21st April 2021

Is Traditional PR Dead?

Lizzie Parr

With newspaper sales rapidly falling, it is reasonable for brands to be sceptical about the value of traditional PR - after all, what good is featuring in a national newspaper if nobody is reading it?

In an increasingly digital world, traditional PR can often be overlooked and dismissed as no longer being an important part of the marketing mix.

As brands continue to look to expand their online market share, traditional PR plays an important role in building a single cohesive narrative and positioning a business as the leading voice in their given field. 

When done well, it can go almost unnoticed - building brand recognition and generating high value coverage in hard to reach places. 

At I-COM, we believe that traditional PR is not dead but evolving. When used to amplify brands alongside SEO and digital, it can cut through the noise and help brands grow. 

With this in mind, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions associated with traditional PR and shared how we believe they can still benefit your digital marketing strategy.  

Do you still need a press office?

As the way people consume their news has changed, so has the press office function. In addition to traditional offline media, a good press office will also have strong relationships with digital journalists, content producers and influencers, to ensure their clients’ news is reaching the widest possible audience. 

Understanding how the media - in its many forms - operates remains key. With journalists receiving hundreds of emails every day, the best way to ensure that your news is getting read is by using a PR team's pre-existing relationships. 

So whether you want your brand to be featured in a national newspaper, secure swipe up links on Instagram or have a key spokesperson interviewed on breakfast TV, a well connected press office is still hugely important. 

Can we skip crisis management?

Today more than ever, brands are expected to be in constant communication with their consumers. While social media has been a fantastic tool for increasing identity and building engagement, it has also resulted in more chances for mistakes to be made. 

With one bad tweet or misjudged Instagram post able to seriously impact a brand, crisis management has never been so important. Traditional PR can work as the backbone of multi-channel communication, to help repair any damage caused. 

Strategic crisis management can help develop messaging to be pushed out across all platforms, pivot upcoming market activity and ultimately help a brand grow from the experience. 

Traditional PR is key to developing the long-term messaging that will help mitigate the damage and pre-existing relationships with the media can also be used to minimise any backlash. 
Why is reputation management still so important? 

With more competition than ever before, consumers rely on trust signals and third-party endorsement to help make key decisions about what to buy, where to go and what services to use. 

Unlike advertising or paid social media, earned media - unpaid mentions in publications, on social media and broadcast - can act as a key trust signal for individuals and ultimately help them convert. 

Similarly, a strong reputation management strategy can be critical to countering negative feedback and promoting positive mentions. 

The endorsement of a trusted third-party source helps reinforce the wider brand messaging and when incorporated into a wider PR strategy, can provide new opportunities for promotion and greater insight on what makes your consumers tick. 

What is a press release and why do I need them? 

The press release is synonymous with traditional PR. Once faxed or even posted to journalists, they remain a core aspect of brand marketing and outreach strategy. 

The main purpose of a press release is to promote something specific and get it featured by the media. This might be a new product launch, senior promotion or response to changing legislation - this would then be pitched to media outlets who would be interested in covering. 

A secondary purpose is to keep a brand front of mind (or top of the inbox) and make it easy for journalists to find the press contacts for any brand. 

While a journalist might not always cover a release, it is hugely important to keep them up-to-date on what a brand is doing and make it clear that the business is happy to contribute to any upcoming pieces they might be working on. 

When targeting the right journalists, regular press releases can be hugely beneficial to building and maintaining essential relationships while driving  high-quality coverage. 

Get in Touch Today 

With more and more brands opting for a multi-channel approach, traditional PR should not be overlooked. Instead, businesses can benefit from a marketing strategy that draws on both digital and traditional methods. 

At I-COM, whether digital or offline, the ambition is always the same, to amplify brands, generate coverage and drive traffic to the website. 

To find out more about what we could do for your business, call us on  0161 402 3170 or fill in our handy contact form, for a free no-obligation chat about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.