The past few years have seen a continual explosion in social media usage and digital marketing as the world has continued to spend more and more time online. The pandemic has rapidly increased this digitalisation with 86% of British adults now using the internet and spending an average of three hours and 37 minutes online each day.
With people now tending to consume their media and information online, rather than in its traditional format, more and more people have been lending weight to the cry that print is dead. However, brands that are ignoring the role of traditional media in their PR strategies could be missing out on key benefits.
Traditional media is still powerful
In fact, some traditional forms of media, such as making use of billboard advertising or print newspaper, can still be very effective. For example, a recent survey found that 71% of respondents thought that billboards were actually more effective at capturing a viewers’ attention than online advertising. In a world where everyone is jostling to make their voice heard in the online space, traditional forms of media can help a company stand above the noise.
Although people are preferring to consume more of their news through social media, evidence shows that print and more traditional channels are still heavily used. In fact, a third of British adults still use print newspapers as their main source of news consumption. Therefore, failing to engage with these traditional forms of media, such as print, broadcast or billboard advertising, could leave brands ignoring a whole sector of the population which could prove to be a vital audience.
In addition, an essential part of any brand’s successful PR campaign is a steady diet of insightful and targeted thought leadership pieces. These pieces elevate a company’s brand awareness and position its senior managers as trusted thought leaders across their sector. The long-form format of traditional media lends itself quite obviously to this element of a PR campaign, but it can also be essential for building an authoritative voice within an often crowded industry.
While social media can be an excellent tool for getting the word out there about a brand, with everyone having a voice on social media, it is not always regarded as the most trustworthy source. In fact, in recent research conducted by Ofcom about British adult’s news consumption, social media ranked as the least trustworthy source of information. Clearly, traditional media can offer a company different benefits, such as building a trustworthy voice and reaching a different audience, to that of social media and more digitally focused marketing. To ignore the role of traditional media in your PR strategy would be to ignore a crucial element of any truly successful PR campaign.
Work together and not against
However, it is still clear that social media and other less traditional media channels are becoming increasingly powerful tools to have in any company’s arsenal. As evidence of social media’s success, 91% of company executives anticipate their business’ social media marketing budget will rise over the next three years.
With social media offering companies the opportunity to reactively engage with topical sector news while reaching a vast audience, it has a vital role to play in any successful PR strategy. However, too much of the conversation around social media and traditional media channels has seen the two as mutually exclusive. In order to truly reach a broad and influential audience, a PR campaign must make use of both media channels.
Creating a ‘blended’ PR strategy
Social media is becoming an increasingly vital tool in any PR strategy and a successful ‘blended’ campaign will leverage social media’s reach to amplify the work being done in traditional media. For example, using your social channels to discuss the thought leadership and news stories being placed in more traditional media sources can broaden the audiences that activity is reaching. Equally, sharing PR activity from more traditional media sources, such as articles from print media titles or briefings from key broadcast outlets, on a company’s social channels allows a brand to engage more thoughtfully with its online audiences and truly stand out in the increasingly crowded space that is social media.
However, it is also crucial to ensure modern and traditional media activity is aligned in terms of messaging. While different forms of media may call for different tones, maintaining strong branding across all platforms allows a company to present a compelling and consistent message to their key audiences. Working with a knowledgeable PR agency can help a brand drill down into what it is that they want to say and how they want to say it. By taking the time to establish a brand’s messaging, a company can execute a fully aligned and successful ‘blended’ PR.
With the world of media becoming increasingly crowded, companies looking to stand out and make their voices heard amongst the right audiences need to be making the best use of both traditional media and social media channels. At Sapience, our experienced team can help you craft the traditional media and digital marketing campaign that is right for you.
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