Public Relations

The digital revolution has changed the business of Public Relations (PR) forever. Today, PR professionals must deal with not only traditional forms of media but also communications channels that have a habit of changing practically overnight. PR has always been about relationships and about using those relationships to promote your brand and your company. In the past, a PR representative might have needed simply to maintain a good rapport with a few members of the media, know how to write a compelling press release, and maybe do an occasional interview. That era is over.

PR is now a complicated and constant effort. It involves increasing measurable return on investment through new digital media content and innovative marketing approaches. It still requires all the traditional relationships, plus an abundance of new ones on social media, from old-school reporters to social influencers. It involves everything from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to snarky Twitter brands. And now more than ever, PR is tasked with projecting a company’s positive values as the public increasingly demands that businesses do real good in the world and that what they see and hear about various companies is not just for show.

PR is Different From Branding and Marketing

We need to first be specific about what PR encompasses and what it means for your company. PR, branding, and marketing often overlap, sometimes a great deal, but each has its own important role, and the professionals in all three areas must learn to be flexible and dynamic in the face of the accelerating digital revolution.

One of the best ways of distinguishing these three areas is by clarifying their differences and defining what each one focuses on. PR and branding are perhaps the most similar, but PR is primarily outward facing, while branding is much more inward facing. Branding often involves the overall “feel” that a company wishes to present to the public, such as via logos, design, and other visual aspects of its “look.” PR is a brand’s communication practices and apparatus and is responsible for delivering information about the company to the public. Both involve communication, but PR is largely direct, while branding is almost entirely indirect.

Additionally, marketing is different from both PR and branding in that the intent of marketing is almost always to drive and increase sales. All three have an impact on sales (just consider the importance of branding to Apple and Coca-Cola), but sales are marketing’s primary focus. So, one could say that branding sets the tone, PR provides the information, and marketing closes the deal.

Also important to recognize is the how of PR—that is, the manner and medium through which a company’s messages reach the market.

There are three recognized types of PR:

  • Owned PR
  • Earned PR
  • Paid PR

Owned refers to what you can distribute through your own means, via options you fully control, such as press releases and other materials and information produced in-house. This would include content for your social media channels, such as videos on YouTube.

Demands of the Digital Age

So how has PR changed in the digital age?

01

It is now occurring all the time. This is due in part to the nature of the modern news cycle, where fresh information from or about a company could catch the public’s attention at any moment. A lot of it is the result of the rise of social media and the growing need for companies to be permanently “on,” meaning ready to engage with the public at a moment’s notice, whether responding to a crisis, participating in a trend, or posting a funny meme. PR can’t take weekends off anymore, because in some cases, Monday might be too late to act.

02

The former model of a top-down form of PR is absolutely gone. Whereas previously, a company’s PR strategy would essentially be “Let’s put our info out there and hope it sticks,” PR now requires a more equalized back-and-forth with the public. Anyone with a social media account can act as a citizen journalist, and PR departments must often respond to such individuals with the same seriousness and professional intent as they do to traditional news media. In fact, PR departments must be even more careful with the public than they are with standard media outlets because while the latter are (hopefully) bound by ethical constraints and professionalism, a member of the general public likely has no such restraints.

03

Thanks to the internet, your PR efforts will, by necessity, be widely distributed. Realistically, your message needs to be everywhere if your business just wants to keep up. You still need to give the necessary attention to traditional media (e.g., publishing press releases, maintaining relationships with journalists and media sources, organizing public events to promote your company), but you must also have accounts on multiple social media channels (and monitor them), while keeping an eye on your reviews, simultaneously boosting your SEO efforts on Google, and performing numerous other such tasks.

04

Your PR efforts need to be coordinated with those of your branding and marketing departments to make sure you’re not getting in your own way and are maintaining the consistency of your brand throughout all public-facing activities. The digital revolution has turned PR into a constant juggling act, where one dropped tweet or bad press release could spell disaster. Constant vigilance is imperative.

Talk to an Expert Today for Building your Public Relations

Reactive versus Proactive PR

What we have discussed thus far applies primarily to Reactive PR, in which the focus is on responding to public sentiment, either supportive or critical, while addressing customer issues and crises. Proactive PR, on the other hand, focuses on getting your company’s name and brand out into the world. And in the digital age, the options for proactive PR are almost endless.

For example, a common practice these days for brands looking to promote themselves on social media is “newsjacking”—getting involved in emerging trends or topical issues. Although this tactic can be a good way to gain attention for your brand, it can often be a very risky move that could seem ultimately tacky or tasteless, especially if the story or trend you’re trying to “newsjack” is (or becomes) a negative or controversial one.

further more, this practice has become trendy, which means your Twitter account could be just one of many trying to post a memorable tweet that gets noticed before the trend passes or the issue in question fades in popularity or importance. As a result, your tweet risks blending into the endless scroll of Twitter, and your PR efforts would be wasted.

Sometimes, All that is needed is a little humor to connect with an audience more effectively. Some brands, such as Wendy’s and MoonPie, have cultivated a snarky, often meme-focused internet presence. This is especially true on Twitter, a platform custom-built for playful banter and jokey back-and-forths. This kind of PR can be especially helpful for brands that are generally seen as large, faceless corporations. By getting into a particularly funny conversation with other Twitter users, they can score small PR coups because such exchanges are often shared widely and discussed on various news, industry, and culture sites and blogs. Such attention and coverage help propel the brand higher on Google Search Results because these fresh news stories about the exchange crowd out other less favorable ones about the company. This can be particularly useful in pushing neutral or negative stories off Google’s front page.

But, Proactive PR also involves using good judgment. The tone of your social media presence needs to fit well with your brand. While a snack cake producer or fast food chain might be able to get away with a certain level of sarcasm and derisiveness, this approach is probably not right for a brand whose tone is already well-established and effective.

Coca-Cola’s brand has always been one of positivity and a certain global oneness—consider its famous “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” campaign. Suddenly posting memes all the time on its Twitter account would undercut the company’s carefully crafted and longstanding brand image. Similarly, banks, law firms, and other such professional services companies should likely keep the internet jokes to a minimum because levity and humor are less appropriate for them and could even smack of desperation. Few things come across as more pathetic than when a serious company tries too hard to look cool.

Content Marketing: Companies Looking Trendy!

So how can a company with a more reserved image or a smaller presence grab the public’s attention? Do cool stuff and be trendy!

Okay, although the reality is a bit more complicated, that’s the basic idea. In content marketing, companies make and distribute their own content, usually on the internet and occasionally through traditional media. A form of PR content marketing that many companies are adopting is having their products directly integrated into popular media, especially music. This goes beyond just product placement or sponsoring a concert or festival.

For example, the band OK Go collaborated with the international paper company Double A to produce a music video centered entirely on paper being printed. The video mentions that all the paper used was recycled and the proceeds donated to Greenpeace, reflecting and showcasing the company’s eco-friendly mind-set. The video has been watched almost 18 million times, which we imagine is a much greater reach than a paper company usually achieves via press releases and social media posts.

Obviously, not every tactic will work for every company, and your PR department must possess a certain level of expertise to find the right way to promote your firm with an event or media product. And for every video that garners millions of views and the attention of the internet, many more top out with just a few thousand views and disappear from the cultural window entirely. Remember that PR is a constant effort for attention and that you are sometimes competing against, well, the entire world. But this is no reason to give up. The overall goals of content marketing are to develop mutually beneficial relationships and to find a way of promoting your business by getting involved in interesting ideas and events.

Your Online Reputation: 7 Things CEOs Must Know

Integrating SEO and Values into Your PR

Perhaps the most important new goal of PR in the digital era relates to how it can affect your company’s ranking on search engines, primarily Google Search. SEO must be integrated into any PR strategy because of its potential to not only improve your company’s standing in Google Search results but also influence what content about your business appears in those searches.

Now more than ever, customers both appreciate and reward companies that have positive, supportive values. Your PR efforts will be their most efficient and effective when they tie into any good deeds your business does. Today, customers expect the companies they patronize to be responsible, support their employees, and take their impact on the world seriously.
The best form of PR is when the public sees a business actually doing the right thing and working hard to assume a stewardship role in the world.

This is where the expertise Blue Ocean Global Technology can helpyou and your company. One of the keys to ensuring that your PR efforts are effective and truly reflect your company’s core worth and values is finding the right people to work with, whether for creating new promotional content or developing a strategy to improve your SEO game so your existing content reaches the right audiences.

PR in the business world has never been more complicated, nor has it ever been more scrutinized. Blue Ocean Global Technology can match your company with the skilled individuals and teamsyou need to gain the right kind of attention for your business, move you up in online search results, and connect with the customers you want to help.

Public Relation

  • What is the role of public relations?

    Public relations (PR) plays a critical role in the success of businesses and organizations. It helps define an entity’s brand, promote its messaging, and anticipate (as well as minimize) the impact of any unfavorable publicity. 

    Distinguishing between PR and advertising is important; they are not the same. PR involves earned media, which is media that results from providing journalists with information through pitches, interviews, press releases, and other such avenues, whereas advertising is paid media. The two can be used together, but they are not synonymous.

  • What are examples some examples of public relations?

    Three primary examples of PR activities are issuing press releases, maintaining media relations, and managing crisis communications. 

    Press releases are written announcements that organizations deliver to journalists and media outlets and that provide information about newsworthy happenings at that organization, such as a significant new hire, the introduction of a new product, or an award received.

    Media relations involves developing relationships with journalists, bloggers, editors, and other content producers who cover topics of interest to a company and its clients and pitching timely, relevant stories to them (as well as scheduling interviews with key staff members) in an effort to generate positive media coverage.

    Crisis communications requires creating a multipronged, proactive plan for dealing with potential public relations crises, including response plans, to protect a company or client’s

  • Is PR a good career choice?

    PR can be a great career path, offering many exciting opportunities in a variety of areas. In fact, U.S. News & World Report currently ranks PR as the #3 best creative and media job. And individuals interested in pursuing PR can choose from a number of career paths. 

    For example, one option is to work for an agency, concentrating on PR activities for multiple clients at once as part of a team, with each person managing a particular aspect of a client’s promotional outreach. 

    Another possibility is to work as in-house PR for a brand, either managing the business’s PR program single-handedly or coordinating outside agencies to work together on the company’s behalf. 

    Some PR specialists work as freelancers, prioritizing one or two clients and handling pitching, media relations, and follow-up on their behalf. 

    PR can also be just one of numerous tasks in a professional’s communication mandate within a company or nonprofit organization.

  • What does good PR look like?

    Whether PR qualifies as “good” depends on the particular client and their needs.

    Most often, good PR takes the form of proactive, positive communication for a  brand that occurs on a regular basis. Examples of effective PR include the following:

    • Positive stories about a brand appearing in targeted publications
    • People talking favorably about a brand (e.g., “positive buzz” about a company)
    • A company’s leadership being asked to give their opinions/quotes on related topics
    • An increase in speaking engagements
    • More extensive television/video/podcast coverage

    In a crisis PR situation, on the other hand, the definition of “good PR” might be getting an unfavorable story about a brand out of the media, waiting for the commotion to die down, and then beginning the hard work of repairing that company’s reputation.

    In any situation, good PR always involves the combination of effective research—into the publications, editors, bloggers, and journalists who cover the topics of interest to a business or its clients—persistence in building a real, meaningful relationship with these individuals, and understanding what truly makes a story unique, interesting, and inherently pitchable.

  • How I work in PR?

    Anyone interested in working in PR should take relevant classes, including those related to communications, media studies, mass communications, and marketing. Such courses provide a core base of knowledge from which to build an applicable skill set, and employers look for this kind of training.

    Also, taking advantage of PR internships at different organizations provides real-world experience that not only looks good on a resume but can also facilitate something even more valuable—the opportunity to discover which type of PR is most appealing personally. Interning in various situations can reveal the demands and style of different PR roles and responsibilities. For example, if someone likes working for multiple clients at once, a PR agency could be a good choice. But if handling PR for a single client or brand sounds more interesting, then being an in-house PR specialist for a business or nonprofit agency might be preferable.

  • Have any
    Questions?

    How Can We Help You?

    202.276.7589
    917.720.3036

    info@blueoceanglobaltech.com

    70 Pine Street, Suite 1324
    New York, NY 10005

    Brittney Bagiardi

    Business Development & Marketing Manager at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP February 4, 2020

    The Legal Marketing Association's Tampa City Group was honored to have Sameer come to speak with us regarding Online Reputation Management. Sameer is an energetic presenter who took the time to answer each and every one of our questions. His expertise was evident in his polished presentation, and our members were engaged thoroughly. All communications leading up to the event were timely and friendly, and I have enjoyed my time working with Sameer on this speaking engagement.

    Paul Smith, CFA

    Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

    I have known Sameer for over 7 years now. He is a force of nature! I have rarely met anyone with such positive energy and enthusiasm. He is always fun and engaging to be around. We have worked together at numerous events over the years. He is a compelling and engaging public speaker. As a CFA Charterholder he gave freely of his time as a volunteer helping other Charterholders maximise their online presence, their use of technology and raise their ethical standards. We worked together in India as well as in the US and at all times Sameer showed himself to be a master in all cultural settings. He’s simply a great guy with great core values, an incredible work ethic and expertise in so many different areas that drive the modern world we live in.

    Tamie Maffeo

    Marketing Manager at New England Investment & Retirement Inc. & Business Succession Advisers, LLC

    Working with Sameer and the team at Blue Ocean Global Technology has been such a positive experience! The ongoing communication combined with the efficiency of work of the team is very much appreicated. Sameer is quick to respond to any questions we may have. He and his team is quick to to resolve any questions that arise. They go above and beyond for us no matter what day or time we reach out. I have had many dissapointing engagements over the years with similar firms but must say that this is a refreshing experience. I am in a niche business with complicated regulations surronding our marketing platform. Having the peace of mind that the team at Blue Ocean is there to impliment and guide our firm gives me great satisfation. That being said, I give them my highest reccomendations and would gladly speak with anyone who has any questions regarding my experience.

    Jay Chong

    EVP, Head of e-Mobility Group at SK Group

    I had a chance to work with Sameer for several months, and he has been one of the most transparent and responsible people I have ever worked with. He has been highly responsive, always responding within a day despite the time zone difference, and thoughtful, which was a big relief for me as some I worked with in the past were "Catch Me if You Can". He has delivered all his promises and more. He has been genuine and results oriented. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I highly recommend his service.

    Vern Hayden

    Client Advocate at Sovereign Financial Group, Inc

    Sameer lives outside the cliche’s of life. Let me put it this way:

    If you were looking for someone totally committed to helping in a mission, a cause, or company you would want Sameer.

    If you were looking for someone who would drop everything to help you, who knows the best and worst about you, someone with empathy and understanding, in short someone you call a “true friend” , you would want Sameer.

    If you want someone who has aligned themselves with the great causes of women you will want Sameer. If you want someone who gives a damn about kids that are abused,misplaced,without direction,kicked to the curb, and need help get Sameer.

    If you want someone to give a mesmerizing presentation get Sameer. He will stay up all night doing relentless research on the subject and the audience and inspire your audience to action.

    If you want someone with a consistent well defined philosophy of life combined with a remarkable code of ethics you want Sameer.

    If you want a leader with emotional and academic intelligence combined with magnetic charisma check in with Sameer.

    If you want a team player who has been in the trenches as well as the mountain tops Sameer has been there.

    If you want someone to help stabilize your business and take it to greater fulfillment Sameer will be there for you.

    If you need a George Gilder tech genius as a resource., Sameer knows the best and can bring innovative solutions to your challenges. ( the right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said if he could choose another brain it would be Gilder’s.)
    If you need someone to trust with integrity and accountability you need to meet Sameer. I could go on but I think you know how I feel about this guy now. I have known and been a friend for over two decades.

    Najah A. Edmondson

    Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

    Sameer Somal is a personality you cannot forget! I met Sameer one year exhibiting at the Delaware Valley Legal Expo in King of Prussia, PA. It was the end of the night and he came over to introduce himself to me and my colleague. We engaged in an amazing conversation about The TASA Group and about relationship management. He helped us take our belongings to the car at the end of the night. We all left with a new connection and a lifelong friend. So excited with meeting Sameer, we immediately figured out how we could work together - webinars, articles and in-person presentations to some of the organizations we are partnered with. It's been a few years since we met and Sameer continues to thrive in his field and in his expertise. The light he exudes is both infectious and comforting. I would recommend Sameer for any job!

    Walt Wiesenhutter

    Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Mentors Philadelphia. Taught at Harvard University Executive MBA & at Columbia Executive MBA & Northwestern Executive MBA

    My name is Walter J. Wiesenhutter and I am loyal client of Sameer Somal’s and Blue Ocean Global Technology. I founded Jay Associates in 1984 and served as president of our consulting company for several decades. Regretfully, our offices were in the World Trade Center in 9/11 and we lost key team members as a result of those tragic events. We persevered for the next few years to replace the seemingly unreplaceable. I met Sameer, one of the co-founders of Blue Ocean Global Technology in 2005. I was immediately impressed with his genuine character and commitment to serving others. The emergence of the internet and digital technology changed our business so much and our meeting couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I was quite fortunate to learn of this company’s world-class resources. Over the years, they were instrumental in improving our stellar reputation and building a digital presence that reflected the trust we had with our clients offline. As business partners, clients, and friends complained about their Google presence, disappointing web development projects, and digital marketing companies over promising and under delivering, I referred them directly to Sameer and his team at Blue Ocean Global Technology. Their needs and requirements were always handled with care; the feedback is always exceptional because they deliver results based on exactly what the companies want to help them grow. When Blue Ocean Global Tech did not feel they could provide the best service or guidance on a particular situation, Sameer and his colleagues are honest with me or anyone from my network. They then took the time to find resources and partners within their trusted network that were a better fit. Today, at 75, I am delighted to share and document my successful experiences with this team of excellent professionals. If you are looking for a global team that is diligent, honest, and transparent, you have found the right company in Blue Ocean Global Technology. Not only do I give them my highest and best recommendation, I feel fortunate to call many of their global team members my friends!

    Brittney Bagiardi

    Business Development & Marketing Manager at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP February 4, 2020

    The Legal Marketing Association's Tampa City Group was honored to have Sameer come to speak with us regarding Online Reputation Management. Sameer is an energetic presenter who took the time to answer each and every one of our questions. His expertise was evident in his polished presentation, and our members were engaged thoroughly. All communications leading up to the event were timely and friendly, and I have enjoyed my time working with Sameer on this speaking engagement.

    Paul Smith, CFA

    Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

    I have known Sameer for over 7 years now. He is a force of nature! I have rarely met anyone with such positive energy and enthusiasm. He is always fun and engaging to be around. We have worked together at numerous events over the years. He is a compelling and engaging public speaker. As a CFA Charterholder he gave freely of his time as a volunteer helping other Charterholders maximise their online presence, their use of technology and raise their ethical standards. We worked together in India as well as in the US and at all times Sameer showed himself to be a master in all cultural settings. He’s simply a great guy with great core values, an incredible work ethic and expertise in so many different areas that drive the modern world we live in.

    Tamie Maffeo

    Marketing Manager at New England Investment & Retirement Inc. & Business Succession Advisers, LLC

    Working with Sameer and the team at Blue Ocean Global Technology has been such a positive experience! The ongoing communication combined with the efficiency of work of the team is very much appreicated. Sameer is quick to respond to any questions we may have. He and his team is quick to to resolve any questions that arise. They go above and beyond for us no matter what day or time we reach out. I have had many dissapointing engagements over the years with similar firms but must say that this is a refreshing experience. I am in a niche business with complicated regulations surronding our marketing platform. Having the peace of mind that the team at Blue Ocean is there to impliment and guide our firm gives me great satisfation. That being said, I give them my highest reccomendations and would gladly speak with anyone who has any questions regarding my experience.

    Jay Chong

    EVP, Head of e-Mobility Group at SK Group

    I had a chance to work with Sameer for several months, and he has been one of the most transparent and responsible people I have ever worked with. He has been highly responsive, always responding within a day despite the time zone difference, and thoughtful, which was a big relief for me as some I worked with in the past were "Catch Me if You Can". He has delivered all his promises and more. He has been genuine and results oriented. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I highly recommend his service.

    Vern Hayden

    Client Advocate at Sovereign Financial Group, Inc

    Sameer lives outside the cliche’s of life. Let me put it this way:

    If you were looking for someone totally committed to helping in a mission, a cause, or company you would want Sameer.

    If you were looking for someone who would drop everything to help you, who knows the best and worst about you, someone with empathy and understanding, in short someone you call a “true friend” , you would want Sameer.

    If you want someone who has aligned themselves with the great causes of women you will want Sameer. If you want someone who gives a damn about kids that are abused,misplaced,without direction,kicked to the curb, and need help get Sameer.

    If you want someone to give a mesmerizing presentation get Sameer. He will stay up all night doing relentless research on the subject and the audience and inspire your audience to action.

    If you want someone with a consistent well defined philosophy of life combined with a remarkable code of ethics you want Sameer.

    If you want a leader with emotional and academic intelligence combined with magnetic charisma check in with Sameer.

    If you want a team player who has been in the trenches as well as the mountain tops Sameer has been there.

    If you want someone to help stabilize your business and take it to greater fulfillment Sameer will be there for you.

    If you need a George Gilder tech genius as a resource., Sameer knows the best and can bring innovative solutions to your challenges. ( the right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said if he could choose another brain it would be Gilder’s.)
    If you need someone to trust with integrity and accountability you need to meet Sameer. I could go on but I think you know how I feel about this guy now. I have known and been a friend for over two decades.

    Najah A. Edmondson

    Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

    Sameer Somal is a personality you cannot forget! I met Sameer one year exhibiting at the Delaware Valley Legal Expo in King of Prussia, PA. It was the end of the night and he came over to introduce himself to me and my colleague. We engaged in an amazing conversation about The TASA Group and about relationship management. He helped us take our belongings to the car at the end of the night. We all left with a new connection and a lifelong friend. So excited with meeting Sameer, we immediately figured out how we could work together - webinars, articles and in-person presentations to some of the organizations we are partnered with. It's been a few years since we met and Sameer continues to thrive in his field and in his expertise. The light he exudes is both infectious and comforting. I would recommend Sameer for any job!

    Walt Wiesenhutter

    Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Mentors Philadelphia. Taught at Harvard University Executive MBA & at Columbia Executive MBA & Northwestern Executive MBA

    My name is Walter J. Wiesenhutter and I am loyal client of Sameer Somal’s and Blue Ocean Global Technology. I founded Jay Associates in 1984 and served as president of our consulting company for several decades. Regretfully, our offices were in the World Trade Center in 9/11 and we lost key team members as a result of those tragic events. We persevered for the next few years to replace the seemingly unreplaceable. I met Sameer, one of the co-founders of Blue Ocean Global Technology in 2005. I was immediately impressed with his genuine character and commitment to serving others. The emergence of the internet and digital technology changed our business so much and our meeting couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I was quite fortunate to learn of this company’s world-class resources. Over the years, they were instrumental in improving our stellar reputation and building a digital presence that reflected the trust we had with our clients offline. As business partners, clients, and friends complained about their Google presence, disappointing web development projects, and digital marketing companies over promising and under delivering, I referred them directly to Sameer and his team at Blue Ocean Global Technology. Their needs and requirements were always handled with care; the feedback is always exceptional because they deliver results based on exactly what the companies want to help them grow. When Blue Ocean Global Tech did not feel they could provide the best service or guidance on a particular situation, Sameer and his colleagues are honest with me or anyone from my network. They then took the time to find resources and partners within their trusted network that were a better fit. Today, at 75, I am delighted to share and document my successful experiences with this team of excellent professionals. If you are looking for a global team that is diligent, honest, and transparent, you have found the right company in Blue Ocean Global Technology. Not only do I give them my highest and best recommendation, I feel fortunate to call many of their global team members my friends!