The importance of the PR agency in online marketing
Recently I met with some of the team at Red PR and we got talking as to the importance of Public Relations in the field of Online Marketing. ’Joining the dots’ between the online marketing space and the real world is something they are embracing in creating solutions for each of their clients. Following is a bit of an insight into the inner workings of Red PR and how the search space and the likes of social media are key to the evolving space of Public Relations.
Can you tell us a little bit about what Red PR offers and how it all got started?
The Red PR Group is one of Australia’s leading lifestyle and consumer PR agencies with offices in Sydney and Brisbane. We provide communications for travel, property, hospitality, consumer technology, fashion, beauty and health industries, amongst others.
We specialise in publicity and media liaison, social media, experiential marketing, media training, sponsorships, promotions, issues management and special events. We are a team of passionate, dynamic, inspired and strategic individuals and when we come together to build your campaign the magic is made.
Since opening our doors in 2003 we have been driven by results, creativity and sought to push the boundaries for every campaign we work on – at Red PR there is no one size fits all.
Led by former journalist Fleur Madden, in 2008 Red PR became the first Australian partner of PROI, the largest and oldest group of independently owned agencies from around the world. This has seen us partner on international projects, share best practice and offer international exchanges to our team.
So how has the way you support a brand changed in the last few years vs when you got things first going?
We have all witnessed the significant change in the Australian media landscape. Traditional media has contracted in response to free and fast content available online. Many magazines and newspapers have shut their doors. The idea of pushing information out is dead; we are now conversation makers. We now get our news and information from a hugely diverse range of sources, much of which is through social networking with our peers.
But the fundamentals of what we do haven’t changed. We find out how your target audience gets their information, what engages and excites them. We create a strategy to get our clients messages to their audience in the most effective and on-brand way.
Has the Internet made it easier or harder to establish good PR with a client’s target audience?
Good PR is about an authentic two-way conversation that enhances relationships, so yes, the internet has facilitated that process of a much larger scale – we now have access to a global audience. It allows us to engage with key influencers, communities of interest and to encourage user-generated content 24 hours a day. The challenge is to make this interaction meaningful, and that is why we always recommend a mix of online and offline activity.
It can be said that good SEO is about good PR – how do you see the activities Red PR employ support this?
Organic SEO is generated by people talking positively about your organisation or product. This is the same objective of PR. All of our outputs- media releases, traditional media coverage, social media strategies, videos, events, competitions, collateral, images, celebrity endorsements and ambassadors- support this.
How do you see the role of a PR agency evolving in the rapidly developing online space? In particular with the nature of how people search and with search engine developments.
You can have the best service or product in the world, but who cares if no one knows about it?
Our role will always be about managing relationships and reputation, and positioning brands and fighting for their share of voice- online and offline.
Our focus in the online space is about creating engaging, evergreen content and encouraging key influencers to share and generated their own content. More than that, it is about creatively bridging the online and offline space. This means that you’ll hear about a brand in your favorite magazine, then see them on the Today Show, hear it on the radio when you drive to work, then see people talking about it in your Twitter feed, and then you click to their website.
What are your hopes and concerns for the future in this multi-platform space both business and consumers are operating in today?
There is fantastic opportunity for brands that treat their digital footprint with the same care and investment as their bricks and mortar spaces. Davids can outsell Goliaths. Customers and clients can get more customised products and solutions. Brands can interact with their communities and can adapt to real-time feedback of their clients. Businesses need to see their online reputation as an asset they are building.
Not engaging in digital for your business is like having a multi-million dollar shopfront and locking the doors.
What is one of the most exciting things happening online in your opinion?
The growth of social media every day. There are new techniques enabling us to be able to grow communities quicker than ever and analyse the data that we get from our social campaigns, so we can show direct ROI for clients.
Words of wisdom?
It is simple – just join the conversation. People are already talking about your brand online, you have an opportunity to speak directly to your customers and manage the messages. You can either see that as a threat or an opportunity and the brands that don’t see it as a massive opportunity will be left behind. It isn’t word of mouth anymore, its world of mouth!