The shift to digital – and how it affects your PR program

In just a little more than two decades, how we transmit news – and how we absorb news – has been completely transformed, thanks to the rapid onset of the internet and social media.

The transition of news to digital sources has disrupted newspapers and magazines. TV and radio have also been greatly impacted, although they have quickly adopted social media as part of their overall communications platform.

What has happened is that digital has become newspaper, magazine, TV and radio all wrapped up into one. And it has revolutionized how we get our news.

How people get their news now

According to a study done by Pew Research Center, a large majority of adults in the U.S. get their news on digital devices. In fact, 86 percent of participants reported they often or sometimes use a smartphone, computer or tablet to get their news.

The next highest medium participants used to get news is television at 68 percent – nearly a 20 percent drop from digital devices. 50 percent of participants got news from radio while only 32 percent turned to print publications.

Digitally speaking, where do people go for their news?

Among digital platforms, Pew Research Center found the most preferred one for news is news websites or apps. About a quarter of U.S. adults prefer to get their news this way, compared with 12 percent who prefer search, 11 percent who prefer to get their news on social media and 3 percent who say they prefer podcasts.

Younger people, as you would expect, have adopted news use patterns different than their elders. Americans ages 50 and older use both television and digital devices for news at high rates, while the younger age groups have almost fully turned to digital devices as a platform to access news.

So, what does this mean for you and your PR program?

First, you must have a digital component in all your marketing communications.

Second, you must understand how to call upon digital media to augment your overall marketing program.

And that’s where communications resources – like a PR firm, social media agency or digital marketing agency – enter the picture.

Digital communications are a powerful means of calling attention to your business. But what kind of attention are you attracting?  Communicating digitally is one thing. Communicating effectively is different.

How we approach digital marketing at Wellons Communications

We have three basic tenets to approaching digital marketing for PR purposes:

  1. We view digital marketing as a springboard for marketing your business

Like a diver who vaults into the air from a springboard, you must select what kind of dive – or messaging—you want to undertake. And you must decide how you want your business to look when it appears on a mobile phone, tablet, computer or within a social media platform.

  1. Keep it simple

We battle to keep messaging simple and understandable. Attention-getting headlines. Short, understandable sentences. Visuals that instantly make your message come to life.

We support this simple approach by mixing in complementary features – like video, a podcast or blog – that keeps your online visitor wanting to learn more about you.

  1. A third thought: affordability

Marketing your business is a necessary expense, but you want to keep costs under control and avoid overspending. Small-to-medium-sized business simply don’t have the luxury of spending a great deal on marketing.

We seek to put together digital public relations and marketing programs that do the job you intend without going overboard on costs. That doesn’t mean you should conduct a digital PR program on the cheap. It means staying within your budget.

At Wellons Communications, we still call on the experience we gained creating simple, effective communications programs. Only now, we direct our messaging via digital sources and digital targets.

If you’re seeking to charge up your digital PR outreach, use a digital resource to get hold of us: send us an email at or a text at 407-462-2718. Or even pick up your cell phone and give us a call.

We’ll be happy to get right back to you, examine your needs and let you know how we can help you amplify your digital marketing communications.