Online Public Relations or Online PR has been around for some time now and is used by a wide range of businesses and industries to gain free publicity.
Its aim is to create public awareness for your business, brands, products or services by getting favourable mentions and links on third party websites like news sites, blogs, feeds, social networks and more.
It differs from online advertising in many ways and one of the main ones is that there are no costs associated with a placement on a third party site. These sites are often looking for news-worthy stories in the business world and if yours is compelling and a good fit for their audiences then you could benefit immensely.
Some notable PR sites to distribute your stories too are PR Newswire and 24-7 PressRelease and these will help to get your stories out in the world for free.
So, here are 5 benefits of online PR that should help you decide if it is right for your business:
Online PR has a wide reach compared to other online channels and it’s possible to reach people who are not aware of the brand but could benefit from it. This is true for startup brands and promotional tactics like press releases, blogs, directories and social media can be used to spread the news. Online PR is a push strategy and aims to gain awareness with a mass audience or specific market segments or niches that could benefit from the brand.
Online PR can be very cost effective because there are no costs incurred in placements in online media. The only costs to the business are agency or internal staff to create the messages and send them to the relevant online media like news sites.
Comments that are made about your company or brand from an independent source are seen as more credible with the public than advertising messages. People have more trust for news items from online and offline media and they are often skeptical of adverts, especially banners which promote features and benefits of your products or services.
4. Search Engine Optimisation
Online PR can help to boost search engine rankings when a wide range of news sites, blogs and websites pick up your story and publish it on their platforms. This helps to generate backlinks and this is the number one off-page factor for achieving high rankings especially from authority sites.
5. Brand enhancement and protection
Favourable mentions and stories of your brand can enhance its image with your target audience and boost sales. However, unfavourable ones can damage your brand and you need to have a plan in place to manage your online reputation.
Online public relations has many benefits and it’s an effective channel to reach a wide audience for very low cost. However, it has some drawbacks too and one of them is that it is hard or nearly impossible to control especially in a crisis.