One of the most cost-effective ways to publicize and market your business is to use the many publicity tools, methods, and opportunities that exist online. Many of these are simple and either free or low-cost public relations options. With online public relations, you’re simply taking traditional public relations and extending it to the online community. This includes targeted online and traditional media that have a significant online presence. An online public relations campaign will enable you to have a very wide distribution of news and information.
Before we get into some of the really excellent public relations tools the Internet has to offer I have to make one thing clear: public relations and publicity are not the same, though many people make the mistake of calling the process by either name.
Public relations is the total communications program you’ll use to reach various market segments you need to deal with, prospects, communities (online and offline), the press, and other business colleagues.
Publicity is using various communication tools and techniques to persuade the media to print or broadcast your story about your company or customers. Good publicity is persuading them to print your story ideas over and over again. Publicity is a component of public relations.
Online press releases are a great way for authored content to spread without having to spend a lot of money. A couple of good press release sites that you should check out to post your press releases are: www.prweb.com and www.webwire.com.
For your online press release to get noticed it must contain the same information that an offline release would have.
• Who are you, your company, and/or your customers?
• What specifically is your product or service, or story about?
• Where is your product or service available? Or where is your event being held?
• When is it available? When is an event being held?
• Why is your business unique? Why is it different?
• How does it work?
Putting public relations information on your web site is very effective way of using online public relations. Once you’ve written and distributed your press releases you should post them on a separate Web page designated as your “press room.” This will give you even more exposure. It’s also a good idea to develop key words for the page where your press releases are being posted and then submit the page to the major search engines.
Because editors, web publishers, and site owners want fresh content, the writing and distribution of feature articles is a great way to take advantage of online public relations. Feature article writing is one of the best online and offline marketing techniques to get your name publicized. Here are few excellent article directories for you to consider submitting your articles to: www.ezinearticles.com, www.articlefactory.com, and www.opportunityupdate.com.
Online press kits are becoming more and more popular. An online press kit contains the same items you’d find in a traditional press kit, but in an electronic form. You should put your online press kit on your web site on page you’ve title your “pressroom.’ This page should contain things such as, articles about your company that have run in the media, company position papers and statements to the press, industry statistics, and the names and contact information of those responsible for public relations in your company.
Another very effective way to get publicity online is by participating in forums. Forums are another name for online bulletin boards or online discussion boards. They enable users of a web site to interact with each other by exchanging tips or posting conversation and information on the site.
One of the things that make forums a great way to get your message out is that they save information posted on a particular topic for other people to see any time. This promotes great discussion and interaction. Postings get read over and over again by visitors to that particular site.
Forums create online communities. People return to the forum site on a regular basis to keep up to date on the community topics. Participation in these discussions can make prospects aware of you and your business as well as position you as an expert and people like to buy from experts. You can also position yourself as a resource to the community online and this builds relationships.
Public relations on the Internet is becoming more widely used because of its ease of distribution, the broad potential of contacts, and because of its cost-effectiveness. You should position your online public relations campaign the same way you would your traditional offline campaign.
Public relations will not get you a lot of sales because it is designed to get you good leads for your business. Using all the public relations tools that are available to you online will drive traffic to your Web site which will give you the best chance to increase customers and maximize your sales.
Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.
Reach Joe at: [mailto:email@example.com]firstname.lastname@example.org
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