Public relation in an online world means the way the things are promoted through internet throughout the world. Public relation is a kind of a bridge between the organization and customer and when it is connected to online world it means that the public relation person is telling the policies of company or organization online using internet on some particular website and promoting the products throughout the worldwide. Thus PR is an integral part of company’s marketing strategy.
Public relation practitioner is the person or department which promotes the positive image of their respective company or organization. Public relation department deals with the people in such a way that they have to build the positive image of their product that it’s the best one and they will not be able to find the better product in society.
Social media has revolutionized everything and has evolved new thinking patterns and awareness among the general public and because of this new trends to market products and to sale them have emerged. In terms of public relations social media has heralded a new and golden age of communication management. Also the act of public communication has also become easier and now they can communicate about a brand more easily also the concept of ratings of a brand and public views on their sites can be posted enabling direct feedback and if the feedback is positive then only more people will buy products of that certain company.
The two way nature of online communication has spawned a reality in which brands negotiate their public image with daily consumers.
Nowadays public relation departments have come to the online world as people are getting more concerned about the things that are on internet. Online world requires the interactive communication so that the customer are satisfied and persuaded by the image set by of Public relation department.
The use of Internet is getting common and the social networking sites are getting more popular. So the organizations or companies and even brands have created their websites and made pages on social networking sites like Facebook and twitter so that they remain in the race of getting popular in online world or social media.
Public relation person or department makes the company’s websites interactive and promote their products in such a way that the audience finds all the benefits and advantages of the product or organization and think that this is the best organization or brand to grab the product or do work.
The examples of public relation in online world can be clearly of the facebook pages that how the brands and organizations are promoting their name and once the people like their page they get the updates of the respective company or product on their newsfeed on daily basis that helps the brand or organization in increasing their business. The role of Public relation department in such type of online world can be judged when any person comment or ask something about their product or organization the public relation person has to answer that in such a convincing way that the other person gets satisfied.
All the advantages of the organization, company or the product are on their websites and nowadays people have started rating companies and if a company does not have an active website or the Facebook page of that company has less ‘likes’ then people are less likely to buy products of that company. Further advantages of online PR are:
Immediacy: The response in social media is measured in minutes so a PR person has to be actively engaged to the online profile of his company before other companies grab the narrative.
Direct engagement: Social media demands an online engagement where the PR person has to be answerable to the public in an honest and open manner.
Transparency: This means that everything is open on social media so the PR person has to be very careful in building a positive image of the company in the online world as there is no room for falsification.
Reach: This is the greatest benefit of the online world as it allows promoting and managing the brand on a global scale with minimum expenditure. Secondly through this the company can easily target the most discrete audience.
Another example can be of online shopping. The concept of online shopping is increasing nowadays and in the promotion of that the public relation department is putting up the great role as it is difficult to satisfy the customer especially when he is exposed to the pictures of the products offered by that company and details about it. Online shopping websites require the strong public relation department so that they are able to persuade the customer to buy the product online and make them believe that the product they will be buying will be up to the mark and will stand on their expectations. This is also done by giving a yearly warranty or exchange offer of that product so that it satisfies the customer.
The public relation person gives the general and controlled opinion to build the positive image of that specific firm in front of the public and among the people in that organization. Public relation department only tells the advantages and benefits of the products but they should also keep in mind that the things should not be exaggerated that much because it will portray a negative image of that organization.
Online PR has created a number of opportunities by grouping like minded people. But it has also given the option to its large audience to criticize a specific media company on its own media platform. Now the content on the site of a company lasts longer so creative and compelling content should be written on the site. The content quality should be high that it buys a credible audience. Online presence in terms of social media is challenging so the online PR manager should keep an eye to negative feedback. As online PR activities are mostly geared to influencing media and audiences these include forums, search engines, blogs and other communication tools.
SEO/PR is an innovative approach used in online PR as it combines public relations with search engine optimization generating more publicity through crafting online press releases. Through this there will be an increase in the online rating of a company’s site and this will eventually lead to increased sales.
Principles of PR in an online world
The following are some principles of public relations in an online world
Face up to crisis
The companies who indulge in crisis should accept their faults , write a sorry note for customers in their online profile and should also promise their customers that that mistake would never be repeated by the company in future.
Thinking creatively is very crucial for online PR. The online site of a company should consist of videos, pictures , games , discount offers to make it more engaging and intriguing so that more people are likely to buy products of that company.
A tactful PR strategy:
In order to create a positive online image of a company a very planned and systematic PR strategy should be used which includes pacing up with the internet , sensitively answering the questions of clients and creative interactions with the customers.
In an online world the PR person has to identify real clients of the company and influence them.
While managing PR of a company in a virtual world the PR department has to monitor online conversations, glean insights etc.
Build a web strategy
Tools should be utilized to make an effective online strategy.
Some of essential online PR tools are
1. Social media platforms
2. Search marketing
3. Social media release
4. Online surveys
As online PR is associated with improving results from digital marketing communication techniques in particular social media so it is a very cost ineffective technique for making people aware but it requires a lot of hard work.
Tactics for online PR are:
Online PR analytics
Online PR outreach
Online PR strategy
Real time marketing
Some ways of reviewing online PR options is through 4 types of strategy.
1. Attracting visitors through search
2. Engagement and dialogue
3. Building campaign buzz
4. Defensive crisis
Importance of online PR:
Internet has a great influence on the public opinion, especially when they are not certain. For instance a boy gets acne on his face and he doesn’t know which cream to use . He will take into consideration a lot of factors e.g price, other people’s opinion and most of all his decision will be greatly influenced by the information of the product available on the internet.
Challenges of online PR:
Internet has dramatically changed the process of communication. Internet has opened up a number of opportunities and challenged, specifically for the PR sector which masters communication through traditional means. While PR specialists virtually had no competition in the era of the traditional media, the democracy of the Internet has forced them to compete with the entire world.
The internet has provided the ability to share opinion with a massive audience within seconds . This feature gave PR specialists a powerful tool but also made their jobs very difficult specifically in case of attack on integrity of customers.