There's some debate about whether or not traditional PR is dying and whether or not digital is most effective. Some companies even go as far as throwing all traditional methods out the window in the name of social media. Is this a wise move? Is it more effective to use traditional PR efforts or throw all your eggs in a digital basket? I say...why couldn't you use both?

The other day over on his blog, @cspenn talks about how your marketing should be like a multi-course dinner. In that post, he mentions how different ingredients like salt and sugar make food taste delicious but an over-saturation of either tastes terrible. Nobody eats a meal of just plain salt or plain sugar. Penn goes on to mention how marketing works the same way. A client or lead may have initially met you at a trade show but reading your blog may have helped re-enforce some ideas. He rattles off other analogies all pointing to the same idea: your client lead interactions are complex with ingredients like amulti-course meal.

This idea could be used with PR. You wouldn't have to rely on a single digital channel to send a message, nor just a simple press release. Mixing up your efforts and cross-promoting through both traditional and digital avenues could have a profound effect on a marketing campaign. It would make measuring metrics of your campaign a little less clear but would still work.

My alma mater pulled this off nicely within the last couple of weeks. During my time at WKU I worked for an agency called Imagewest. Recently they launched a Facebook fan page self-promotional campaign to drive more likes to the agency page. Part of the promotion involved the agency donating supplies to a local Humane shelter in response to the number of "Likes" they received. Of course they tapped into their Facebook network and sent out an email campaign raising awareness like you would for any digital-based effort. However, they also sent out press-releases to their local newspapers and even scored a spot on the local WBKO newscast.

As a result of their efforts, Imagewest scored almost 600 fans in just a few days. Did all of their "Likes" come just from an email campaign? Were all of the fans just other Facebook friends of agency staff? There's no way to really be sure. Some of their fans could have seen their email blast but were influenced to take action as a result of watching them on the news (or vice versa). Throwing in a socially responsible initiative behind the effort, the agency put together a successful promotion.

What are some of your thoughts? Are the best campaigns ones that effectively use both traditional and digital means? Could you have a successful internet-only campaign?

Throw down some thoughts. I'll be listening.

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