Q&A on Online PR
A PR student asked me what Online PR was … here’s what in my limited understanding I answered J
1. What according to you is Online PR?
According to me Online PR is the usage of online tools – like blogs, facebook, twitter to connect with influencers and convey your client or company’s product benefits. This would involve first profiling, listening to these influencers’ interests and views and only then “pitching” a product or service. This means the PR people have to first build a relationship and converse first.
2. Based on your definition – do you think Indian Companies have incorporated Online PR in their existing PR strategies?
Not really. The approach is still to draw a list of bloggers and spam them.
3. According to you is Online PR just a financially viable substitute to traditional PR (via traditional mediums like print and broadcast) or is it an absolute necessity?
That would depend on the product. For some digital brands and products online PR is essential.
4. Is Online PR only for B2C companies or can it be effectively used for B2B companies as well? (Please elaborate)
B2B companies can use online PR also. For example if a company sells servers – it can draw up a list of influencers who blog/tweet about servers and invite them to play around with the product and review it. This would eventually convince the final customers who happen to be readers to these influencers
5. What do you think inhibits corporates from indulging in Online PR?
Online PR is a new way of thinking – and looks at one to one relationship with bloggers. The benefits are also not clear to organizations.
6. Which tools are being effectively used by Indian Companies and which do you think have potential but have not been exploited yet? (search engines, blogs, news forums, social networking sites etc)
Search engine marketing, blogger engagement, social media optimization is being followed. I believe soon organizations will move to having a social media press room on their own websites.
7. What according to you is the future of Online PR- specifically for Indian Corporates?
We see Indian corporate become content producers and community shepherds around the lifestyle, cause or passion their brand connects with.
8. Finally, how well do you think Indian Audiences receive Online PR? Do they trust the medium?
Badly done pitches or traditional PR pitches will breed distrust between the bloggers and the online audience. They have to be handled differently than journalists traditionally have been handled