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The ever-changing face of Public relations

It is no secret that the public relations sector has played a significant role in public perception of commercial and private entities. Equally, it is no secret that many of those in the public relation industry have extensive contacts within the news media 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 the utilization of traditional media.

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

Certainly, it is not productive to dissect the validity of diverse methodologies 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 a minimum amount of investment, the real question becomes how to avoid those public relations 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 too costly to justify the return on investment. Indeed there may be solid reasoning behind each of these strategies depending on the company’s overall strategic vision.

However, in terms of small and mid-size businesses, the most suitable approach may not be as complex as its counterparts in large businesses. Most small businesses 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 contributions to local charities and nonprofits with the understanding that those entities will credit such contributions on their website. For instance, a small donation of $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.

There are no limits to 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 minor local social efforts will keep your positive face on the first two pages and help your community’s charitable and social efforts.

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

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