Online Public Relation in China
The latest figure from the ITU on the number of Internet users worldwide has been released; it is predicted that the number of Internet users will reach 3 million by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, one third of people in the Asia-Pacific region will be online users and 45% of Internet users worldwide will come from this region. Hence, public relations online are bound to become increasingly important in recent years.
Compared with other media, news media is seen as more trustworthy by people. When companies take this marketing tool, readers will tend to give more trust. That explains why companies from tourism and cosmetics industry use PR a lot in China. Furthermore, hundreds of millions of people read news online in China every day. A piece of news on the Sina homepage can easily get millions of views in one day. Besides, compared with the traditional way of marketing, public relations, especially relations with online news media are one of the most cost-efficient ways to get your brand well known by the your target audience in a short time.
For either online or offline PR in China, the goal remains the same, which is to advertise a product and/or brand to new target audience. Traditional PR is used only to communicate with journalists, while online PR addresses to influencers on the Internet, like journalists from magazines or online newspapers, bloggers, and leading figures on the Internet. Developing a brand’s reputation does not necessarily mean going through conferences or press releases anymore. Online PR prefers to organize activities to test the product or ship some goods. The fact is that influential people on the Internet are rarely professional journalists, but they should also be considered. Most of them take care of their internet-based business during their free time.
Any good public relation agency, both online and offline, must have a great address book to highlight its client, increase brand awareness and enable them to acquire new customers. However, online PR has the community manager to help them in this task. Indeed, there is generally a community of online reporters, bloggers, forum leaders, and specialized magazines for each business sector. The community manager is responsible for integrating that community in order to influence them later and ensure a good online reputation for the product or the company.
Monitoring the impact on the Internet involves an almost systematic manual standby. The online PR in China, with its privileged position near influencers and social networks, can analyze the impact of an online action more easily. There are two methods to do so. First, a quantitative method that brings all media quotes after the operation. Another method is qualitative which is to analyze the content posted including the audience’s reception about it.
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