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The ever changing face of Public relations

It is no secret that public relations sector has played a significant role in public perception of commercial and private entities. Equally it is not secret that many of those in the public relation industry have extensive contacts within the news media in order to achieve their objective. However, judging the last few years and the accompanying technological development has created an entirely new branch of public relation which does not require utilization of traditional media.

The term online reputation management which has been seen all over the old and new media is the result of internet evolution combined with wide participation of those that have utilized successful online marketing in order to reduce possible views of negative online remarks by consumers.

Certainly it is not productive to dissect the validity of diverse methodology rather than examining the actual need and necessity. The most significant issue at hand is the issue of need. It is safe to say that in today’s World Wide Web which allows anyone and everyone to have a voice with minimum amount of investment, the real question becomes as how to go about avoiding those public relation dilemmas.

Some companies choose to ignore such issues. Best Buy (A registered Trade Mark of its respective owners) is a good example. Others attempt to hire large traditional public relations firms that are not flexible enough to adapt to the ever changing online environment or are entirely too costly to justify the return on investment. Indeed there may be solid reasoning behind each of these strategies depending on overall strategic vision of the company.

However, in terms of small and mid size businesses the most suitable approach may not be as complex as for its counter parts at large business. Most small businesses have to worry about their local and regional presence and reputation. Hence the most obvious point to start is the local market. The most cost effective approach would include steps such as reasonable contribution to local charities and non profits with the understanding that those entities will credit such contribution on their website. For instance a small donation $200 to your local baseball youth league can do the trick. Another appropriate step could include participation in providing tournament prices to your local golf club or political fundraising efforts.

It is obvious that there are no limits to the creativity that can be explored. However, it is vital that such local efforts are directly reflected in online credits. Here is the math: SERP has only 9 or 10 results on the first page and since studies show that very few people go past page 2 or even page 3, the math starts adding up. Your organic search results combined with such minor local social efforts will keep your positive face on the first 2 pages as well as help your community’s charitable and social efforts.

Of course such strategy is not as simple as it appears. There are many additional factors that may influence the outcomes of your DIY reputation management including changes in the SERP based on algorithm changes, more effective efforts by your critics as well as funding issues. As in any aspect of business decision making and organizational leadership the cost benefit analysis should be the determining factor in deciding if a professional or professional firm can have greater impact and help improve the bottom line. 

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