Is Public Relations in a Golden Age?

According to Larry Chase, in his latest issue of of Larry Chase’s Web Digest for Marketers, Internet marketing is giving Public Relations an additional boost.

PR packs new punch online.

The Internet has brought a golden age to Public Relations. Pre-Internet, there were bottlenecks between those who wanted to reach an audience with news and the target audience.

You had a fixed number of newspapers, magazines, radio and TV outlets, networks, etc. But, with millions of people using Yahoo News, Google News, RSS feeds, blogs, email newsletters and the like, press releases have a new, reinvigorated life online.

If you send a newsworthy press release, you can reach the end user, news outlets and the blogosphere all at once.

But, wait: It gets better. You can track the success of that press release. You can see how many Tweets, blog mentions or pickups by syndicated RSS feeds it collects.

Press releases enjoy a new life because they are (when done right) content-driven. People turn to the Internet for commercial as well as editorial content. Display ads don’t convey as much information as a press release.

I certainly agree with much of what he said. However, I don’t think that the advantages provided by the Internet stop at press releases. In fact the ability to reach your customers and prospects directly through Websites, forums and blogs provides a level of access previously unparalleled.

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