is working or not and be able to tailor for the next stage.
How often does a paper get passed around by colleagues and friends? Share buttons on your website or publication enables your message to be shared quickly.
The average Facebook user has 190 friends of which an average of 12% sees their liked posts – your one message has actually been seen by 15 new people. If some them like and share your message and their friends do the same? That’s why high-quality content is so important.
Linkbuilding is an important pillar of a successful SEO strategy. Backlinks secured from digital PR coverage act like votes of confidence from other websites, signalling to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. This can boost your website’s ranking and visibility in search results.
So what form of PR is actually the best?
Using both styles of PR would be optimal for a truly far-reaching campaign. Although we are passionate about digital PR because we know that it works well for digital brands, we do use traditional PR too.
A 2009 study conducted by Bangor University used fMRI to study the different effects of paper and digital.
Some of their key conclusions were:
Physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.
Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalisation.
As the years have gone on we have seen a rise in the digital transformation within PR. As an agency, we pride ourselves on staying current and sticking seeing the trends. This means we now tend to favour digital PR as the rise of impact can be seen.
We think the best idea is to talk to a PR expert, understand your business goals and see what will help you achieve them.
Still have questions about print or digital PR? Get in touch!