We are living in a new age of influence.
An age where news break around the world in seconds and citizen journalism is on the rise. An era when the majority of the world’s population has now plugged-in to a powerful online platform and where the continuous stream of new content and opinions flow like a river after the floods.
We are living in a time when one word – the internet – stands as the most significant revolution in communication history.
It is now a question of whether or not your business is keeping up to speed with the online metamorphosis.
What’s the difference between online PR and offline PR?
Public relations now has the ability to drive sales and growth and ultimately, revenue through more platforms than ever before.
So let’s define online PR: this involves activities fitted towards influencing media, audiences and communities that exist exclusively on the Internet using online channels. This includes blogs, search engines, news search, forums, social networks, discussion threads, and other online communication tools. Brand reputation monitoring and management is also a focus area for online PR.
Offline PR handles the same things except with radio, print, TV, conferences/events and other “real life” venues. One difference between online and offline PR is in pitching. For example, before pitching a print journalist, the publication’s editorial calendar is researched to see if there are any planned story opportunities. The subsequent pitch is specific to the upcoming story.
Regardless of the medium or the pace at which technology changes, the traditional principles of online public relations will continue to remain the same.
The more PR you do, greater potential for even greater media exposure
PR is not just media relations
- “doing outreach” itself is PR
- Other PR examples include:
- Special Events
- Special Promotions
- Public Affairs
- Internal Relations
- Community Relations
- High Tech PR: blogging, social networking
In order to get individuals to hear you, you must prompt many important influencers that your business, its services or products are worth their time to consider.
Listen, Create and Engage with audiences
Step one: Listen
The first step to successful online public relations is to listen. A business must listen to and monitor what is being said about their company, product or brand online, who is driving these conversations and where these conversations are being held. This research will provide a solid foundation for effective online communications. This ground work is vital in giving your company confidence to enter online conversations with the right content, in the appropriate space, to the correct audience.
Step two: Create
Create relevant content to post online. Regardless of the platform or technology a company decides to use, every piece of information posted by your company online must be relevant and of interest to the target audience. Fresh and new content will draw people continuously back to your company’s blog, website and social media pages. This will assist in raising your company or brand’s profile while also establishing your company as a thought leader in your chosen area of interest.
Step 3: Engage
The most important, a company needs to view online communication as a process of continuous engagement. Without interaction, social media tools can quickly become another broadcasting mechanism. Interact with others online by commenting on blog posts, replying to followers on Twitter, entering forum discussions and responding to tags. Make sure when engaging online to be personable in your approach. Any hint of a ‘sales pitch’ will be easily identified and your company’s presence on the social media platform may be hindered as a result.
The highly interactive world of the Internet has its obvious advantages and disadvantages, so any digital PR strategy requires careful consideration. But with the ability to listen and react to conversations, engage with consumers, provide compelling content and exploit new visibility avenues, the benefits are incredibly far-reaching.