13 Dec THE WEB AS A PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOL
By Jenny Fujita and Joy K. Miura, Fujita & Miura Public Relations, LLC.
URL, HTML, FTP…these Internet acronyms make the non-technical among us glaze over, but having a website can be an excellent way to collect and impart information, and sell or promote products or services. What you post online depends on what business you’re in and what you’re trying to accomplish.
For example, to offset the cost of handling customer inquiries via telephone, put the answers on your website. If sales is your thing, show and sell your wares online, then find out who’s buying and use this information to boost future sales. If it’s education you’re after, post facts and figures using an interactive mechanism. Consider too what image your website presents. Specifically:
Does it reflect your business’ style? David Cook and Deborah Sellers, authors of Launching a Business on the Web, agree that “…your real company presence should mimic your virtual presence…”
Does it give your customers what they want and need? Include information your customers will expect to see, but also those lesser-known but noble ditties you’d like them to know.
Can you keep your website current? We’ve all seen sites that haven’t been updated since the last decade. Keep your site fresh to hold Web surfers’ attention.
Can you respond quickly to email inquiries via your site? Ever order something online and received a sales confirmation within minutes? Tell customers when they can expect to hear from you – then keep the promise.
Will your publics find your business on the Web? Only if you’ve told them about it. There’s no sense in having a fabulous website if you keep it a secret.