The Future Of Online PR

    December 9, 2009

In the olden days, PR professionals might have gotten an hour or more of face time in which to sweet talk someone over a meal.  Now, they occasionally make pitches in 140 characters.  So you can imagine how the information shared during a conference session titled "Online PR: Where to Next?" could prove quite useful to a lot of people.

(Coverage of SES Chicago continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Beth HarteBeth Harte, who wears a number of hats (including that of Community Manager) for MarketingProfs, started by stating that press releases and visibility are just part of the game.  Advertising, issues management, public affairs, lobbying, and investor relations all count, as well, and she stressed, "Real public relations is relationships."

Harte also said, "Social media tools will change.  People being social won’t."  She recommended listening, communicating, partnering, telling your story, and getting people to talk as a result.

Next, Marty Weintraub, President of aimClear, talked about the intersection of PR and SEO.  Stay interested in links, and write SEO-savvy press releases.  Get social media profiles ranked, and do guest blogging stints if possible.  Finally, provide people a reason to rebroadcast your name (and do a little good) by helping charities.  Weintraub suggested, "Give and give and give some more."

Duncan AlneyThen came Duncan Alney, President and Social Media Strategist of Firebelly Marketing.  He discussed the visual component of PR, stating, "Online video is used more than all major TV networks," and indicated that continued growth is likely.  Video is very shareable, Alney pointed out, so PR professionals should start refining their strategy and execution and accumulating experience now.

At last, Andy Beal, the CEO of Trackur, wrapped up the session.  He pointed out that there is advanced technology for monitoring industry trends, competitors’ buzzwords, your own reach, and potential allies.  Take advantage of it.  And as for the future, Beal predicted that there will be dynamic content in press releases, link tracking across platforms, performance-based press release pricing, and RFID for your content.

WebProNews Reporter/Anchor Abby Johnson contributed to this report.

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