In the article in front of you, we are about to tell you in detail what PR does on the Internet and why it is so important. You will learn how public relations on the Internet will help you grow your business.
You probably already knew that the abbreviation PR stands for public relations. This abbreviation applies both to the entire activity/profession and to the person who deals with it, i.e. doing it for a living. We can talk widely about traditional PR and its importance because, today, there is almost no successful business without quality PR. However, in the following paragraphs, we decided to pay special attention to the topic of PR on the Internet.
We all know that the Internet has irreversibly changed many spheres of business, and one that we want to talk about is communication. Thanks to the Internet, it has never become easier to convey your message to the public and build brand awareness. You have plenty of choices. That is why it is important to take the topic of online public relations more seriously.
What’s Online PR About?
As much as the Internet is different from traditional media, online public relations will be different from the traditional approach to this business. Internet PR should shape the image of your business by being able to convey information about your brand to consumers. At a time when it is never easier for consumers to sit down and google whenever they want and whatever they want, online presence and Internet public relations have a special challenge in front of them.
At the same time, you want as much information as possible about you on the Internet, but you also want to be the one to directly influence what information a potential client will receive in order to form an image of you and your company. One of the main things that PR on the Internet revolves around is creating a discussion or online ‘conversation’ about your brand that never stops. That way, your brand remains relevant, not to mention that there is no better marketing strategy than this.
What’s PR on the Internet?
In essence, PR on the Internet is not too different from traditional public relations. Both methods aim to influence public opinion in ways that do not involve classic advertising.
While marketing is primarily reflected in the placement of advertisements, billboards, or posters, either live or in through media, PR is a far more subtle way to advertise your company. What public relations do for advertising purposes can be, for example, publishing a story about your work in newspapers, magazines, a show, or on Internet portals.
Technically, you are still advertising yourself but that advertising is not quite as obvious as when you ‘push your finger in someone’s eye’. Now, unlike the traditional PR approach, Internet PR does not necessarily focus on achieving good results in the so-called old media (television, radio, newspapers, etc.). Or, perhaps it is better to say, these media are not the main target. Instead, it turns to the following online sources:
- Bloggers (both those who are closely related to your professional field and those who deal, for example, with lifestyle)
- Online columnists and writers
- Websites of related brands
- Regular users of social networks
- Organizers of certain events (exhibitions, awards, parties; practically of anything that can be well received in the online community)
- different organizations (related to the previous item on this list)
The main skill that every Internet PR should possess is related to quality outreach, i.e. getting in touch and networking with new clients, partners, advertisers, but also everyone we have just told you about.
Getting in touch with people who will help you do good Internet PR can be direct or indirect. What exactly do we mean? You can contact someone directly via email, or you can use hashtags or keywords on the Internet to connect with your target audience.
Nevertheless, whatever outreach approach you choose, you will need one skill: the ability to create and tell a good story. A good story is the basis of any attempt to attract the attention of the audience, whether it is Internet marketing or PR. If you are interested in how to create a good story, a good starting step can be neuromarketing (in short: it connects movements in the customer’s brain at the time when he/she is exposed to a particular product or the way it is presented on the market).
Online PR Tactics
As we have already said, the choice for PR tactics is wide. And not only that but new options appear every day. You just need to be creative and take advantage of all the options that the Internet provides you.
Some experts like to rely on old, good SEO optimization and aim for a high position among search engine results. We are not saying that this is not a valid example of internet PR. After all, the one way consumers can find you is via Google search. But we are sure that you are already doing that, right? There is almost nothing new to say about this.
Instead, why not put quality content in editorials and on guest blogs? That way you advertise on the Internet (for free, we would add), but you do so by offering interesting stories that are related to your brand and through which potential customers can connect with you.
Public relations on the Internet can also take advantage of traditional company announcements but in a new way. In modern times, the equivalent of old announcements is sharing news about your business on a company’s web page or on some business profile on social media.
What we want to tell you actually is that PR on the Internet is actually just a variation on traditional PR. Everything that traditional public relations teach you, you can ‘repack’ and adapt to the Internet platform through which you place the story.
There are also online companies that are closely involved in publishing business announcements of different companies, so this can be a way to connect with clients globally. Some of them are Business Wire, Vocus, PR Newswire, Marketwired, and many others.
Also, good online marketing can still be used in the service of Internet PR. You know the importance of virality and viral content. In a way, these are also public relations on the Internet. In other words, anything that spreads the story of your brand and helps you build a company’s reputation, and is done online, falls into this type of PR.
Why’s PR on the Internet So Important at All?
The answer to this question is only one: if something does not exist on the Internet today, count as it does not exist at all. Therefore, your online presence in all fields is very important for your brand to be relevant and for potential customers to hear about it.
This is especially true when it comes to online public relations. Today, more than ever, it is easier to gain negative publicity. All you have to do is to give yourself the freedom to post something on social media that might be considered offensive, or you may sound too inaccessible and impudent when addressing users directly.
That is why it is very important to know how to avoid these traps, and good internet PR will help you with that. And not only that. Consider the power that the Internet has. Today, there is nothing that could shape public opinion to such an extent as the Internet and, especially, social networks. That is why online action is the strongest weapon of public relations in the modern age.
At the same time, if you do not include internet PR in your business plan, you do not only diminish the possibilities in the field of marketing – you can be completely cut off from the market. We have already said that communication is very important. But, it does not only refer to your addressing to clients but also to news about the market, industry, and competition that can reach you via the Internet.
In addition to being your voice, the internet also represents your eyes and ears. And quality PR on the Internet will allow you to connect with leading brands in your field of business, but also with influential bloggers, influencers, and other masters of the Internet sky. Another situation in which public relations on the Internet can be a great help are crisis situations. Just as there is crisis management, so there is crisis PR.
PR managers have the task of controlling the content that is placed on the Internet, creating a brand on the Internet, the quality of the message that is sent to users, data protection, and much more. Given that they face many challenges, you should hire an expert for quality PR. A new employee is a burden on your budget, but the benefits of good internet PR are numerous.
Speaking of marketing budget, this is the cheapest way to reach a wide audience. But the benefits do not stop there. As the Internet is trusted today (Google is especially considered deserved for the credibility of information on the Internet), good public relations on the Internet creates a stronger and more effective image of your brand. At the same time, this is the easiest way to control your brand.
Also, quality PR on the Internet can present you as a modern and dynamic company, the one that is always active and evolving. This image will bring you a lot among all age groups of users.
Tips for Successful PR on the Internet
What do you need to do to master public relations? You can look up to companies that have been doing successful PR for years, like Starbucks or DKNY. There are really many such companies in the global market. For a start, invest effort in research but also to ask your customers for their opinion about the company, as well as to evaluate your work and services.
As far as research is concerned, you must first be well informed about who your main competitors are and what their internet PR says about them. In this way, you can gain a good insight into what impression you leave on the Internet. It often happens that how one brand will be perceived by the public is influenced by its relationship with other brands, i.e. how it is compared to them.
When looking for the opinions of your users, you can employ different methods on the Internet. For example, you can use online surveys and questionnaires that you can post on your site – it is extremely important that the site is done professionally – and for some time on some social networks (primarily on Facebook). You can also get feedback via email by creating lists and focus groups that you will ask to answer certain questions or rate different aspects of your services, e.g. from 1 to 5.
In addition to lists and focus groups, there is something called a newsgroup, which is a list of users interested in news from a particular field or industry. They are a good way to gain insight into exactly what your clients’ needs are, but also to leave the impression of experts in your field. Whatever you post online or send to your clients, online PR works in your favor only when it is subtle. This means that if it is too obvious that you are trying to impose yourself, your performance may be negatively interpreted.
Also, make sure that you do not only publish announcements or send surveys but also participate in an online conversation. If you ask a question or invite users to action, participate in the discussion. Share some tips with your followers, explain to them something about your field of expertise that they cannot find elsewhere. Be present in all possible ways, that is the essence of what we are trying to tell you.
How to Compose a Good Online Press Release?
You may be good at writing a statement, but keep in mind that you are writing for the Internet and that you need to consider the environment and how many opportunities it provides users to bypass your statement.
- For starters, you should be direct and concise in your address to customers. The shorter the announcement, the better. Research shows that if a text seems too long, most users will not even start reading it. Limit yourself to 300-500 words per statement. Never use slang, clichés, and phrases.
- As for the tone of the press release, it should be formal and similar to journalistic style, because you want to say that you have some important news for your users. When we say the news, it is important that what you state in the press release is really new and relevant to your users. If you get them used to the old news in the press releases, at some point they will stop reading them.
- The title of the announcement should be like the title of the blog, meaningful but attractive at the same time. It should interest your consumers. SEO optimization as such is not a bad idea for announcements, too, because after all, everything you upload to the Internet needs to be optimized for search engines. Focus specifically on keywords.
- Always include your logo in the announcement as something that will also visually connect the text with your brand. Avoid uploading too many links or multimedia elements to the announcement. If you need to place a link, place the one that is most important and do it somewhere at the beginning of a press release.
All in all, quality PR on the Internet today is essential for a successful business, so this item should be among your main investments. We are not saying that you should necessarily spend the most money on it (you have a lot of free options), but you should invest time and effort, and especially your creativity.