So What Do You Mean When You Say ‘Online PR?’

So what do you mean when you say online PR?

I had the pleasure of meeting one of our new clients last night at the 2012 Vision Awards in Charlotte, hosted by the Center City Partners, and I received the above question.

What exactly is online public relations, and what do you do for me?

If you know me, you know I absolutely love SEO, marketing, selling online, and watching SERPS and the trends. I am very analytical and would really do this for free or on my day off.

I answered this with a lot of overlap from Defensive SEO and strong dash of social media.

“Public relations” is defined as the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by an organization or a famous person. PR is the state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person.

Online we must often be reactive in a practice sort of way. We do not always get to “wag the dog” when dealing with the world of searchable content. Very often a customer will search for what they want when they want to. In other forms of PR and marketing, people like me take pride in telling people what they want and doing it in a way where they don’t know why they wanted it.

Does anyone really remember what was so great about Cabbage Patch kids or Teddy Ruxpin?

Now we can track customers and searchers to within a micrometer of what they are thinking, and this is almost as good as telling them what they want. With Google analytics and other social media tracking tools like Pagelever, we can know what works and what doesn’t work, in real time.

Still, though, we don’t know when the trend will change until it does. The solution to this is often preparing ahead of time with defensive SEO, a tsunami of online press, and covering every page a person may find in conjunction with a client’s name.

We want to do all of the basic things, like create a great Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Linkedin presence, of course. We want to make all of those pages tempting to join, with motivational calls to action for any visitor. Our thinking here is that when we do all this work to get a visitor to your page, we don’t want them leaving empty-handed.

I want your social media presence to be like the candy in the checkout aisle. Who can say no to “free newsletter, EBooks and updates–only takes one click on my LIKE BUTTON”?

Not really PR, but the residual PR you get from having an active relationship with thousands of fans and followers is the most affective part. When someone sees a message on your wall, it means only so much, but when they see your message on their best friend’s wall, it means much more.

Searchers are not on Facebook searching, though; they are on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. And when they enter your name, what do they see? The searchers can often end a search for your service on just the snippets Google provides. If I search for CGR Creative, I see nothing but the great things we do for our community. I see Press releases covering our activity in the community, and I see rave reviews from valued clients past.

In a past article, I pointed out how over 80% of searchers do not go past page one in their searches, but that doesn’t apply to reputation defense when I do it.

If I am searching for a web design firm in Charlotte, I likely won’t go past page one if I am a casual searcher. But say I’ve picked a company by name and am considering calling them tomorrow. My next step is to search for them specifically, and in this scenario, most searchers will go 2,3 , or 4 pages deep. Searchers curious about your business reputation are not looking for top 10, or the Google chosen “best”; they are looking for the bad news. Searchers looking for bad news tend to go much deeper into the results.

When’s the last time you searched some old friend or enemy just for fun? How many pages deep did you go? Enough said.

Now go search CGR Creative Charlotte; this is what we can do for clients.

We make sure you have a good reputation online which gets you a much higher conversion rate on raw leads. You have spent so much time building your name up with positive public relations; one single bad piece of news that is accessible to the world on Google 24/7 will lose all that faith in your next perspective client.

We build content and press for you through 40+ press websites, cover all review websites, including industry specific ones and local search results, respond to anything negative, and work to minimize or remove it. We will make sure your perspective clients hear nothing but positive things.  They will then build faith in your business, turning around to pass on the word to their friends with confidence. Word of mouth and what people see with their own eyes is very effective in selling your brand long term.

Our mission is to understand your marketing needs and partner with you to develop measurable creative solutions to gain visibility and market share.