Online PR is very similar to traditional PR in the sense that it’s about influencing people rather than buying placement for brand content. The influence could result in a story in a magazine, newspaper or blog. It could also result in other online pick-up, including social media.
Typically, when people talk about traditional PR, they are referring to traditional media: newspapers, TV, radio and magazines. With online PR, traditional media brands may still be a target, but often online PR targets online properties, along with an array of other platforms and networks, from search to social. The methodology of online PR has adapted to the platform–forming a need to garner real-time analytics, news, influence, social, search and other signals, alongside wait-n-pray tactics.
Influence who with online PR?
- Columnists & traditional writers (just like traditional PR)
- Bloggers: personal & professional
- Websites & brand sites
- Twitter users (based on their followings and interests)
- Social media users: Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, SU, Reddit, etc
- Awards, events and exhibitions
- Directories, lists and organizations
- Web searchers
The outreach for online PR may be both direct & indirect — from employing hashtags and keywords, alongside email and snail mail. At the heart of both traditional and online PR is story-telling. This is never going away; Story-telling and quality content helps position and pollinate stories for absorption, both online and off.
Each PR agency approaches online PR differently. There are a wide variety of tactics and proportions — with some favoring search while others favor online editorials. The disciplines comprising online PR can range from journalism, creative writing and story-telling, sales, media, SEO, social media, community management, customer relations, web design and on and on.
Online PR efforts will be seen directly by potential customers or the consumer market. The forms and structure those communications take may vary, but they include social media and distributed releases — along with various forms of online storytelling. Online press releases may direct small amounts of traffic to a brand or corporate website, but it is recommended to not confuse online press releases with quality back links used by Google for PageRank and ranking improvements. Typically those distributed releases are displayed as search results, which consumers may find for medium and long tail queries.
Online PR Channels
Aside from traditional PR channels and relationships, these online channels may be of great use to marketers:
- Industry websites
- Niche or topical websites
- Influential social media accounts
- Media-sharing websites & social networks, including Youtube and Flickr
- Forums: Topic-focused, industry-related and niche
- Twitter feeds
- Google Plus: events, hangouts and other groups
- Linkedin: news and groups
- Social media & bookmarking websites
- Personal blogs with niche audiences
Press Release Distribution Options
- Business Wire