Building Electronic Relationships 11
technology available to them. “Web presence must be cohesive in order to
communicate a consistent message to stakeholders” (Watson, 2000).
Online communities are another resource for public relations. They are
formed when web sites are devoted to a particular subject. Estimates put their
number at upwards of 400,000. In addition, there are portals where
information can be disseminated. The specificity of these audiences is not to
be ignored. Targeting such a pure lot of receivers could prove advantageous,
if not invaluable. Light steps are necessary, though, when entering such a
realm. Professional communicators should take care not to offend the
established community members by stridently injecting their message. This
could cause a backlash, or perhaps the messages will be ignored, even
prohibited (Le Beau, 2000).
The overall focus should still be nurturing customer relationships. A
recent study by Andersen Consulting showed that these enhanced
relationships could boost the bottom-line (Bell, 2000).
Maximizing the capabilities of the Internet can be key to customer
retention. Web sites should be updated regularly to help ensure this. Valuing
customer relationships may also add to corporate profit (Rowsom, 2000).