Digital PR or Digital Marketing? What's the difference?

authorToni Becker dateNovember 18, 2020

We live in the digital age, and businesses and industries have had to evolve and adapt to the changes that have come with the new online transformation. Public Relations, once a sector reliant on traditional media such as newspapers, television, and radio broadcasting, has had to evolve and embrace the digital landscape.

Digital PR has made the public relations sector that much more powerful, as Digital PR strategies are less costly, more effective and more measurable than PR tactics of the past. Digital PR has also adopted some digital marketing tactics, and because of this, people often end up confusing the roles that each service provides. Yes, digital PR and digital marketing have some similarities, however there are key differences that set them apart. 


In this article we take a look at the differences between Digital PR and Digital marketing and help you understand the latest PR tactics that are taking over the industry. 

The Difference Between Digital PR and Digital Marketing

Public Relations, as the name suggests, is about managing the public's perception of a brand or individual, and comes down to putting strategies in place for generating brand awareness, crisis control and reputation management. This is done through article and content creation, backlinks, building brand authority through content creation and backlinks, and analysing and managing social media and online engagement between a brand and its target market. 

Digital marketing primarily focuses on lead generation, and reaching a brands target audience through digital channels such as social media, search engines, email marketing, content marketing, lead generation campaigns and website / blog creation. 

And with the above in mind, the metrics, and deliverables of each strategy are quite different. However, the differences between the two is what makes them a powerful team, as one strategy can leverage off the other with ease.

How Digital PR and Digital Marketing can Work Together

As stated above, digital PR and digital marketing are two separate marketing strategies, however these tactics serve as perfect counterparts.

Let’s take a look at how both tactics work together to create a fully rounded marketing solution:

Digital Marketing Platforms

Before the digital age, PR was solely focused on traditional media platforms such as print, television and radio broadcasting. However, since the digital space has expanded and become a daily part of our lives, PR has had to move into the digital realm.

Digital PR and Digital marketing both use online platforms to achieve their objectives - although both objectives differ, they do make use of similar digital tactics. This is where digital marketing and digital PR cross paths - which results in cross channel integration.

Cross Channel Integration

When used together, digital marketing and digital PR have the power to elevate their individual efforts. Both services have different deliverables, outcomes and key metrics, but they are able to support one another seamlessly through cross-channel integration, and cohesive strategy.

For example, your business can share your PR articles through your social media platforms, and these articles can serve two purposes at the same time. Instead of creating PR content solely for authoritative websites and for the purpose of backlinks, your marketing team can share links to those articles on your social media channels and this optimises your efforts and takes your PR and digital marketing to even greater heights. 

The above is just an example of how the two can work together in unison - but let’s unpack this further:

Search Engine Optimisation meets PR

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a large role in digital marketing strategy and is the process of getting a website to rank in the search engine results. Essentially, without SEO in place, a business will not be found online. The way SEO works is by creating domain authority through quality content creation and quality link building - and this can be done in conjunction with digital PR. 

As Digital PR is made up of quality content creation and distributing this content across authoritative and relevant websites, SEO professionals can use this content to help them boost results.

Social Media meets Digital PR

If your digital PR article is posted to an authoritative page - that's great - but it may not have the longevity it needs to thrive. All articles online are fleeting in their visibility due to an influx of content that is added to websites every day - making your placement a needle in the proverbial haystack after a while. 

However, thanks to social media and related online platforms, your PR team has the power to extend the reach of your PR articles, ensuring your placement is not forgotten. Your PR team can combine forces with your digital marketing team by sharing PR articles through social media platforms - and setting a PR placement up as a landing page for a social media campaign and ad. This strategy will drive users to your placement, helping to build the credibility of your brand - while giving your digital marketing team quality content to add into their content calendar.

Content Marketing meets Digital PR

Content is a running theme in this article and that is because PR and Digital Marketing both rely heavily on quality content creation. Content drives digital marketing efforts such as SEO, and drives PR placement efforts to build brand authority. You are also able to promote your digital marketing copy through your PR placements by linking back to your brand website or social media platforms.

Your PR and digital marketing team should work alongside a copywriter or copywriting team that is well versed in both PR and digital content creation. Your copy should be cohesive across your digital marketing and PR efforts. That is: your social media pages and your blogs should have similar messaging to the content seen on your PR placements. This makes sharing PR pieces across your digital marketing platforms that much easier - and there will be no discrepancies in messaging because of this kind of teamwork  - helping with reputation management in the long run. 

In Summary

Digital PR and digital marketing are intrinsically linked and provide an opportunity for marketers and PR specialists to leverage off each other's wins. By seamlessly aligning all PR and marketing efforts, your business is able to create a cross-channel, fully rounded marketing strategy that will show results and ultimately, company growth.

Founded in 2005, Nexa has helped hundreds of organisations from small startups to large multinational businesses providing high-quality digital marketing and digital PR services.

From Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Management to Content Creation and Digital PR,  Nexa has both the track record and in-house ability to support your business. We create unmatched digital experiences that drive business and more importantly, provide a trackable return on investment (ROI) for our clients.

If you would like to begin your digital PR and digital marketing journey, contact Nexa today or fill in the form below.