Online and Offline PR – which is best?

I'm not into circus tricks and I don't have a party piece, so when it comes to creating a PR strategy I don't believe in doing so with two hands tied behind my back.

I’m not into circus tricks and I don’t have a party piece, so when it comes to creating a PR strategy I don’t believe in doing so with two hands tied behind my back.

There is a big discussion about which PR path clients should be pursuing. There are many opinions in the air that it should be an either/or scenario.

Online PR is certainly shaking up traditional PR ways but public relations remains a key aspect to crafting successful brands; marketers just need to think a little differently.

Print PR and online PR offer a perfect marriage that every business should be seizing with both hands, embracing their different strengths and weakness in the form of fully integrated marketing campaigns. After all, by using both traditional and online PR channels, brands have the opportunity to hugely widen their reach.

That doesn’t mean that online PR requires any less planning than more traditional communications and careful consideration needs to be applied to avoid overexposure. One way to achieve this is to emphasise different aspects of a PR story depending on the target media outlet. For example, you might wish to keep your online communication brief and to the point with a more in-depth analysis (the story behind the story) taking the form of the printed word and the human element emphasised with broadcast channels. All three will ensure the message is comprehensively covered without confusing the reader/viewer and will have varying emotive effects depending on the message being conveyed.

On or offline, a well written and optimised press release with a topical subject matter will always gather more interest.

Once distributed online, a press release can travel far and wide, but as with offline PR, identifying the right media target is crucial to make this happen. Search engine optimisation (SEO) ensures your target audience can find you, and in turn offers valuable, quality links, not just from sites where the release is actively uploaded to, but from other news sites carrying the story along with bloggers and social media networks.

‘Offline’ journalists are now running their own blogs and the magazines they work for typically have a much stronger online presence. They will hunt for stories using Twitter and keenly use specific online communities to invite comments on an article/blog they are writing. Marketers and PRs alike need to embrace online public relations to stay ahead. It is absolutely essential that you follow ‘writers of interest’- after all, some of the most influential and impactful pieces of coverage are derived from this type of engagement.

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