Digital PR in 2021: How traditional PR has changed

When I embarked on my PR career 15 years ago, success was very much measured by the number of press cuttings you could generate for a client. Our media monitoring agency painstakingly cut out each article that featured our clients from magazines and newspapers and posted them out to us. Every morning there would be a rush to collect the post to see how big the cuttings bundle was – there’d be a lot of competition between us PR execs to see who had secured the most that day.

Magazine vs Online PR coverage

After we’d congratulated ourselves, we’d then go about working out what it would have cost the client to buy that space had they taken out an advert. Those days, press coverage secured online was considered a poor relation and often not even worthy of a mention in the client report how the tables have turned. Today, although coverage in magazines and newspapers is important for most of our clients, online PR coverage is king. It’s carefully tracked, and its impact measured and reported on.

Traditional PR tactics in 2021

What hasn’t changed are the traditional PR tactics which are as essential now as they were a decade ago. Digital PR requires just as much planning and creativity. Generally speaking, there are more opportunities for longer exploratory articles needing the PR agency to have an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. Just like in the old days, journalist relationships are key in the digital age. Whilst journalists are much less likely to want to meet you for lunch (although I know this is a pipedream anyway at the moment!), they’re more time stretched than ever before. So, they rely on trusted PR contacts to provide timely, thought-provoking content they can get up on their sites within hours, or sometimes even minutes. When a celebrity divorces, they need comments from divorce lawyers within hours, it’s old news the next day, and very often, it can be a case of first past the post. If you can’t react quickly, there’ll be a queue of others than can.

Next time your PR agency gives you a tight deadline to approve comments or asks you to speak to a journalist at short notice, if you can make the time, you’ll reap the rewards, and you can rest assured, those rewards will be analysed in your next PR report!

Why we need Print & Online PR

In this digital age, where online coverage is vital, there is still very much value for coverage in printed publications, too. These titles have real staying power and can be proudly displayed in reception areas for all visitors to see. People keep hold of high-quality magazines and often refer back to articles when looking for a particular service or product. Online and printed coverage serve different purposes, but a good PR agency will effectively use both to reach your audience.

Are you interested in improving your brands’ online presence? Let us tell your story and help you secure digital PR coverage. Give us a call on 07966 916643, or fill in our contact form.