Online Business Strategies to Survive the Recession – Effective Public Relations

Public relations is really a broad category of free promotion you may do online. It includes press releases as well as any other newsworthy type of communications you may create about your business (i.e. video, radio, TV).

The best part of using public relations to promote your business online is that it gives you a lot more credibility than traditional advertising because it is perceived as being newsworthy.

This is the element of your business you really need to focus on in order to be effective here: the campaigns you are creating are news; they are newsworthy.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself: What is happening in my business that the press or my potential customers want to know about? Answering this question correctly is crucial to the success of your public relations campaign.

So, when you’re first planning your campaign, decide what is news in your business. If you’re really not sure, then I would recommend you take a look at a press release site like PR Web or a news site. Most newspapers don’t tell readers that many of their stories are actually based on press releases. (It’s a labor intensive process putting out a daily publication so newspapers rely heavily on press releases for news.)

Once you’ve decided what is news, then start constructing your press releases. Submit your press releases to the appropriate sites. To increase your exposure make sure that you include Google, Yahoo, and MSN news as sites you want your press releases distributed on.

With Web 2.0, you may want to create what I call “mini stories.” A mini story is a title, short description, and keywords for your main story. You post these on bookmarking sites like Digg, Propeller and others. This is another way to spread your news, and it builds backlinks to your website, raising your rankings in the search engines.)

Finally, as part of your PR campaign, consider video. Depending on the type of news you are creating, videos may be the best way to spread your news, especially if it allows you to demonstrate your product or illustrate something about your business. Videos are highly popular online, and your readers will love it. Submit your videos to video and news sites.

Just remember: think news and inform your visitors, as well as the press, about news in your business. Include a local angle to your stories and submit them to your local papers, TV, and radio stations. This will help you get more traffic and increase your credibility.

Advantages of a Career In Public Relations

Landing a career in public relations is something that is in great demand these days. This is given the demand that is there to promote a company’s image or even a certain personality.

There are so many graduates that have taken professional courses in PR as their main field. There are so many options that one can practice in the field of PR. There are also many academic institutions that offer these courses.

The job is tailor made for those people that have an outgoing personality. Such individuals like meeting people and they have excellent communication skills. The main work of a PR person is usually to create a positive image of a company or person to the outside world.

Other duties of the person will also include monitoring what the public thinks of the person or the company. The major function is usually to get along well with all those people that the organization has to interact constantly with.

A PR person is also supposed to ensure that there is good communication between the employees and the management of the organization. The person is supposed to think about ways that will enable communication and flow of information to be possible. There is also the work of managing the media image of the organization and devising strategies that will ensure that the organization will not be damaged by any bad news. This is what that is usually called the damage control as part of their day to day work.

The major accepted qualifications that are accepted for one to be a PR practitioner is a diploma or a post graduate diploma in the field. These qualifications can be acquired both from the public or the private academic institutions. The individuals that have a background of social sciences can also take the course. This however, does not mean that other students that have other academic qualifications cannot take the course. There are several higher institutions of learning that will offer a masters program in PR.

There are some institutes that will carry out an entrance test before one can take the course. Most institutions will take the student on the basis of merit. In most institutions, the course just takes one year, but there are certificate courses that will take a shorter period of time. Since PR is in a great demand, the courses offered are also in great demand. Those that have the right qualifications and have just the right personality can make a very successful career in this field.

As soon as the graduates complete college after taking the course, the first thing they will do is try to look for a place where they will make a career in public relations. They will look for those jobs that will make use of the knowledge that they acquired at their learning institutions. Once they get the job, they will strive to learn even more things that they were not taught in class but can only be obtained through experience by working in the field.

How Important is Public Relation Campaigns to Your Company?

Every company whether large or small should develop a press kit for distribution to media outlets and other news sources. The digital age is here and the greater number of sources that will publish your press releases online the greater your web presence will be in the future, as search engines index these sites and picks up the content. Your press release should contain keywords that you use to promote your product or service to your customers and words that will help you rise to the top of the search engines. Your pr program is another channel for branding your company as well.

Some basic information about your company, products, or services should be contained in your press kit. A press kit allows for easy distribution of company news to media outlets and other news sources. The following is a list of items you should have in your media kit.

Press Kit:

o Catalogs or Brochures

o Management Biographies

o Photos of your products or service

o Testimonials

o Company logos

o News Worthy Press Releases

o Photos of key employees

o Terms & Conditions for proper use of your company logo and/or trademarks

Another good way to build pr for your company is to have a press area on your website. This area should contain press releases from your company so the search engines can index the pages. Content is king! This will help in bringing your website up in the search engine rankings to help bolster favorable public perception about your company. Also, include ways for the media outlets to download copies of your latest press releases and company news (i.e. RSS, simple syndication Feed is Good) A digital press kit is fast and easy. You may want to require a non-formal registration so you can keep track of who is publishing your material. A few simple of tips for creating your press release can increase the publics’ perception about your company.

Tips:

o Always make sure whatever you are writing about in news worthy

o Maximize your product or service keywords through-out the press release

o Always include some response generating mechanism (i.e. special phone number, website landing page, email address, or contact person).

o When writing try to create a picture in your customers’ mind of what it is you are offering.

o Make every press release very exciting.

A good pr program will help your company gain valuable customers’ and gain favorable public perception about your company. 80% of all internet users’ research companies, services, and products on the web before they commit to making a purchase (Source: Marketingsherpa.com) and now is a good time as any to build your public relations programs to bolster your company into favorable standing with the general public.