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What is Online Public Relations and how you can get the most out of it?

Online Public Relations (OPR) is a series of strategies and tools based on the same principles of traditional PR: Using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or your products; cultivating a good relationship with (local) press representatives” – Entrepreneur.com

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” – PRSA

Why Online Public Relations is important for small businesses? OPR helps raise brand awareness, increases national and international exposure; is cost-effective and provides great results in less time.

With OPR, marketers take advantage of digital platforms to distribute content, extend the messages reach and engage with their target audiences.

No digital marketing plan is complete without the OPR component. Even more; OPR enhances and complements other online and offline initiatives, for instance: press conferences, product launch events, social media posting and blogging.

On traditional PR, activities include:

  • Prepare and distribute printed Press Releases and Media Kits
  • Pitching stories to journalists
  • Coordinate interviews
  • Respond to media inquiries
  • Press Monitoring and Clipping
  • Crisis Management

On electronic PR we include traditional activities plus:

  • Prepare Electronic Press Releases (EPRs) and Electronic Media Kits (EMKs) that may include some of the following multimedia elements: text, links, images, embedded videos and animations. Also these documents must be optimized for search engines; similar to what is done on the website and blog. (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Distribute EPRs and EMKs via the Press section on the company’s website and wire services (PR Newswire, Canadian NewsWire, Business Wire, PR.com, PRWeb, micropersuasion.com, mediarelationsblog.com and thenewpr.com)
  • Pitching stories to bloggers, online journalists (some newspapers and magazines have different staff for the printed and online versions), and other online influencers (industry experts, YouTube celebrities, Instagram and Twitter users, among others).
  • Inbound link-building
  • Content creation: articles, blog and social media posts
  • Feeds (RSS)
  • Online surveys and polls
  • Online platforms monitoring
  • Social Bookmarking: Furl.net, Reddit, Digg, Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon
  • Place paid content: Google Display Network Publishers, niche blogs and online magazines.
  • Link Baiting: Is the process of giving away a product or a service in order to generate reviews, mentions or comments from bloggers and top sites.
  • Manage online reputation 

Tips for using Online Public Relations:

  • Consider a mix of traditional and online PR tactics for better results.
  • As in regular PR, content is the king. A relevant and interesting story is the key to attract online journalists and bloggers. Think about the media outlet and its audience, what type of stories is the reader looking for?
  • Research about the blogger or online journalist before pitching.
  • Keep an eye on the media editorial calendar (if there is one) in order to pitch similar/relevant stories.
  • Compare prices and range of press releases distribution services.
  • Monitor mentions and brand reputation using Google Alerts.
  • As the description suggests, PR is about building long-term relationships. Engage with bloggers and online journalists, keep them updated about the company’s latest news; help them maintain your brand in the top of mind.

More resources:

Online Public Relations Tools – Inc.com

Ultimate List of Online PR Tools – Raven Blog

By Aida Guerra, Founder & Digital Marketing Consultant, aida@animacreative.ca