Brand Strategy · Customer Acquisition

If budget was tight and you had to choose between PR or digital marketing, which would you choose?


January 18th, 2020

If you're

1. A luxury travel company

2. Your end goal is to increase bookings

3. You want to build brand awareness + increase consumer trust.

Corben Briggs Founder / CEO of HOWIE

January 28th, 2020

I would focus a bit more on the digital marketing side of things first. With this type of business it would be easier to track and evaluate what is working and what is not. Digital Marketing in this day in age can be extremely effective and produce phenomenal results at a low cost especially in the travel industry. From there, if done correctly, you should be able to gain new customers, build your brand awareness, and most importantly understand exactly who your customers are and how they react. This will help tremendously in using that valuable information to conduct a more efficient and successful PR campaign which may be a bit more costly depending on the best way to reach your market.

PR marketing can be great however in order for it to work in a way you would like it to or for it to produce the results you want it can be very particular. When I was working for a start up recruiting agency we would first use DM to spread some awareness of our company and find out who our most lucrative customers were. This data was so helpful in the beginning. After we had some skin in the game we moved forward with some less affordable PR campaigns to broaden our horizons a bit.

Hope this helps!


Marc Butler President and COO, Skience | Board Member and Advisor

February 2nd, 2020

It entirely depends on what the business is, but generally speaking I think you need a combination of both. There are targeted, inexpensive ways to market on social media and you may want to invest more of your time and money there initially.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

January 29th, 2020

I probably wouldn't choose either thing and I would spend my money on testing marketing strategy, not tactics like PR or ads. If strategy doesn't come first, and if you don't validate your assumptions, no amount of press or advertising is going to bring you enough business to last.

You're in an extremely competitive space with a small audience. You have a high bar to get noticed because established luxury travel companies don't place cheap ads. And people buying luxury travel don't generally use digital advertising to find out about opportunities. Know where your audience is, speak the way they want to be spoken to, and be where they're looking when they are looking. If you do your research, I believe you'll find that your real audience, the ones willing to pay the real bucks, are not where you think you can reach them.

They're more likely making travel decisions based on articles in Departures Magazine or based on what their friends did last year. They're not searching Google for places to go and things to do. It isn't cheap to attract luxury buyers, so if your budget is tight now, you may simply need more budget if you want to succeed.

Adi Bachar-Reske A B2B Fintech Marketer

January 30th, 2020

Digital IS the new PR. Digital is a way to bring inbound leads that convert quickly. PR is more about spreading messages but not necessarily using the inbound strategy and the tech tools needed to bring clear ROI. Makes sense?

Golpar s Co-Founder and CEO @Group3DigitalAgency

February 7th, 2020

PR can be a part of your digital marketing strategy but you definitely need to utilize online marketing in order to get the word out and bring awareness to your brand.

So first do the digital marketing and build up your presence on Social Media and have a good looking, comprehensive website.

Then later in your marketing funnel you can use PR to get more publicity...

Curt Sahakian Attorney

February 4th, 2020

Provided that you have something newsworthy, PR will always be more powerful for almost any product or service.

But the vast majority of products and services don't have the inherent newsworthiness to take advantage of the PR.

So.... if what you have is well suited to PR, go with the PR. Otherwise stick to the digital marketing.


If budget was tight and you had to choose between PR or digital marketing, which would you choose?"

Josh Laughtland Founder at Jtree SEO

February 6th, 2020

Too easy! 😉 Organic Search AKA SEO, the act of generating consistent search result traffic to a website usually for a flat monthly rate.

  • SEO has a low CPA (cost per acquisition) when compared to PR, paid search and social.
  • It also doesn't suffer from a pay-to-play mentality. The monthly rate is regardless of how many site visitors.
  • SEO is designed for broad targeting that delivers long-term, scalable results as a sustainable service (providing site visitors from search results).

Josh Laughtland Founder at Jtree SEO

February 6th, 2020

" Elon Musk spends nothing on SEO. He seems to be doing OK. Why do you think that might be?" - Curt Sahakian, Attorney

I think you are confused about the differences between marketing and advertising. Elon Musk spends a ton of money on marketing - zero on advertising.

SEO is marketing/site optimization - not advertising.

How did you jump from a question about a luxury travel company to Elon Musk anyway? Just out comment trolling?

Emily Brackett Owner, Visible Logic

February 5th, 2020

What age group are you targeting? If it's luxury travel for the older age range, they're more likely getting info from magazine stories; so PR. But if these are younger people actively working, then digital marketing will be more effective.

Older people probably would not try search for a recommendation whereas a younger person would.

Steve Sisler Information Architect | Inventor

Last updated on February 6th, 2020

Although Adi means well, not entirely true. Most PR firms are a dime a dozen, that being said, it's not hard to spot a firm that can actually add value. Look into firms that use Public Affairs.

I regularly engage a firm to open doors that no one else can. It's a relationship of trust and results. How do you get a meeting with not one, but several pro sports teams? You pick up the phone and something will be on your calendar within a few days. The firm you select should have a diverse collection of clients. Mine has domain expertise in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Politics. This may not look like your best choice, but it is. What politician doesn't know how to navigate through nonsense? Find the right firm and you're getting grand slams all day long.

Digital is foolish, especially programatic. It's a license to steal your money. Lots of articles about this from industry insiders.