As a startup company, creating a genuine relationship with the community and your clients is essential for professional success. Given the shift towards digital and technological means for business, creating that genuine connection with others can seem challenging. Surmounting a digital wall and reaching earnest communication and relationship building is the key to success in today’s business world. And that is where online public relations come into play. Online PR is the modern way to manage relationships, grow brand recognition and presence, and generate new leads. Biz Online Marketing gives a comprehensive overview of what online public relations are, why it’s important, and how to manage your online PR.
Online public relations – what is it?
Online public relations is a term which represents a collection of efforts, ideas, and relationship and brand management techniques. Essentially, online PR is an all-encompassing term in which all subsequent implications and actions take place for the betterment of a company’s online presence and/or engagement. It can be a lot to navigate and plan for because there truly are so many moving parts which influence one another.
Online PR differs from traditional PR based on the platforms and strategies used. Online public relations surfaced with the rise of digital marketing and the growing importance of social media. Now, companies are pretty much expected to engage with leads and clients through these online platforms. Company websites, Instagram pages, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn profiles, and even YouTube channels fall under this realm. Each platform, account, or page should keep a consistent brand message and uphold a certain level of engagement. While the means in which a message is delivered may differ, the message should still be the same. This is an example of cross-media marketing, a very popular strategy nowadays.
Breaking it down
As mentioned previously, there are many different aspects of managing a company’s online public relations. Breaking down each component is extremely important, so you know what your managing and how you want to manage it. The following are just a few examples of what makes up the entirety of an online PR.
Social media management
One aspect of online public relations is the management of a company’s social media outlets, accounts, and pages. Social media has created a unique online atmosphere in which companies can interact with customers, clients, critics, competitors, really anyone. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many others fall under a company’s social media management umbrella. Because social media is relatively new, it has taken some getting used to. Managing professional social media accounts is a big responsibility. When done so properly, they can be an amazing tool which helps bridge the virtual gap between company and consumer. If mismanaged or done so carelessly, a firm’s online PR will suffer. This will ultimately affect their overall brand image as well.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a very important part of online public relations. SEO is the process by which a company, or individual, works to increase their website traffic. This entails the ongoing process of creating high-quality content on different platforms which rank highly on search engine results pages and link back to the website. This is a key component of online PR because it is the strategic and deliberate practice of getting people to view your content or site. Without good SEO management, no one will see the content you and your company produce. Thus, hurting your brand awareness, essentially eliminating the need for online public relations. If no one is viewing or engaging with the content or websites, then there is no relationship to manage.
Online websites and magazines
Finally, online PR deals with managing content and relationships through other online websites and magazines. As an entrepreneur and/or startup, it’s likely that you are creating content for other websites and online magazines to improve your SEO rankings, guide viewers to your website, and increase brand awareness. Even though the content you produce is not explicitly on your website or social media accounts, it is directly linked to your name and company. This can be a very powerful and useful tool because it allows you to use the status and network of another online platform to better your own. Managing this piece not only covers the content and backlinks you include in the content, but also how you manage the relationship with the site or magazine itself.
Why is online PR important?
Online PR is so important for a company’s success nowadays because it makes up a great deal of their interactions with customers. Formal or non-formal, online public relations greatly shape the way customers, the industry, and the world see your brand.
The weight this domain carries for the success of a company can be leveraged. Good and consistent management of a company’s online accounts can help build a relationship with individuals and the community. This serves as a foundation for generating clientele leads, establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry, and increasing your brand awareness. Ultimately, good PR management online and increasing digital presence will grow your clientele base and your revenue.
How to manage your online public relations
With so many different pieces to online public relations, managing it as whole can seem overwhelming. Arguably the most important thing to keep in mind when managing your public relations online is to keep the message, interactions, and content consistent. Consistency allows the consumer to know you better as a brand and an individual. This doesn’t mean don’t be creative in your online endeavors, though. Presentation, design, and flair can all be exciting, new, and creative. Just be sure that your message, brand image, and brand personality stay consistent.
To best manage all the different accounts, profiles, and platforms, it helps to get a team of experts onboard. As one unit, the team and you can devise an online strategy for building your brand and managing public relations that fits within the brand personality. With a vision in mind, individuals and/or small teams can break off and specialize in one of the aforementioned components of your digital marketing strategy. Managing it all yourself can prove to be overwhelming rather quickly. Get a team of experts to support you and your company’s relationships and clientele online.
Online public relations are a major piece of marketing strategy and company management nowadays. Its importance is dispersed over a handful of different categories. There are many more aspects to it beyond just social media management, SEO, and online websites and magazines as well. Figuring out which platforms, tactics, and styles work best for you and your company is the first step in managing your public relations online. You can explore more information on online PR, as well as other marketing-related subjects, on our on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. For assistance and guidance in starting this endeavor, feel free to contact our team of experts here at Biz Online Marketing.