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By Anne Leedom

If you are an author, expert or corporation considering online promotion, this is the most important article you will ever read. I know this sounds a bit presumptuous and I apologize. However, we are hearing the same stories over and over again from our prospective clients and we feel it is time to help educate and to protect you from the various scams and blatant dishonesty that takes place daily as more and more companies try to take advantage of the growing demand for online PR services.

Let me clarify that have we been in business since 1999 and have helped hundreds of experts and corporations grow their businesses, using the fastest growing and most effective way to build your brand available today…the Internet. Based on our experience and the overwhelming numbers of disreputable operations that exist, we have learned some crucial points about protecting your interests. We want to share those with you. There is one distinction that you need to make right off the top. If your goal is to be an expert and to maintain a prominent position within websites of your choice, then you are an expert or contributor. Any company who offers you article syndication is not what you are looking for.

Here are some of the critical ways you can avoid being taken advantage of and avoid losing precious ground in your media campaign.

1. If it sounds too good to be true…it is. Beware of any company who makes extreme claims. We often help with damage control when clients have been taken in by the most abused claim heard today…”we can submit your content to 100 sites or more…” Simply put, there are not that many credible websites on which to place your content. This is a red flag. A credible online publicist knows that real success comes in working with the best 10-20 sites and making those placements count.

2. Don’t confuse an online publicist with a traditional publicist. There is a huge difference between an online publicist who has dozens of relationships with websites who rely on them for experts and a publicist who simply submits a single article or excerpt blindly. It does not make any difference if the publicist is new and inexperienced, or the most reputable publicist in the country. Neither will have the loyal and time honored relationships necessary to create the ongoing and increasingly prominent placements you seek. These results come from online publicists who know how to present to this medium and how to maximize the promotional support the site can offer in a timely way.

3. Avoid anyone who offers a “quick slam” campaign. You can’t possibly receive any real value from placing one or two articles on any site, regardless of their size. Credible online campaigns only work when your needs are evaluated, appropriate websites are targeted and your submissions ultimately result in a relationship with those destinations that last over months or even years. Learn the difference between throwing content out into the Internet and carefully choosing how and where your content is placed. Once content is out there, you can not get it back. There are always risks when you place your content on the Internet, however there are firms who know exactly how to protect you when it comes to minimizing the risks

4. Choose an online publicist based on their contacts and experience. A credible online publicist has active relationships with editors of the sites on which you want to place your content. Blind submissions are not typically accepted, and in fact, these kinds of submissions are considered spam and can destroy your credibility and overall campaign objectives. Once that occurs you will not be able to get back into the editors’ radar unless you are working with someone who has those relationships in place and can repair the damage done.

5. Choose a publicist who knows how to secure fast and prominent placement. There are unique and rigid factors that are presented to an online editor in order to get prominent exposure on your targeted websites. Only work with a publicist who knows this process well.

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Anne Leedom is the Senior Publicist and Founder of Net Connect Publicity.
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