Friday, April 10, 2009 – TAMPA AND LAKELAND, FLORIDA – For years, the Internet has been changing the way businesses promote themselves and the way professionals address public relations in Tampa and throughout the country.
Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc., a public relations agency that offers writing services in Tampa, as well as Lakeland and other Central Florida cities, has witnessed the shift from standard article writing to writing according to search engine optimization standards in an effort to help businesses attract new traffic to their Web sites.
In addition to SEO writing, public relations professionals also must be well-versed on how to use the ever-evolving world of social media to assist clients in their public relations campaigns, said Lorrie Walker, president of Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc. and a Tampa press release writer.
“I am a firm believer that the future of marketing and public relations efforts is solidly entrenched in the wise use of the Internet,” Walker said. “Everyone turns to the Internet these days when they are looking for a product or service, so a good public relations campaign must include the use of techniques that give clients’ Web sites a prominent presence on the Internet and in organic search results.”
According to a Nielsen study released in January, as well as research from Webvisible that was reported by Marketing Charts, 63 percent of small business owners and consumers use the Internet when seeking information about local companies. Of those Internet users, 82 percent use search engines for that research.
It makes sense for companies to do what they can to ensure that when people use keywords to search for the types of products and services they provide, that these companies’ Web sites appear prominently on search results, Walker said.
There is a wide array of public relations techniques used to assist companies in promoting themselves and spreading the word about their services, products, accomplishments and other newsworthy events, she said, “but no matter what we do today, we always come back to the Internet at some point. There is not a public relations campaign we have conducted since the company began in which the Internet did not play some sort of role.”
The Internet even is changing the way public relations professionals communicate with journalists and bloggers when it comes to pitching article ideas and other promotional ideas for clients, Walker said.
During a recent seminar sponsored by The Dick Pope/Polk County chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, Jan Luongo, president of Tampa-based Alliance Communications, shared some interesting information on social media, Walker said. Luongo said that 99 percent of journalists are going online for research, information and story leads.
“The days of mailing or faxing press releases are all but over,” Walker said. “These days, if you don’t e-mail releases to journalists or send them a link via Twitter (www.twitter.com), chances are journalists aren’t reading them.”
New PR Opportunities
Social media also is creating new outlets for public relations professionals to use when conducting PR campaigns for clients, Walker said.
Wikipedia defines social media as content created by people using various Internet publishing technologies.
Those technologies include blogs, Twitter and social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, to name a few.
During the FPRA’s New Media Communication Tools seminar in March, Luongo shared the following information about users on several social media Web sites:
• Facebook-150 million users in 180 countries
• MySpace- 110 million users
• Reunion.com- 50 million users
• LinkedIn- 35 million users in 170 industries
• Twitter- 12 million users
Luongo said social media uses for public relations include customer service, building brand awareness, promotions, breaking news, file sharing and trending, to name a few examples.
“With all of these social media and social networking opportunities at our fingertips today, it makes it more worthwhile than ever to incorporate public relations into a company’s overall marketing strategy,” Walker said. “These outlets provide countless opportunities to assist businesses in getting their message out to their core audiences.”
About Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc.
Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc. is a public relations agency based in Lakeland, FL that provides services throughout Tampa and the central Florida area. We offer quality writing and editing services and provide customized public relations packages for small businesses.
Our clients turn to us to cut through the clutter of “fluff” writing and jargon to write compelling copy that accurately conveys their message. They rely on us to provide creative avenues for getting their message out to their market demographic in a fashion that sets them apart from their competition.
We specialize in bringing attention to your business by helping you get your name out there and keeping it in front of the minds of consumers.
If you don’t see your specific needs listed in our services section, talk to us. We may be able to accommodate you. If you request a service we don’t provide, we are happy to recommend a professional who does.
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