Traditionally, public relations is the practice of managing and maintaining the spread of information about a brand to the public. This was typically managed by working with professional public relations firms to control the information about a brand that the public would access. However, public relations has dramatically changed with the evolution of modern media. As we have discussed thoroughly throughout this portal, maintaining the public perceptions of your brand has become more complex with the level of communication and access to information on the internet. So while previously public relations was attempting to control and persuade media on television, publications, and news outlets, today is about online media, such as social media, online news outlets, native advertising, influencers, forums and blogs, and more. In fact, even your own website can now acts as a public relations resource as a full press-kit.
According to Wikipedia, Online Public Relations (E-PR, Digital PR) functions the web relationship influence among the cyber citizens and it aims to make desirable comments about an organization, its products and services, news viewed by its target audiences and lessen its undesirable comments to a large degree.
Digital Public Relations
The Digital Age Has Evolved PR
So now that you understand a bit about
how PR has changed, how can you properly
manage it or use it to your advantage?
Beyond trying your best to control what is said and perceived about your brand online…
…Use public relations tactics to influence discussions, content, and engagement online. This starts with having a solid press kit, which can be your website if built properly. Use your press kit to reach out to influencers that reach your target market. For example, Roy’s Rug Shop recently sold a rug to The Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC. They used this big beautiful rug in this famous, 5-star hotel’s lobby. Roy needs to utilize this valuable information and get it in-front of potential customers. Roy builds a press kit, which is filled with information about his company, his products, and most importantly a written press release describing the beautiful rug, where he originally got it, and how it ended up in the lobby of the Bohemian Hotel. Roy knows his target market well, and he creates a list of influencers that reach his target market. He now conducts PR outreach*, which is Roy calling, emailing, and visiting local or national influencers that may be interested in publishing this content for free because it is content that may be attractive to their viewers or readers
Your hope in conducting public relations is that your information or news is attractive enough that the influencers will post about it for free, because their readers or viewers would be interested in that content. If your content isn’t striking enough to generate free PR, but you really need to get this message out, that is where Native Advertising comes into play.
Separate from outreach PR strategies, a big factor with modern day PR is online management. As stated previously, with the evolution of social communication online, PR has become to act of managing your online presence. Which for many business has turned into an ugly monster called Reviews. By ugly, we mean it is a pain to manage! Some businesses may be getting reviews from dozens of different review sites, and it is important to manage them to keep a high rating overall. There are different management tools you can use to do this, such as BirdEye (link) that can manage all of your reviews in one place. Stay on top of this!