Four ways to win with online Public Relations
By Jeanette Nkwana
As a small business owner, the conundrum of whether or not to invest in PR will come up a number of times. The short of it is every business should invest in PR.
Apart from the primary benefit of increased brand awareness, online PR is a great and fairly easy way to support your marketing function. However, it also requires a lot of research, hardwork and patience. PR is an issue of longevity, it takes a while to see its real impact, but once you start seeing it, it becomes a better to manage.
These are many ways for you to develop an online PR strategy that works. In this article I look at four simple ways to start actively managing your own PR function.
- Narrative consistency: The vision
It is imperative for you to make sure that the story you are telling remains consistent. The colours, tone and look of your website should tie in to all your real life communication action and social media. Developing and sticking to a particular aesthetic may seem trivial, but it says a lot about your vision to your audience.
- Content is king: The mission
If your content is not telling us what you do, who you are and/or what you value, what is it telling us and why does that matter?
Content on its own does not make PR, but content that does not feed into your PR strategy can very well crumble your entire online communications plan. Once again, the key is consistency. This does not only refer to how often you upload or post content, it is also about the subjects or ideas you present in or with your content and the quality of the content; which ultimately contributes to your brand narrative.
Whenever you work on a piece of content for your business or personal brand, ask yourself what you want to achieve with it, set goals!
- Content collaboration
Having links on other websites is also a great way to reach prospective audiences and make them aware of your brand. This requires a more focussed strategy because it is usually a short paragraph embedded in another business’ or organisations content. You need to be able to convert visitors and drive them to your site. Content collabos works well for businesses that offer complimentary services, for instance, a wine company and a glass manufacturer.
- An online media list
Digital news sites, online magazines, blogs and newsletters are one of the best things that have ever happened to information transmission. You will need to constantly identify sites or individuals who are best suited for your company to which you can distribute media releases and seek possible content partnerships and collaborations with. Visit Google and mingle!
My rule of thumb for winning with online PR is easy – if it helps improve your relationship with your targeted market, invest in it! After all, that is what PR is about – building and maintaining strategic relationships that are vital to the growth of your brand.