How does Public Relations Work? An effective public relations program presents a positive image of a business, connecting with customers, and creating a relationship between company and customer. When the public reads or views third party coverage of a product or service, it is perceived to be more reliable than a paid advertisement. When a third party, such as a reporter, endorses your company, you gain credibility by a factor of three to seven times.

How is the Internet Changing the Game? Traditionally, public relations relied heavily on print and broadcast media to transmit messages. However, as with every facet of business, the Internet has changed the game. Increasingly, the most effective way to disseminate your message. Effective public relations integrates the traditional methods with digital and social media. By creating content that’s informative and promotable on all platforms, efficient exposure is created.

Increasingly, consumers are turning to the Internet to research products and form opinions of companies. A skilled public relations professional guides clients through the maze of social media platforms, as well as keeping up with changing trends. An article on a popular online news outlet, a news clip posted online, and media releases distributed online drive traffic to your website, increasing your rank in search engines such as Google. Currently, content can be optimized for search engine visibility using keywords. However, Google is drastically changing the way your site will be recognized and ranked. (This will be the topic of my next blog, posting on Tuesday, April 14.)

The new Google algorithm adapts to how people search, with a strong focus on mobile devices. It places an emphasis on context, as opposed to distinct keywords. It brings the capability of recognizing individual pages on a site and understanding entire phrases and questions, rather than single words alone.

The new algorithm emphasizes a methodology called content marketing. Content marketing is one of the most popular marketing formats that include content development, publishing, and sharing media in order to increase awareness, traffic, leads, and customers. The key is a constant flow of fresh, informative, engaging, and most importantly, useful content.

The Bottom Line: A well-run public relations program, strategically integrated with marketing and advertising, and emphasizing social media, carries multiple benefits that can have a significant impact. Public relations is increasingly evolving into a highly effective way to build a brand by getting the word out about you, your company, your products and services to potential customers.

Side Bar: It’s not advertising. We don’t buy impressions. We don’t guarantee placement. But the coverage we get, in the media, online, social media, TV and other places, has significant credibility. Public relations consist of the following:

Third-party validation
Public opinion
Public policy