Building Electronic Relationships 10
texts, courses, training, and consultation. There are common sense approaches
that can guide interaction with your digital publics (Sherwin, 1998).
PR practitioners have sought for ways to blast themselves and their
clients into cyberspace. High-tech equipment is one cost; site maintenance
and connection fees are others. Some commercial providers offer the same
type of communication services that are found on the Internet. PR firms
entering this arena should have a sizeable volume of clients before launching
an independent web site (Ross, 1995).
Monitor services are also available, i.e., what is being said about your
company on the Internet. Web sites, chat rooms, listservs, and message boards
are just some of the avenues for such monitorable information. New-media
relations firms can track what people are saying about their clients in the
electronic world. Many firms also offer web site development and
maintenance (Strout, 2000).
The Internet provides new opportunities to augment traditional public
relations efforts. An identical image can be communicated to every
stakeholder group, communicating a unified theme. Commerce is increasingly
conducted electronically, so the PR web site can go a long way in defining
image with many stakeholders. Firms should take advantage of the