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Building Electronic Relationships 15

receivers. Contact information should be provided and a searchable archive of

press releases are recommended (Dern, 1997).

Public relations efforts would do well to adopt the dual track approach:

brick-and-mortar combined with a web presence. This has worked well for

other firms. Dedicated ePR could work in a limited niche, but a bilateral

approach seems prudent. Do not trade hard earned credibility for the short-

term electronic customer fix. Credibility and trust stand as pillars in the public

information industry.

Conclusion

Ah, Credibility! The credible communicator is the trusted disseminator

of information. Public relations professionals have a responsibility to get

accurate and timely messages to their publics whether by conventional means

or across cyberspace.

They should monitor opinion and spin to see if incorrect or outdated

information is being sent; electronically, this includes online services such as

bulletin boards and newsgroups, including checking for any misinformation

disseminated by those wishing to harm you or your client. Constant vigilance

is mandatory. Immediate response with precision and clarity is best in such

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