Interactive public relations, or interactive PR, is the use of Internet tools and technologies such as search engines, Web 2.0 social bookmarking, new media relations, blogging and social media marketing. Interactive PR allows companies and organizations to disseminate information without relying solely on mainstream publications and communicate directly with the public, customers and prospects.
In Europe, David Phillips FIPR wrote ‘Managing Reputation in Cyberspace’ (1999) and ‘Online Public Relations’ (2001) and, with Philip Young, ‘Online Public Relations’ Second Edition (2009) which describes form and the nature of internet mediated public relations. These publications have broader remit than ‘Interactive Public Relations’ encompassing social media and other channels for communication and many platforms for communication such as mobile phone and other mobile communication devices and online games machines. In addition these books fall within a genre of internet public relations publications with a wider and more holistic approach to relationship management and the effects of the nature of emerging neo-ubiquitous interactive communication.
The term ‘interactive public relations’ implies two-way communication, between an organization and its publics. Internet methods have emerged as a quick and convenient way of speaking to the public, but are better characterized as digital public relations. Although dialogue is encouraged online, the feedback can be less than desired and/or incapable of reaching the intended audience.
Internet methods (i.e. Digital PR) such as blogs, Twitter, email/text blasts, MySpace and Facebook take an informal approach to talking at people, anticipating a response, but are unable to determine if the message is accurately comprehended.
Interactive public relations incorporate all forms of communication. It is not limited to online press releases and bloggers, but instead utilizes every element of building relationships while maintaining the significance of the spoken word.