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The Difference Between Digital Marketing and PR

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Introduction

Digital marketing and PR (Public relations) are integrated processes, but we cannot mistake the two as the same. Often people tend to confuse the key roles of these two elements, but they’re vastly different.

The scope of digital marketing revolves around identifying target audiences for a business. It aims to convert them into customers while PR focuses more upon brand awareness. The ultimate objective of public relations is to help influence the public’s opinion, raise awareness for a brand and help businesses deal with a crisis.

As we said, it is not uncommon to come across people confusing digital marketing for PR. It is also not surprising considering the deep connection that both processes share. But the truth is that both these marketing elements have fundamental differences.

In this piece, we will outline the differences between digital marketing and PR for you.

Key Differences

The very first difference is in the traditional definitions of PR and digital marketing. Let’s take a look at them below:

  • Digital Marketing: The act of selling or promoting the products and services of a business. These actions also include advertising and market research.
  • Public Relations: Professionally maintaining an impressive image of a business, organization or company in public eyes.

Herein you can see that digital marketing focuses on selling and promoting products and services while PR prioritizes maintaining a good reputation of the business.

Objective-Achieving Channels

The other key difference between digital marketing and PR lies in the channels that each uses to achieve its objectives. As the name itself suggests, digital marketing entirely revolves around the online sphere. It is an utterly online-based process, and all of its focus revolves around social media, SEO, content marketing, paid social, web, and creative development.

Due to the modern evolutions, PR strategies have evolved too, but even today, they include a mix of both digital and traditional channels. Hence, PR features social media outlets along with print publications and online publications too.

Daily Processes

Even the daily tasks that professionals from the digital marketing and PR departments have to perform differently in nature. Let’s take a look at those below:

Daily Tasks of a PR Professional

On average, here is what PR professionals of a public relations agency do on a daily basis:

  • Design positive stories and pitch them to the public as upcoming announcements from the company to the media.
  • Writing press releases for new initiatives or upcoming product launches by the company.
  • Updating and managing company messaging.
  • Searching for industry events to secure speaking opportunities for a company’s executives.
  • Developing talking points to engage the press in conversations about company crises.

Daily Tasks of a Marketing Professional

The daily schedule of a marketing professional would feature the following tasks:

  • Hunting for relevant campaigns and media platforms and booking advertising slots. These include online, TV, and radio.
  • Working on the campaigns for new company products and initiatives.
  • Working on landing pages for company websites, brochures, and other supportive materials for product launches. It would also be including engaging the sales team to prepare what they require, including FAQs. Event
  • Working on the weekly newsletters to dispatch to clients.
  • Channeling marketing campaigns with the help of client and industry research

The Purpose

Digital Marketing

We have highlighted how the core purpose of digital marketing is to cover direct marketing, advertising, and promotional campaigns. All of these processes have a direct connection with sales and revenue generation.

The ultimate objective of these processes is to reach out to potential and current customers and thereby fetch revenues. The only twist that digital marketing features are the combination of electronic devices with marketing efforts.

Digital marketing aims to engage prospective and existing customers. It does that by leveraging channels like social media, email, and search engines. Currently, having a powerful online presence is a step forward in earning greater revenues, and digital marketing plays a vital role here.

PR

Public relations take complete responsibility for the flow of information from the business to the public. It plays the vital role of persuading partners, investors, public and other bodies whose perspectives impact important decisions.

Since PR is mainly for targeting audiences for a company, it also aims to design every message to appeal to the masses. Hence, PR is mostly about positive brand image management and facilitating communication between a business and its stakeholders.

Success Metrics

For Digital Marketing

Even the metrics for measuring success are different both digital marketing and PR. If a digital marketer is close to completing their campaign and wish for an idea of how it fared, here’s what they can search for:

  • Did they manage to create a powerful stir about the product amongst industry influencers, social media followers, customers, and the general masses?
  • Did they manage to fetch a higher ROI than the budget invested into the marketing campaign? Did profit from the sales far outdo the sum of money they spent in marketing the product/s?
  • Did the product or service they marketed outdo the sales goals or event meet them?

If yes to all three, then the digital marketers can rejoice in their victory. But if they find they failed to answer any of these three questions positively, then their campaign did not fare too well.

For PR

The success metric for PR professionals work as follows:

  • How much stir did the PR professionals manage to rouse in the industry influencers, journalists, social media followers regarding the company as a whole or a single product?
  • How much positive press they created in the top-tier broadcast outlets and trade publications regarding the entire company or their specific products.
  • How many awards they secured at elite industry events
  • How many powerful speeches did a company’s executives deliver and created positive press at high-profile industry events?

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing and PR may have integrated processes, but they differ in objectives, outcomes, and strategies. They are both vital to improving the success rate of a business and have an outreach capacity that is hard to miss.

However, while it is possible to conduct each of these separately in a company, combining digital marketing with some PR and vice versa will make the end-goals even more impactful.

 

We are a team of writers passionate about innovation and entrepreneur lifestyle. We are devoted to providing you the best insight into innovation trends and startups.

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