According to Janet Thaeler's (@newspapergrl) article on AMEX's OPEN Forum, the Internet has made it easier to find media contacts and form relationships with journalists, but more importantly the rise of social media and online PR has meant bypassing the media and going directly to your audience. Online PR has changed the PR industry and it’s not going back. While many of the same PR principles apply, there are a lot of new expectations for PR professionals.
Here are a few key trends to watch.
The Line Between PR and SEO Continues to Blur.
Who should do your PR, your online marketing company? Your PR firm? Both? While traditional PR may be excellent at finding the angle or pitch and have relationships with the media, they may not be the best choice for SEO.
A big part of SEO is building quality links – including links from authority sites – like brand name news sites. A link in a New York Times blog or story is a trusted link. What's one of the most efficient ways of getting onto one of these authority sites? Online PR.
Another factor in the Online PR/SEO equation is social media. People share and often include links to news stories, blog posts, YouTube videos and the like. Google has added these conversations and given them more weight in search results than in the past. So even links in 160 character tweets are valuable. They can lead to higher authority which is rewarded with higher search engine placement.
Social Media Press Releases and Social Media Marketing Requires New Skill Sets.
If you've ever discounted social media, consider that according to Nielsen, social media usage has increased by 82% in the last year alone.
Social media, especially when integrated into an online PR strategy is no place for your salesy boilerplate. Try to imagine how you would message your value and differentiation at a cocktail party. Allow your message to have a drink and "loosen up." No one wants to be sold to via a tweet, but we'd love to hear the ups and downs of your business.
Traditional Media is Tapping Into Online Networks for Story Ideas and Promotion.
Traditional media, often short-staffed and overworked, is depending more on online networks and the people who have built them for their stories. Recent research says 89% visit blogs and social sites to do research.
Interestingly enough, rather than hurting TV or traditional media, online networks and offline networks are simply feeding off each other. It appears the media is actually giving a knowing nod to these online sensations.
In much the same way that TV is being buoyed by the Internet, savvy PR professionals stand to benefit, but only if they capitalize on these trends and expand their skill sets. Some are partnering with online marketing companies. As they do this, they’ll become even more relevant to their clients.
Learn the latest best practices for online PR in JDM's Online Public Relations article. Also, learn more about JDM's mPR campaign package.