Traditional vs Digital Public Relations

While they often work toward the same goals, there are many differences between traditional and digital public relations. However, before you can understand these differences, you must first grasp what the practice of public relations is at its core. A quick Google search for, “What is public relations?”, will lead you to believe that public relations specialists are image shapers. That is true to a degree, but it is not the only thing that public relations specialists do. As an agency, we believe that the practice of PR is a two-way communication that changes perceptions and actions. It is vital to marketing campaigns, especially digital, that we use those principles to help guide us to better connect with our audiences. 

Understanding How Traditional and Digital Public Relations Coincide

Traditional public relations, habitually, consists of conventional forms of communication such as press releases, media kits, magazines, newspapers, TV news, as well as a few other vehicles in that media landscape. 

Meanwhile, digital public relations involves online methods such as social media marketing, blogging, podcasts, website content, online news resources and video content. Much like the way social media has become an ephemeral form of content that drastically evolves on a regular basis, the practice of traditional public relations, in general, is forced to adapt especially as the marketing landscape becomes more and more digital. 

Many businesses and organizations now realize that digital PR is one of the most effective ways to communicate and engage with their target audience in a timely and widespread manner. However, even with the rise of digital PR, the principles and practices of traditional PR have not been forgotten.

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Weaving Traditional and Digital Public Relations Together

Traditional PR has not diminished during the upturn of digital PR in recent years. In fact, it has become largely utilized, potentially for the first time by some organizations thanks to a worldwide pandemic shutdown. Examples of traditional public relations practices are evident everywhere we turn. 

On a daily basis, you are likely to read a social media post or magazine article or hear a news anchor or social media influencer mention a product or event. As PR strategists we know that in order to get our message seen or heard it will take multiple points of outreach across many different channels. Therefore, our efforts must utilize both traditional and digital PR to successfully reach a targeted audience with the goal that they don’t just see it or hear it but take some action based upon what they’ve learned. This is known as the PESO model.

The PESO model is an integrated communications model using various channels. It is the strategic framework for outlining and obtaining measurable results while integrating four media types – paid, earned, shared and owned media. What are these individually? 

  • Paid media is boosted social media posts or sponsored content. 
  • Earned media is the most traditional form of public relations. It is truly where you “earn” the stories or mentions by reporters, bloggers or influencers. 
  • Shared media leans more towards the digital side of PR with user-generated content, retweets and reposting on Instagram stories. 
  • Owned media is the content that you own on your website or social platforms. 

By merging together these four media types your organization can strengthen its brand reputation and establish authority to become a thought leader in your industry. 

Why Traditional and Digital Public Relations Both Work

Despite the differences between traditional and digital public relations, they ultimately have the same mission, which is to share a core message, connect with your key audience and build brand awareness. 

We may be biased, but we can definitely say that traditional PR, in all its glory, will never go away. Although its tried-and-true methods have evolved over the years, tactics involving storytelling in partnership with some type of third-party mouthpiece, such as media partners, influencers or brand ambassadors continue to be valuable to consumers. The wonderful aspect of digital PR is that it works to enhance traditional PR by reaching people right where they are and in a much more targeted way. It also provides a better means of measurement, which helps to identify whether or not your outreach strategy is effective. Together, they help you cast a wider net to reach your key audience in multiple ways with messaging that coincides with their specific needs and interests. 

Our Work

Our work reflects our focus on reputation, relationships and results. We are all about generating new leads, increasing guest counts and moving the needle for your business. We daydream about KPIs just like you.

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about how public relations can work to accomplish your goals, let’s connect. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, raise sales or generate other powerful results, Ghidotti can help. Our team of dedicated PR professionals help clients develop personalized strategies to promote their brand, reach the people they want and generate measurable results. 


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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring an Assistant Account Executive! 

Assistant Account Executive Job Description: 

As an Assistant Account Executive, the staff member will assist the team in the execution of client activities and be exposed to all aspects of the basic services offered at the agency.

Main Responsibilities

  • Develop complete, accurate and effective lists using multiple information sources based on the agency’s resources. (Cision, online resources, etc.).
  • Write/prepare pitches, backgrounders, executive communications and various reports (as appropriate by service function) with supervision from the manager.
  • Effectively pitch and place stories for clients, with an emphasis on placement results (particularly local and regional media). (Digital-specific team members excluded).
  • Be adept at engaging in and creating content for digital media campaigns, including social media, paid campaigns (including early stages of copywriting), e-newsletters, etc.
  • Monitor for trends/marketing/story/lead opportunities that are client- or service-related. Keeping a consistent pulse on the industry trends within your client’s base.
  • Support special events such as media tours, receptions, luncheons, trade shows, grand openings, etc. 
  • Participate in group brainstorming sessions.
  • Continue advancing skills for InDesign, Photoshop and/or WordPress, as well as grasping overall design best practices (depending on position/department).
  • Continue advancing skills in agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Maintain relevant Google certifications for AdWords, GDN, Analytics or otherwise, adding at least one additional certification. (Digital team only)
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.


Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

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  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

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  4. Winter Recess

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  5. Summer Fridays

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  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
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