10 Essential Components of an Online PR Program

A comprehensive online PR program, especially in light of the fast-moving developments of the past two years, now includes a wide range of components, each essential to a company's ultimate success with high-level, demanding clients. Here is a list of 10 basic topics your program should cover. 1. Inbound link campaigns

Inbound link campaigns are designed to improve the web site ranking of your client's web site. The Google algorithm ranks sites by the number and quality of their inbound links, simply defined as clickable text on another site pointing to your own.

2. Content provision articles

Content provision sites are an online structure where visitors can go to find free material for their web sites. However, for attribution purposes, they must include the URL of the author. Contributing articles to content provision sites helps increase your clients' online visibility as well as their web site ranking.

3. Online press releases

Commonly distributed by PR Newswire, Businesswire or PRWeb, online press releases are picked up by many prominent publications, provide high-quality inbound links and are an effective method, in combination with traditional print distribution, to get out newsworthy material.

4. Blogs

Blogs are a form of online diary and are especially effective when they are created as "internal blogs" residing on a company's domain because each entry is posted on the equivalent of a new web page. This quality creates a dynamic growing web site and helps to foster "deep links," defined as links to interior pages of your web site as opposed to the home page. Google values deep links as a sign of a strong web site.

5. Email newsletters

Email newsletters, generally sent out every other month, are an effective way of reminding your base clientele to keep you in mind for future projects. They should include two "teaser" articles designed to drive traffic to your web site, e.g., "to read the rest of the article, click here." By clicking on the link, visitors should be transported to a new web page within your main company site.

6. Facebook

The Facebook demographic is constantly growing and expanding. The program now offers several business-friendly features including fan pages and the ability to segment your friends into social and professional lists.

7. Twitter

If you thought Twitter was a passing fad, guess again. It's a simple program to use, just keep your entries to 144 characters and press send. You should try and expand your Twitter account to at least 1,000 followers, and be sure they outnumber the ones you are following yourself. The best "tweeters" limit their promotional messages to a maximum of 20 percent of the total. One good tweeting technique involves findingr an interesting article via Google and then sending out the headline and link.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn, as well as other professional networking sites such as Plaxo and Naymz, are becoming increasingly popular because of their unique business focus. LinkedIn groups are especially powerful because of their wide range of topics and the ability to find a group perfectly targeted to your expertise or client base.

9. Social bookmarking programs

The latest development on the Internet, social bookmarking programs provide links to interesting web sites, and allow sharing of those sites with your associates. Pioneered by Delicious, bookmarking programs can increase your visibility and create inbound links to your web site.

10. Web site footprint

A web site footprint is created by registering with a wide range of programs, providing your company description, and linking them all together, of course including your web site and blog. The web footprint sites should include social media like Twitter and Facebook, recommendation sites like Yelp, Digg and StumbleUpon, video and image sites like YouTube and Flickr, and bookmarking sites such as Delicious. Creating accounts at a large number of these sites and linking them together creates a strong online presence.


A Harvard graduate with more than 10 years of experience in public relations, Willy Gissen founded Cut-It-Out Communications in 2003. See his other articles at public relations content and his blog at New York Times Leader.

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