PR, and more specifically, digital PR has been the buzz word in the business world in the last few years. Clearly the swift and widespread transition into the digital domain that has been occurring globally has triggered a shift in focus from traditional PR strategies to digital ones. But does this mean that today’s PR strategist should totally abandon traditional PR tools and rely only on digital ones?
The answer can be found in two contexts- the nature of the target market and the capacity of non digital PR to still reach that market. In reality, even though most people spend the greater portion of their days in the digital world, they still do exist in the physical one and this means that non-digital PR strategies can still reach them in the physical world. This means that PR plans that exclude traditional communication mediums are missing out on some very good opportunities to promote their brand.
Additionally, despite the mass migration into the virtual world, there are still some people who either have limited or no access to the tools required to occupy the digital world or who simply decide to stay away from the digital space. These people remain part of the target market as they still utilize the services and products offered by the many brands that exist in the commercial world. How do brands reach these people if they ignore traditional PR strategies altogether?
Billboards are still effective.
People still traverse the physical roads in the physical cities around the world. Billboards will probably never lose their usefulness as a PR tool because of this very fact. They have however evolved to look more modern and in line with the general evolutions in the social and commercial worlds.
Media Releases Still Work
While the digital world is a powerful PR tool, traditional PR methods remain relevant and should be used to complement the digital PR strategies being used. Press releases and feature articles in magazines like Forbes still have the capacity to help brands connect with their target market and establish brand identity. Millions of people around the world still spend a lot of time viewing television. Press conferences are therefore still very relevant as PR tools.
Brand Ambassadors are Still Relevant
Athletes, entertainers and models still make great brand ambassadors. They boost PR by using their celebrity status to promote the brand. This might include wearing branded clothing, talking about the brand and participating in events such as launch ceremonies.
There is Still a Place at the Table for Physical Meetings
As they did prior to the domination of the digital alternatives, physical meetings still offer great opportunities for brands to make positive impacts on their target markets.
Most traditional PR tools can be digitized easily. Brand ambassador typically have social media platforms that they can use to promote the brand. Press releases and media features can be posted on the digital versions of media outlets. Video and written content that is posted on billboards and television can also be posted online. The shrewd PR expert will therefore be able to make the best of both worlds by ensuring that the both traditional and no traditional platforms are utilized expertly in order to maximize impact.
Launch events to introduce new brands, promotions or products are also great PR tools. While digital launches are excellent for reaching audiences around the world, physical launches have an appeal that cannot be replaced. And physical launches can be live-streamed or otherwise digitized to ensure that digital citizens are included.
Digital PR has undoubtedly dominated the world of brand promotion but traditional PR mediums remain useful. The most effective PR strategy will therefore employ the use of traditional PR tools to complement the digital ones.