Is Digital PR the same as Digital Marketing?

authorShannon Correia dateDecember 24, 2020

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms digital PR and digital marketing and wondered what distinguishes one from the other. Do they hold more in common than sharing the digital space, does your business need both and can one perform the work of the other? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

What is digital marketing?

Primarily, digital marketing is all about marketing a product or service. This is done in a way which facilitates buyers as they move along the sales funnel, to gain leads and sales in the process.

Digital marketing is how marketers connect with and influence audiences through online channels. There are various ways to achieve this, and three sets of assets that the business has to work work, namely: paid, owned and earned channels. These include the design, the website, the content, the tools, the user-generated content, reviews and social media channels.

Digital marketing requires a strategy that is designed to attract and retain target audiences. Some of the methods of doing so include email, search engine marketing, social media, content and influencer relations.

What is digital PR?

Public relations are all about managing the reputation of a brand. Its primary focus is to create brand awareness using tools to reach the public, to build credibility.

Digital PR is all about relationship building in the digital world. This has overtaken traditional PR, which was aimed at TV, print media and radio to build bonds. This kind of PR includes events as well as working relations with influencers and content creators. The parts of traditional PR that have extended themselves to the newer type include the use of media lists, content calendars, press releases and events.

Digital PR seeks to build the online presence of a business while developing its brand authority with a measurable strategy. This is a highly effective method of gearing benefits and increasing revenue. With this, you can build links online and perform outreach tasks which are arguably more useful.

Same same but different

digital marketing or pr

The digital aspect does not merely mean traditional marketing and PR is now occurring online. Instead, these two aspects have evolved with the power of the internet. PR, therefore, is now about leads, referrals and traffic. Digital marketing is much the same, with different models, such as growth and performance marketing taking centre stage in recent years.

However, that is where the similarities and overlapping ends. When it comes to business functions, marketing and PR are separate. This is because they have different aims and methods, though each can reinforce the other. A business needs to utilise both of these aspects to build momentum for a brand.

For instance, creating discussions about your brand through PR can be a more authentic way of creating awareness for your brand. This is because the market is less about give and take, and more about building genuine relationships between brands and personalities. Marketing, while needed, can benefit from this and still reach people through more direct means, through advertising, for example.

An agency can provide you with one or both of these services. Both PR and digital marketing for your business should include:

  • Branding: You need a formidable brand before you can begin to promote it. This needs to be fleshed out in an in-depth way, beyond the look of the brand. You need to have established values as well as a brand voice and identity. This is what will enable your audience to both differentiate and resonate with your brand.
  • Strategy: Marketing and PR, when conducted digitally, can be described as a science. With a strategy in place, you will have goals to reach and tools best suited to the methodology that is decided upon. This should be planned following the needs of your target audience.
  • Implementation: The implementation of the strategy needs to be done with meticulousness. This is what will assist in carrying out the activities to the best possible degree. Since the goal of both marketing and PR is all about reaching your audience and building your brand pubically, the handling of it is of the utmost importance.
  • Measurement: As with all business activities, ROI is necessary to gauge. Thankfully, with digital PR and marketing, this can be exacted in various ways. This will also assist in developing better strategies for future campaigns. These measurement tools need to inform your KPI goals and be measured and reported on throughout the process, rather than being an afterthought.

Digital marketing and digital PR are, therefore, both distinct and necessary aspects of brand communication for a business. Both are centred on building relationships with customers in complementary ways. Make the most of your product or service, and have it reach maximum potential in the market by having both working together.

Work with experts in PR and marketing

Nexa is an independent creative marketing agency in Dubai. We work on PR and marketing campaigns for a variety of businesses, from start-ups to multinationals. Book a free session with us to get the ball rolling on your brand’s reach.