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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Why Online PR is Brilliant for small businesses - especially online businesss

I keep seeing a lot of search engine optimisation people claiming to do PR, and some of the text examples are so optimized they are a really clunky read.

The whole point about being online is to establish conversations and relationships directly with customers and anyone else you want to talk to.

You don't do that by throwing optimised content at them.

You do write brilliantly interesting or useful material that compels people to recommend you and you place it very well. Then wait for the comments.
PR folk have been identifying audiences to speak to and adapting content for them for years, so have a head start, but anyone with a passion for the subject will give them a close run for their money if they crack the placement angles.

One of the best explanations of how it all works is "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. Having been online and in PR for a long time, I'd pieced together a lot of the points he makes. But he was the one that pulled it all together and made sense of it - and a fair number of folk agree judging by the popularity of his book.

Online PR lets you to build a brand through making great connections: with bloggers and key influencers, which can include online media.

Meerman Scott notes that online is where marketing and PR meet, and in my book DIY PR, I made a point of highlighting that small businesses don't separate PR, marketing and sales. It's all publicity or promotion. That's why most small business owners will 'get' online PR and marketing. They are unencumbered by the separate training routes for PR and marketing and can happily get stuck into results-driven online promotion. Meerman Scott shows it's not rocket science. But it does need application and effort. With every major purchasing decision involving a Google search, it's worth getting your online PR and marketing right.

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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at


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