Synchronising online-offline communication strategies for Generation Y

With an ever evolving digital industry scenario there is a growing need to reach out to the new age consumer who is always on-the-go. The requisite for engagement for greater brand recall entails a mix of integrated marketing strategies. A digital agency should therefore connect online and an offline to not just strengthen a brand’s position but also to synergise the consumers content consumption experience.

In today’s fast-paced life, customers tend to spend just a few seconds on absorbing digital content, making it especially important to reach out to them through a variety of channels. Therefore adopting digital as well as traditional PR to their basket of services would give digital agencies a higher advantage. It leads to the necessary effective impact across the marketing ecosystem and gives the agency an edge whilst integrating various mediums with a synergetic campaign strategy.

The popularity of traditional PR agencies diminish with Gen Y’s interest in the convenience of the internet. In recent times less expenditure has been incurred on print media due to the rise in e-papers and online media. These agencies are moving forward and embracing digital PR in order to synergise the services they provide to their clients.

Traditional PR agencies on realising digital PR is inevitable, will now need to extend their network to bloggers, twitter influencers and podcasters. Hence, certain early adopters are embracing tools and strategies to generate a memorable brand experience between social, mobile, print and web campaigns.

When creating new campaigns, creative teams will vary in approach and content, however the business goals and stakeholders for social media and public relations will essentially remain constant. Digital marketing organisations have therefore realised the need to extend business activities to meet both digital media and PR requirements by integrating their online and offline services so that the agency can solely provide a consistent brand message.

While integrating public relation services, agencies should recognise the varied challenges that will be encountered and must possess the cross media skills to translate them into opportunities for holistic success.

Firstly, for a digital agency to establish itself in the mainline PR industry will be a challenge in itself as building and maintaining relationships with publishers is neither easy nor quick. Secondly, another hindrance will be to change the perception clients have of the agency’s service offerings as pure digital marketing to mainline public relations as well. Thirdly, the small skill pool available when it comes to digital PR also poses a huge issue as there is a lack of experienced candidates available due to digital PR being a new and upcoming field.

Also, on initiating a PR vertical, digital media agencies have to compete with reputable public relation firms making this a major obstacle to overcome. Lastly, client understanding of the distinction between social media and online PR will require hand holding. Most clients are under the impression that they are one and the same whereas in actuality social media marketing is one facet when considering digital public relations.

Social media marketing refers to the process of engaging consumer bases through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, whereas online public relations includes driving visibility on various blogs and media websites through PR strategies, maintaining relations with trade media amongst others.

With the evolution of the marketing eco system, digital agencies must take up this opportunity to place digital at the centre of one’s communication strategy. By forming clutter-breaking content and keeping a tab on the reputation of a brand through a structured PR approach, a digital agency has the potential to encompass successful marketing communication solutions with the integration of online and mainline communication strategy and services. Going forward, it will become an increasing trend to see digital agencies evolve into providing a 360 degree perspective to ensure strong relations between a brand and its consumer.

Suveer Bajaj, Co-founder, FoxyMoron

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