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Traditional Public Relations as a Foundation for Online PR

building-foundation

Online public relations has become like a shiny object attracting PR practitioners and companies alike, yet it must be built on a solid foundation. That’s why it’s preferable to seek out public relations professionals with a background in traditional PR before the online revolution began.

You can tell a prospect to visit your website until you’re blue in the face, but you’re never sure if they really will.

A background in traditional PR provides the skills required to fully take advantage of online opportunities. Some formats such as online press releases and content provision articles rely on knowledge and background in their traditional cousins. Moreover,  a company needs a solid base in traditional marketing before expanding into online opportunities.

For example, a focus on website development without background written marketing materials is a poor strategy for promotional efforts. You can tell a prospect to visit your website until you’re blue in the face, but you’re never sure if they really will. However, if you hand them a leave-behind such as a tri-fold brochure at a sit-down meeting, well, they’ll probably at least glance at it on its way to the trash.

Other major components of foundational public relations rely on items such as media list. Media research provides a long-term deliverable for your client, including contact information and the best beat reporters to contact for your target market.

Only after creating a tri-fold brochure and a media list should you proceed to the next step, creating an optimized website to create an entirely independent flow of revenue.

Don’t Neglect Traditional PR

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In the excitement and glory of online public relations, from corporate blogs to social media to email newsletters, good public relations firms will still lay a foundation using the elements of traditional public relations. Here are some steps to make sure they take:

There is no substitute for certain elements of a traditional public relations campaign. Make sure you don’t neglect them in the rush to improve your search engine ranking.

1) Research a media list: PR professionals can still access print directories such as Bacon’s that give phone numbers of key contacts unavailable online. In addition to contact information, a media list should include essential facts such as circulation that will affect how you approach the pitching process. The number of trade journals in your clients’ fields are amazing, and Bacon’s lets you pick through the clutter.

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