Building Electronic Relationships 14
increasingly necessary for customer acquisition and retention, as well as
cutting costs (Rollinson, 2000).
Ecommerce is changing the marketplace. There are more publics than
ever. Customers have more choices, and expect even more in the future. They
also are highly desirous of a quicker pace in their receipts; this includes
information. The Internet can enhance public relations by providing a 24-hour
global resource for all stakeholders (Biland, 2000).
Integrating traditional PR with online communications can help to
personalize relationships with customers. Customer relationship management
should not focus on customer acquisition while neglecting existing customers.
Retaining customers can aid in the acquisitions of new ones; they can sing
your praises to like-minded publics (Robson, 2000).
The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) provides a free
referral service for web site promotion. PR companies are in big demand by
Internet start-ups (Internet PR, 2000).
Email and the Internet can help public relations practitioners transmit
information more quickly, but these PR tools need to be carefully managed.
Messages should be clear and accurate. There should be a well-defined
subject and a means of feedback. Unsolicited messages can annoy the