An introduction to online PR
It’s hard to contemplate the impact of the Internet. It has helped many industries and hurt others; it has given people the opportunity to find other like-minded individuals and information on topics they love. This is basically my approach to modern online PR.
My thought process has always incorporated the desire to spread the good word on interesting and beneficial things. Often times, I find that those products, services, or informational pieces don’t find the audience they deserve due to oversaturation. Let’s face it, there is a lot of clutter, and much of it isn’t nearly as positive as products that are hard to find. This is especially true within the online environment.
On one hand, online PR is great because you can reach a bigger, more direct audience. On the other hand, it can be tricky due to the volume of news found and displayed on the Internet.
This fact requires good online PR to be incredibly focused. The focus comes with knowing what news you want to promote, and doing keyword research based around that news. Incorporating keywords into your press release will optimize it for search engines like Google.
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How online PR is different
Public relations performed offline is a bit different than online PR. They both incorporate the same components of creating relationships, yet do it in different ways.
In the days before heavy Internet usage, many publicists turned to media relations. In addition to communicating with their publics, they would attempt to secure coverage in magazines or newspapers whose readership would be interested in information.
As readerships grew, more and more time was spent in this manner. However, that approach relied on external factors such as the writers and editors at the magazines.
Online PR has brought the public feel back with the ability to reach communities directly and the ability to have two-way communication with those communities.
PR still can include speaking at conferences, crisis communication and employee communication, but now there are more mediums for this communication. Press release distribution, forums, social media, video clips and audio pieces are all available to the online publicist.
One other difference is that PR used to be intangible. The advertising used by the company was considered to be the tangible because they could see direct results of the work.
However, Online PR can be partially tangible thanks to the evolution in technology. With Google Analytics you can monitor where traffic is coming from and how much there is. Goals can be set up in Google Analytics that will inform you when a specific goal is reached.
For example, when I release free reports, I create a goal for each. The goal is completed when a free report is downloaded by a new user. After running online PR campaigns, I typically check the statistics on how the campaign did. These stats are a tangible way of determining the value behind the products I release, and the campaigns I base around them.
For more information on how to create an online PR campaign, join me for our Online PR Tips, Tricks and Traps webinar on July 13th at 12:30 pm EST.