The Differences Between Offline and Online PR

Posted by Mark Thompson - February 4, 2011 - Blogging, SEM - 5 Comments

Public Relations is all about creating buzz and/or exposure around a brand or company to a target audience, through various offline and online engagements.  However an offline and online PR marketing campaign have many differences that are important to understand.

Even though I am a bit bias, there is no denying that there is a major shift in how and where people are consuming information.  Businesses are seeing the impact online PR is having over offline PR.  That is not to say that offline PR is dead, but a company would be naive to think that they shouldn’t be adjusting their PR strategy based on this rapid shift.

PR Channels

Offline PR

Traditional PR channels include TV, Print, Radio, Speaking Engagements, and other real life events.  It involves engaging with newspaper journalist, TV reporters, Radio talent, industry publications, magazine editors, etc…   The format and production process does not differ greatly from online, but when it comes to distribution and subsequent uptake of the news they are worlds apart.

Online PR

Over the course of the internet evolution, more and more people are shifting where they consume information and visiting places like Blogs, Forums, Discussion Boards, Micro-Blogs and Social Networking Sites to consume information.  Not only are readers consuming information, but brands are building credibility and authority.  Creating optimized press releases, viral videos, blogs (on your personal blog or guest post) and daily social media engagement all fall under online PR.  Regardless of if you are pitching an offline or online journalist, you want to make it easy to find.  Use things like PRWeb to syndicate a press release, online media kits, social bookmarking, and SEO to maximize the exposure of your content.

PR Outreach

Offline PR

When it comes to pitching a print journalist, they have an editorial calendar that that follow, so see if you can relate a story based on what they are going to be writing about.  Usually they publish a list of events that are going to happen in the upcoming months or year, so see if you can tie in something about your business that relates to the topics they will be covering.

Online PR

On the other side of things, when you are pitching bloggers and online journalists, you need to spend a good amount of time understanding what kind of content they create and things like style and format.  Usually a blogger will write their own side or opinion of a particular story and reference the press release…unlike print publications who generally republish a piece.

A big focus for brands over the last few years has been Online Reputation Management (ORM).  A potential advantage or disadvantages for businesses is that almost everything that is said online is public.  People are talking about your brand, whether you like it or not, so it is important to monitor what people are saying and create an outreach program that addresses what people are saying (both good and bad).  Using social media monitoring tools are a great way to find when someone mentions your brand.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter