What is public relations? Advertising without any money. So what is online PR? Dirt cheap.
The internet has made it a million times easier to monitor your brand reputation and find out what people are saying about you. And let’s be serious, the only way to manage your brand reputation is to know what people are already saying.
The main difference between online and offline PR is, obviously, one is dependent on online media outlets while the other is dependent on “real life” venues. Because of the nature of online media, it means that you have to constantly be aware what is being said about you and then quickly respond. To show you how crazy fast news can spread on the internet, check out Managing Public Relations in Real Time.
Fisher-Price apparently did not subscribe to this whole online PR thing when the story got out about them using lead paint on their toys. When a story is released that you – a company that makes toys for little children – are using a poisonous substance to make your products, you better say something …. quick.
We’re all about saying things quick. We are able to track what people are saying about you in real time, which allows us to respond in a timely manner.
But the aspect of online PR that is probably more applicable to most companies – those that aren’t killing children – is building relationships. Heck, it’s right there in the name. You should be constantly checking relevant blogs, message boards, forums, etc., to get to know your customers and potential customers. Then you can respond to them in a meaningful way, therefore creating relationships.
We’re all about relationships. It makes it a lot easier to spread buzz if people like and trust you. So we make sure we are talking to the right people about the right things in the right way at the right time.
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