Technology has dramatically changed the buyer-seller relationship. The Internet has extended your audience reach and given you the ability to influence public perception online. Relying on a one-to-many communication approach drains budgets and limits creativity. Online public relations focuses on publishing content that consumers want. People solve problems by going online. Will they find you as their solution?
Consumers have moved online. Shouldn’t your public relations efforts? No longer do third-party entities control the flow of knowledge. Yes, we all know who we mean – the media. No longer do you need to 100 percent rely on media members to accept your ever-so-compelling email pitch. But, creating genuine relationships with media members continues to be important. After all, they are human. And, isn’t that our goal? To build long-lasting relationships with real people who are searching for answers.
We aren’t suggesting that you abandon your offline strategies. Guerrilla marketing, speaking engagements and the like are valuable content opportunities. Just be sure to get it online! Tweet pictures live from a tradeshow. Upload your community event photos to SlideShare. The new way of public relations unites offline and online strategies into a fluid communication system.
Getting started online can be daunting. Thinking like a publisher and implementing the new-millennial marketing musts can seem overwhelming. Start with the people who are the closest to your brand. Engage in relevant conversations with the people on your team and with those who purchase your products. Instead of writing press releases toting your wonderful projects, collaborate with the people behind your brand. Have a few team members contribute blog posts about what they experience every day in the trenches. Publish their interviews on YouTube where they explain the “why” behind what they do. People want to get to know real people. People purchase from brands that have faces.
While sharing what you discover about your people and your customers – you begin to build a strong online presence for your brand and your thought leaders. You build awareness and obtain credibility by showing the “Real (insert company name here)”.
Stop letting others speak for you. Find your authentic voice – and share it.