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Public Relations Online: 6 Steps to Success


communication tactics to boost business reputationTraditionally, Public Relations centres around submitting press releases and letting people know what your company / brand is up to. Newsflash: they no longer care.

Readers want relevant information when they need it in a way that’s easy to find. Here’s how to reach your audience using online tactics and develop strong relationships with key groups.

Who is your audience?

People who are talking about you. They’re either:

  • 1. your direct customers looking for the latest products to solve their particular problem or
    2. journalists who need information on your company or industry.
  • Why should you be using online public relations?

    To:

  • · increase your audience,
    · engage more meaningfully with them,
    · gauge your business reputation in the marketplace
    · influence conversations about your company
  • Public relations & the internet

    With the boom of social media, the reader is royalty as they become more choosy about what they read. They’re also more inclined to believe a report from someone like themselves than from a commissioned press release. To ignore this trend is just plain suicidal for business reputation.

    It’s less about telling people about your company / products and more about listening to what they want and responding accordingly.

    Have you heard of WOMF (Word Of Mouth Forum)? It’s an online platform that has given consumers a place to air their opinions. It’s a great opportunity for companies too to find gaps in the market and weak points in their competition. Taking advantage of this and using public relations on the web can increase traffic to your website. You’re able to publicly respond to complaints and improve brand awareness and image while creating long term relationships with your audience.

    Step-by-step online public relations to improve business reputation

    1. Know what’s being said about your company / brand / product and by whom. Ignorance is harmful in the long-run and arrogance doesn’t win loyalty.

    2. Create a voice for your company by having a corporate blog. This gives your audience a personality to relate to and an authority figure from whom to seek reliable information.

    3. Use online article directories. This will boost your SEO (search engine optimisation) and allow you to reach an extensive audience you might otherwise have no contact with.

    4. Use press release directories. It’s vital to use correct keywords and categories in press releases as this will drive traffic to your website.

    5. Create an online newsroom. This will give industry journalists and bloggers a single place to access to information they’d need to write about your company / product. It includes things like photo’s, logo’s, upcoming events, company history, a full archive of news releases and media coverage and also information on key company people. Most importantly, keep this up to date!

    6. This is always a key issue for marketers – measure. Again, there are relatively simple tools that let you know when your brand / company / product is mentioned online. By following mentions, you’ll gauge:

  • a. whether business reputation sentiment is positive or negative,
    b. whether the writer has any influence in their circle,
    c. what their credibility is and then
    d. what course of action to take.
  • And finally…

    The key here is to be transparent and honest in all your communications. A negative review is an opportunity to set the facts straight. If your audience sees you care, loyalty follows. Then you can influence and lead conversations about your business. This is a process and not an overnight deal but by keeping tabs on your online business reputation, you’ll see the progress and be able to measure your public relations efforts.

    About those online Public Relations Tools

    There’s no need to waste your precious time manually trawling the web for information. Contact me if you need help in any or all of the following areas:

  • · Finding out about your online business reputation.

    · Setting up a blog for your company with customised objectives and a suggested plan of action on what to write, who should write it and when.

    · Getting advice on where to post your articles for maximum audience reach.

    · Writing articles for SEO that’ll drive traffic to your website and improve search engine rankings. If I can’t help you directly, I can refer you to a public relations consultant I’ve had much success with.

    · Updating archives or creating a media page / online newsroom.

  • Happy Relationship-Building!
    Claudine AT Triquetra Consulting

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