Online PR activities

Activities which can be considered to be online PR include:

(a) Communicating with media (journalists) online

(b) Link building

(c) Blogs, podcasting and RSS

(d) Managing how your brand is presented on third-party sites

(e) Creating a buzz - online viral marketing.

(a) Communicating with media (journalists) online

Communicating with media (journalists) online uses the Internet as a new conduit to disseminate press releases through e-mail and on-site. Options to consider for a company include: setting up a press-release area on the web site; creating e-mail alerts about news that journalists and other third parties can sign up to; submitting your news stories or releases to online news feeds. Examples include: PR Newswire: (www.prnewswire.com), Internetwire (www.internetwire.com/iwire/home), PressBox (www.pressbox.co.uk); PRWeb (www.prweb.com), Business Wire (www.businesswire.com). Press releases can be written for search engine optimisation (SEO).

Link building

A structured activity to include good quality hyperlinks to your site from relevant sites with a good page rank.

Reciprocal links

Links which are agreed between yourself and another organisation.

(b) Link building

Link building is a key activity for search engine optimisation. It can be considered to be an element of online PR since it is about getting your brand visible on third-party sites.

Link building needs to be a structured effort to achieve as many links into a web site as possible from referring web sites (these commonly include reciprocal links). We have also seen that your position in the search engine results pages will be higher if you have quality links into relevant content on your site (not necessarily the home page).

McGaffin (2004) provides a great introduction to implementing a structured linkbuilding programme. The main principle of link building is as follows. McGaffin says: 'Create great content, link to great content and great content will link to you.' He describes how you should review existing links, link to competitors, set targets and then proactively enquire to suitable site owners for links.

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