PR (public relations) is about spreading information. Any large business, group and even celebrities has PR going to keep the media channels informed about what is going on. Any updates to the business/policy or plans that are to be made known to the general public. Many businesses will use PR agencies to create an illusion, or to steer media focus. For example, BP got a lot of bad press over the oil spillage during 2010 in the Gulf Of Mexico. However their PR was looking to offset a negative media image with putting the positive spin out. Fast food companies like McDonald’s get bad press for health issues and nutrition. Their PR is aimed to create a positive impression through advertising happy smiling people of all races and ages sat enjoying food in their restaurants. Online PR can be used to create a good and positive spin by informing businesses or consumers about news, information or hype.
Online PR is used by many companies in the same way. However instead of articles being chosen by journalists and selected, they are picked up on the internet. Many companies use online PR to boost their search engine backlinks and to create a cyber buzz. A press release once it is sent out is picked up by thousands of news sites, search engines, blogs, internet forums and now social media sites. This brings massive coverage potential giving thousands of links within a very short period of time. The other strong point is that the press release will always be on the internet and continue to be read and indexed (as opposed to a traditional PR article, which is thrown away within days and forgotten about).
Online PR needs to be informative and newsworthy. Many companies have used it for blatant advertising which can create a negative response. As long as your PR is newsworthy and informative – it is good news. The press release does not have to be anything life changing, just worth telling the world. It could be a new member of staff, a new service, a new product, new offices etc. Doing regular press releases will get your name regular steady coverage so anything from 1-2 press releases a month is good to do. Online PR is a very cost effective marketing tool and can bring in a huge return on investment over a short period of time.
PR can be very affordable and many small companies successfully use PR in launching their businesses in the early days. It is advised to check around for different PR prices as different agencies will charge different prices for handling campaigns. There are sites that offer free press releases; so if you are feeling brave you can attempt doing a press release yourself. The advice however is to at least chat to a PR agency first so you get the best advice. If you would like quotes and tips for online PR, just fill in the form.