Digital Marketing or Public Relations. What’s Best for your Business?

When it comes to modern methods of marketing, Digital Marketing and Public Relations become the topic of debate due to the confusion between the roles each of these plays for a business. Without a doubt, they have some similarities that are more or less due to the trend of marketing being followed in the industry. But, several differences set them apart. So, what are they?

Public Relations focus more on generating brand awareness, changing public opinion and dealing with crisis. It is much of a traditional activity with the main focus on brand image optimization. Digital Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on identifying target audiences and converting them through promotional, direct marketing and advertising. So, it is very safe to say that the outcomes of digital marketing and PR end up being different.

But, that’s not it.

The difference between Digital Marketing and Public Relations makes them the best companion when integrated into a full marketing campaign. So, what are the basic differences that make PR and Digital Marketing two different parts of a single piece?

Initiating activities

Digital Marketing is a mixture of promotional, marketing and advertising activities that drives direct sales and leads. PR is more focused on reputation management through positive media coverage and communication.

Type of Audience

Digital Marketing aims at driving current or potential customers. PR is about pursuing the right audience and maintaining a healthy relationship with anyone who shows interest in the organization.


Being directed towards sales generation through website management, Digital marketing is focused more on taking actions in the interest of the audience. Public relations is about selling the company as an idea through positive communication and driving a positive reputation through an effective PR strategy.

Motive of Messages

Digital marketing activities are initiated by a company with the desire to increase sales and leads. The messages sent out for this motive are clearly understood by the audience and reacted to in the same way. Messages driven for PR activities include articles, press conferences, blogs, etc. They are subconsciously regarded as more legitimate by the consumers. Public Relations also involves authored articles by renowned professionals that receive higher credibility.

Difference in ROI

Digital Marketing is more of a business investment with the motive of attracting new customers while increasing retention as well. It is related more to paid branding and promotional activities. PR is more about the exposure of the company’s name resulting in increased credibility of the brand. It is much harder to calculate ROI for PR consulting as the change in perception and belief is difficult to measure.

Duration of Activities

Digital Marketing activities are considerably short-term activities but involve different types of activities that are planned and executed until a measured period. In comparison, PR activities take time before it benefits an organization. PR can be viewed as a long-term investment with recognizable achievements in the future.

From all the points stated above, it can be clearly understood that Digital Marketing and Public Relations are completely two different services that a company would use for increasing popularity and sales.

So, how well do they combine to form Digital PR?

The concept of Digital PR can be summed up as a relationship management function that focuses on media channels and other mediums available on the internet. In times where IoT is considered as the supreme channel to function and establish a brand, digital PR is a much preferable medium of increasing the reach of a brand.

Having said that, if we take a look at the points, Digital Marketing & PR activities might be different from each other but they are an essential part of any organization. With an effective combination of both the activities, a brand can drive attention, sales, audience, and business at the same time. So, it doesn’t change the reality that PR and Digital Marketing are dependent on each other and with the right concentration of both the activities success for any organization or brand is possible.

So, what do you think? Is your firm ready to accept the modern functionality of Digital Marketing and PR?