Sussex based public relations
As businesses introduced websites and e-commerce, it didn’t matter where a business was based – East or West Sussex, Eastbourne, Brighton, London – PR became a global game. However, a sense of the personal touch was lost, alienating those who longed for a voice at the end of a phone instead of a computer screen.
What websites removed, social media has restored, and then some, providing a medium for businesses to reach customers and fellow professionals directly. Whether by establishing a profile on LinkedIn to reach targeted professional groups; building a blog to give your company an online voice; using Facebook to listen to your customers and share news; using Twitter for quick engagement; or even Flickr or YouTube to deliver visual messages, there are many ways to reach your public.
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
For those wishing to maintain a professional online presence, LinkedIn has very quickly established itself as the leading web-based business community. It operates as an online, interactive CV, enabling users to connect to like-minded individuals, share business advice, join business networks based on location or industry e.g. PR and marketing in Sussex, discuss topical issues and display previous work. It is also proving to be highly successful as a recruitment tool and the first port of call for businesses looking for new recruits.
Networks such as Facebook can be used to target customers rather than like-minded business professionals to highlight product launches, promotional offers and events relevant to your community. It requires careful planning and research on your online target audiences, engaging conversation and positioning your company’s brand effectively, but the value on a local level can be astounding, re-establishing links with the community, improving word-of-mouth recommendations and increasing sales. Arguably, the public is turning to a company’s Facebook page rather than its website for a more reliable picture of its working practices.
Twitter has taken online PR to another level; suddenly everyone is accessible and simple conversation can lead to recommendations and sometimes sales from the most unexpected sources. This is due in part to the rise of the Smartphone. At the end of last year, research by Kandar Worldpanel ComTech revealed that almost half the UK population owned a smartphone and sixty per cent of British teens and 37 per cent of adults said they are addicted to their smartphones. That means half the population, if they use Twitter, has your details at their fingertips, waiting for your comments, industry news, promotional offers and bargains. Flash sales have found the perfect advertising home, demonstrating the real-time and public relations genius of Twitter. For those who haven’t engaged yet, it is hard to believe just how addictive and far-reaching tweets can be.