What is online public relations?

Maximizing favorable mentions of your company, brands, products or websites on third-party sites such as social networks or blogs that are likely to be visited by your target audience. Also includes monitoring and, where necessary, responding to negative mentions and conducting public relations via a site through a press centre or blog, for example. UK institute of PR defines it as follows:

Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between and organization and its publics (target audience including potential customers and stakeholders).

Online PR activity is closely related with improving results from many of the other communications techniques, in particular SEO (link-building), partnership marketing and social media marketing. Furthermore, online PR has witnessed much innovation of the Web 2.0-based approaches such as blogs, feeds, social networks and widgets.

From marketing communications and traffic building perspective, the main activities we are interested in are media relations which are used to influence potential customers. While websites are important tools for promoting investor relations and CSR (corporate social responsibility), this is not our main focus here.

Online PR or e-PR leverages the network effect of the Internet. Mentions of a brand or sites are powerful in shaping opinions and driving visitors to your site. The main element of online PR is maximizing favorable mentions of an organization, its brands, products or websites on third-party websites which are likely to be visited by its target audience. Furthermore, the more links there are from other sites to your site, the higher your site will be ranked in the natural or organic listings of the search engines. Online influencer outreach is now an important activity to identify companies or individuals with a strong online following and then using these contact to influencing conversations in blogs and social networks through online reputation management, it also an aspect of online PR.

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice (Vol. 5). Harlow: Pearson.

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