What comes to your mind when you think of public relations? Maybe you think of something as simple as a press release or brand reputation. Perhaps you think of a hashtag or sponsored campaign on social media. Neither of those answers are wrong. With the emergence of the digital era, public relations has evolved into a multifaceted tool consisting of both traditional and digital strategies.
We live in a world of instant gratification. As such, our clients want to see the results of their campaign almost as soon as it starts. Even just 15 years ago, that would have seem like an impossible feat. Now, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google, you name it, can measure impressions and other analytics in real time. Digital media caters to those who need quick action and results.
In addition, digital media allows for campaigns to reach a wider audience. People from around the world gravitate to Twitter and Facebook for their news and daily entertainment. These social media platform allow you to target specific demographics or geographical locations, making it easier for you to reach your intended audience on a larger scale.
Digital media has also promoted the inventions of various softwares that make executing traditional public relations tactics easier. Media relations softwares, like Cision and Meltwater, give professionals access to a vast database of influencers and journalists. By sifting through a collection of articles or publications, the professional can connect with the influencer who fits their target audience.
Inexperienced professionals or organizations tend to lean solely on digital public relations to drive a campaign or reach a goal. But those with knowledge of the field understand the importance of balance between traditional and digital. When brands rely exclusively on one side or the other, an entire section of the target audience is left out.
But no matter how much the industry landscape changes, public relations will always hinge on the strength of relationships established with influencers, clients and publics. Digital and traditional public relations professionals both have to cultivate numerous relationships. Digital-focused professionals tend to focus on relationships with online influencers, like bloggers, while traditional-focused professionals develop relationships with journalists and broadcasters.