Way back in January I attended a course in Online PR run by Damien Mulley of Mulley Communications. The course was announced in ’09 and the first batch of people to leave their names on the Facebook Page for Online PR in Ireland got to attend. Thanks to my skills of observation and swiftness with a keyboard and mouse I was in (I know, I know, not so swift in writing this blog post though was I?).

The day long course covered a range of topics such as the basics of online communications, developing a communications bible and a communications philosophy, working with blogs, Twitter, Forums etc. Finding tools – who is talking about you online and crisis communications.

I won’t go into explaining all about the above as that is expertly done by Damien himself (yes, that’s it, click on the links). An incredible amount of news stories are generated as a result of PR, over half at least, according to this research. So knowing and understanding the importance of PR is vital.

I guess the main thing I took from the day was the importance of reputation management. What kind of reputation do you want portrayed about your business. How to monitor what’s being said about you. Who in your organisation should be responsible for representing it online. And most importantly, how to respond when the shit hits the fan.

Darragh Doyle gave a great example on what happened the previous week with boards.ie and how they responded.

For some interesting media monitoring cases studies have a look at O Leary Analytics

The need for Online PR or reputation management is not just the preserve of large corporations or government bodies. It also applies to individuals. How many times have you heard about employers searching through a  prospective candidates Facebook/Bebo etc. account. Indeed in my latest recruiting quest I came across a CV of a potential candidate. Upon Googling the name the first result that appeared was a newspaper report of a court case involving the would be candidate and former employers. Not exactly the best first impression to create is it?

If you care anything about your online reputation, whether business or personal, it is most certainly worth your while clicking through to the links above to Damien’s posts and attending  one of his courses.

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