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A Fresh Look at the Web: Applying All Those Great Ideas

Here in Detroit, PR professionals are back to the daily grind, sitting down to desks in the city and suburbs, taking the information and knowledge gleaned at PRSA’s 2008 International Conference and putting it to work.

It’s not every day that our city plays host to so many dynamic and influential industry leaders, so at the Eisbrenner office, I’m pulling together some of my own web-related thoughts from the conference to share with the folks who couldn’t make it downtown.

Social media is here to stay.
You knew I was going to say it, didn’t you? Blogs, social networking sites, forums, video sharing . . . users are blogging at an exponential rate and as PR professionals, it’s our job to decipher which of these reach our audiences and the value they provide.

Sandra Fathi, of Affect Strategies, passed on the below resources. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the following sites, check them out:

Ning – Create uniquely branded social networking sites by using this platform. A cool tool to use internally or to spur discussion among key audiences.
Compete – Compare web traffic of up to three websites using line charts. Quick, simple and a great way to measure popularity of a brand website versus blog, or between competition.
Friend Feed – Create one space to organize and view all of your social media and online networking pages. Result? Time savings. Enough said.

Copy writing for the web is different.
As in, different than traditional print and the lead sentence of a newspaper article. If you get stuck on this idea, just remember: Write how you talk. Make it human by using emotion and breaking down technical terms without chopping out key words. Read CopyBlogger.

Lastly, leave readers with a call to action.

Don’t forget about key words.
It deserves to be said twice. Using keywords makes your text searchable – and according to Ford Saeks, three-word searches are most likely on search engines. Want to know what your audience is searching for? Use the following sites to decipher the most popular terms: HubSpot, Word Tracker, or SpyFu.

Now, back to work…

Jessica Howell is an account executive with Eisbrenner Public Relations, a Detroit-based firm specializing in automotive and technology industries, and a member of the PRSA Detroit Chapter.

For coverage of the PRSA 2008 International Conference: The Point of Connection, visit www.prsa.org/conf2008.

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