stephane prud'homme

What are Electronic Public Relations, ePR, Digital PR?





Digital Public Relations, often called Online PR or ePR, is quite recent compared to traditional PR with its decades of history. It is mostly the strategically planned use of internet- based and new media tools and technologies to build and to maintain a dialogue (Two-way communication) between an organization and its publics. ePR also offers a  major contribution to manage online crisis, when social media and online reputation

are impacted.


Marketers are wrongly trying to tell the world that they have the expertise of online  content management with inbound marketing and content marketing, but only PR  can pretend that.



















As traditional PR, ePR is all about goals, objectives (which must be “smart”),  strategy, targeted publics, messages, tactics, and measurement. It also has to be  integrated within an organization’s global communication strategy, and it is closely  related to eMarketing. Unlike ePR, which works on content, online reputation, corporate image, relations with stakeholders, and customers; eMarketing only handles  design, online sales and promotion, and advertisement.


The Canadian Public Relations Society’s definition for traditional PR is: PR is the  strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse  publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals, and serve the public interest. Based on this definition, the ePR  ultimate goals are not only to push information and messages on social networks  and blogs, but also to contribute to the overall PR and corporate communication  strategy, in terms of two-way symmetric communication (ref. : James E. Grunig). Competition and industry intelligence are also an important task of ePR.


Here are some examples of tools used by ePR professionals to communicate with publics: web sites, social networks, blogs, online news forums, online community  forums, RSS, news feed, eNewsletters, online press room, smartphone applications,  search engines, podcasts, e-mail, electronic format documents and files, web  diffusion (conferences and meetings), etc.


Ultimately, the ePR goals are:


  • To create a synergy between an organization and its publics.
  • To build a dialogue between an organization and its publics.
  • To generate engagement.
  • To consolidate an organization’s image and to manage reputation.
  • To track competitors strategies and eTactics.
  • To control rumours.
  • To contribute to online crisis management.


Unfortunately, it has been difficult to evaluate the ePR effectiveness. Nevertheless,  analytic and tracking engines help professionals to analyze, track, and report, i.e. to  measure and evaluate their strategies and operations (ref. Barcelona Declaration);  content and relationship analysis definitely takes a big part of digital public  relations ROI.


Join the LinkedIn group on this topic: Digital PR Professionals & Consultants




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stephane prud'homme