Online PR VS. Internet Marketing
The PR industry has been notoriously bad at enlightening clients and potential clients about public relations and its value to a business. At the same time, Internet marketing is a flourishing field, where marketing professionals treat PR as a tool under their larger umbrella. That’s the message most potential online PR clients get.
In Internet marketing (as in all areas of marketing) the message is designed to drive sales or directly increase revenue in some way. For example, the marketing message of a large online book store might be that they can offer the largest selection and cheapest prices because of their bulk buying power.
In online PR (and Public Relations as a whole) the message isn’t designed to be directly promotional. PR messages can vary from showing that a company cares about a specific cause (or show core values of the company) to news messages put out by the company.
The Tactics and Tools
One of the reasons many Internet marketers assume they understand online PR is the fact that the two disciplines often use a few of the same tools. However, they use those tools in different ways. Here are tools and tactics used in Internet Marketing and online PR.
In Internet marketing, you have a “target market.” These are essentially the people your company is selling something to (or if you run a website monetized by advertising, your target market might be potential readers that you’d monetize through those ads).
In online PR, you have a “target audience” instead. A target audience (sometimes called a “key public” or “stakeholder”) can be any group that has influence over the company. The target market is just one target audience. Others might include residents of the area where a company is located, government officials, stockholders, and employees.