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Be the talk of the internet

When a website launches or unveils new features, a dynamic PR strategy is vital to getting it noticed

Think of a store opening: the excitement built around launch date is often immense. But how do you create this level of anticipation when launching a store online, and what are the most effective PR strategies to help you stand out in a highly competitive market?

Nick Ede, creative director at PR agency EdenCancan, whose clients include footwear retailer Moda In Pelle and sportswear brand Puma, believes digital PR is paramount when launching and continuing to publicise a site. He advises making the most of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, but also stresses that content is key. “It’s important to provide the audience with not only products to purchase, but clever incentives to stay,” he says.

Ede also recommends researching magazines and newspapers for dedicated promotional online features and pages.

Alice Smith, account manager at PR agency Pure Sauce, agrees that a good relationship with the media is key, but also adds: “Only target the magazines that are appropriate for your site.”

Once your site is live, Smith advises using your home page to highlight what you want to promote - whether it’s a new brand, an upcoming event, a Sale or a competition. “If you’ve signed up a new designer, make a featured section on the home page so the press can cover it and the consumer can spot it without having to wade through the site,” she says. She adds that the home page should be continually updated to sustain interest from both the media and customers.

Lauren Stevenson, PR director at pure-play fashion etailer My-Wardrobe, has experience of promoting an online business on a daily basis. She believes that a key difference between PR in the online world and bricks and mortar is the trackability of online campaigns. By using promotional codes, traffic to the site is instantly measurable, so campaigns can be altered in response to audience reaction.

Stevenson says tactical partnerships and affiliate marketing can also work online, but high traffic does not always convert to sales. The key is to target press and partners that will attract the right customer.

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