The one thing that you should understand is that PR is not a wow now effect. While most clients tend to want to make something happen immediately PR is a time driven process. It won’t exactly happen overnight but with the right approach BIG results can really happen. And without PR you can most likely expect nothing to happen or even without the right PR guidance you will go nowhere fast too.

Why do most public traded companies and especially VC firms implement PR practices? Generally big corporations use PR to drive brand exposure which builds creditability and VC firms encourage using PR to protect their investments. To understand PR is to know the power of the value that can be received from the ROI.

Billionaire Bill Gates said if he was down to his last dime that he would spend it on PR. This is a common message that PR pros use as a marketing promo all the time. Gates understands the value of PR like many successful business gurus and big corporations often do. More startups and even small businesses could be successful if they plan for PR with their advertising and marketing budgets. But generally, they never do because they don’t understand how to measure the value of the ROI of PR publicity.

So here is how you can measure ROI for online PR publicity branding.

Key Search Words – Can your target audience find you using key search words in the major search engines? For search Google is king so it is very important that Google knows who you are through key search words.

Tip: Key search words should represent what you specialize in and your website should come up as an option on the first page of Google.

Brand Buzz – Do other websites mention you and possibly link back to you? It is critical that you create buzz that encourage others to mention your website and back links really help to increase exposure for your brand.

Tip: Because Google is the search king, you can put your company’s name in Google’s search to see how many other websites have picked up stories or wrote articles about your brand.

Social Media Exposure – Do you have a presence on social media networks? Web 2.0 plays a major part of brand exposure and awareness. The great thing is that you can use social media to stand out in the crowd.

Tip: Go to Blogger and setup a FREE blogging account! Make sure that you have an online presence on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Stumbleupon, etc. Also you must remain social media interactive, meaning you must use the accounts if you want to see results. Many companies setup an online presence and do nothing beyond that point.

PR, also known as public relations is how you communicate with the public. The public is your target audiences which are typically consumers, customers, fans, supporters, potential clients, etc.

For a PR campaign to be effective you need a strategic plan and approach to attract media attention to connect with your target audiences. As I stressed blockbuster results don’t always happen overnight but the dramatic impact for branding exposure and creditability is how PR helps a brand to remain sustainable.PR is the most important tool that can help a company grow and sustain during economic downtimes.

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