Difference between Public Relations And Online Reputation Management

Public Relations (PR) and Online Reputation Management (ORM) ae two different processes to manage the reputation of a brand or an individual. ORM involves maintaining the reputation of a brand on the internet, whereas PR involves handling the portrayal of a brand or individual both online and offline. 

The terms “Public Relations Management” and “Online Reputation Management” are sometimes used interchangeably. Some even refer to ORM as the online version of PR but that’s a misnomer. The fact is they are very different, in terms of approach, process, and efficacy. 

Let’s first take a closer look at PR and understand how it works. 

What are Public Relations? 

Public Relations is the process of managing communication between an organization and the public. In essence, PR is a strategic communications bridge that businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations use to build relationships with the outside world. 

PR aims to build relationships with key stakeholders and promote a positive image of the organization. PR professionals create and maintain relationships with journalists and influencers, craft messages, and develop and execute smart communications campaigns. The goal of public relations is to shape perceptions, change behaviour, and drive results. 

Successful public relations requires a combination of traditional media relations and new media strategies. Public relations professionals skillfully craft clear messages that resonate with key audiences and manage reputation. The most successful PR campaigns are those that tell stories that people want to share. Stories that are authentic, relevant, and shareable will help achieve your business goals. When done correctly, public relations can help you build trust with your stakeholders, generate positive media coverage, influence policymakers, drive sales, and improve your organization’s relationship with key demographics. 

The core components of Public Relations campaigns 

Public relations firms design campaigns to achieve a specific goal by utilizing different strategies, tactics, and activities. PR campaigns focus on long-term goals rather than short-term gains. 

From social media posts to influencer content, a good public relations campaign will have the following components: 

1. Self-assessment 

In order to get a clear idea of your public image, evaluate how you are seen by those around you. This will give an honest readout based on what strengths and weaknesses can be seen in the feedback that is given to others about themselves or their work ethic. 

2. Maintaining image 

Public communication policies may limit unsanctioned or off-brand statements by employees or associates (which may require training). 

3. Planning campaigns 

With a goal-oriented plan for a public-facing promotional campaign, your company can be sure that it is reaching the largest audience possible. Media outreach and advertising spending are all covered in this comprehensive strategy to help promote business growth! 

4. Branding 

The goal of any company’s branding should be to create an image for itself that resonates with customers. Whether you are doing this through personal or corporate logos, it all starts by coming up with something unique and memorable in order to attract people to your business! 

5. Media relations 

Companies use numerous tactics to manage media relations, including public functions, events, and outreach to celebrities, corporate patrons, industry luminaries, and others with a public “megaphone.” 

While PR used to be about crafting stories and issuing press releases in newspapers, it has evolved to include practices such as influencer marketing and online reputation management. 

How does PR differ from ORM? 

Online Reputation Management and Public Relations are both geared toward presenting the company in the best possible light. 

The goal of public relations firms is to promote your company’s reputation through advertising and coordinated media promotional efforts. On the other hand, online reputation management often resorts to reactive measures such as looking for potentially damaging content from others people or companies before it becomes too late. 

ORM strategies are increasingly important in today’s business world. As more and more companies conduct their transactions online, it has become necessary to manage one’s own company’s online reputation if they want to stay competitive with other brands who take these matters seriously enough already. 

The core concept of showing a company in a positive light isn’t all that different between these two very niche fields. However, there are some variations. 


PR is a way for you to get your name out there and connect with people who may want or need what you have, whether they know it yet or not! 

It combats negative bias from publications outside the network and tries to generate more good press coverage for the company instead. 

People often describe reputation management as “online reputation” because it focuses more on the techniques used to maintain and improve your online business presence through SEO for websites or blogs. Builds your digital reputation with online review management, content marketing, and complements your online presence by having multiple social media accounts. 

Hit by a lot of negative 1-star reviews, here’s what to do next


Public relations is all about attention. Firms use this to draw away from their clients and boost themselves in interviews, news stories, or radio shows where they can talk up how great it was that nothing bad happened while also promoting new products on display at an event like a launch party. It’s very public-spirited! 

Your ORM strategy can encompass both public and private entities. The efforts are often technical, but there is still an opportunity to make them more transparent through methods such as blogging about specific topics aimed at fighting rumours or creating online content that isn’t just for personal use on social media platforms. 


Public relations is a way to get the word out about your company and its products. PR Managers use all types of media, like talking directly with journalists or issuing press releases that are widely distributed through different channels such as TV News programs or AM/FM Radio Channels where they can argue their case in front of everyone’s eyes. 

Online reputation management companies use more “personal” tools to create blogs and posts for the company. They perform guest post outreach to write online content on editorial channels of other sites, ranging from small industry publications to major ones like Forbes. The professionals also focus heavily on user reviews whether it’s through Yelp or Google My Business, but they don’t stop there! 

Businesses have websites where you can find testimonials about how great their business is and a good amount of positive customer reviews. This is an important aspect when building trust with potential customers who may be swayed by negative reviews as much as what others recommend. 


It used to be that public relations to boost public image would only work with physical media like TV interviews or press conferences in person. Online image building encompasses a wider array of media outlets today with print media, such as news shorts, polls, advertorials and audio options such as radio stations and podcasts. 

Online reputation management includes online media such as blog posts, social media marketing, videos on Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube, etc. with positive or negative content that can affect how people view a brand. Many companies use the internet when communicating directly between themselves using social networking tools like Facebook or Twitter. This can sometimes give more authentic information and quicker than traditional Mainstream Media news outlets do! 


In a sense, you can consider public relations to be a one-to-many marketing channel, while online reputation management is often one-to-one. 

Public Relations Managers often engage in broad-spectrum releases to enhance their digital footprint. They might send out a single press release to hundreds of publications, journalists, and news sites. It’s one piece of content aimed at a larger audience who will most likely find value from what you have created for them! 

One of the most important aspects to consider when it comes time for online reputation management is that not all communication formats are equal. You can publish press releases on hundreds of websites, but each one will only reach its local audience. Guest blogging provides an opportunity to engage with other publications’ audiences while also contributing something original. 


Online reputation management is a proactive approach to managing your brand’s online presence. In many instances, the focus of public relations firms is on monitoring and reacting to queries while attempting to build brand awareness. However, there can be some overlap in what they do for clients who see criticism. 

A company may choose not just promotion but also downplay negative feedback if it fears this could negatively impact business, especially since customers will likely take note when you remove content that was previously posted without notice! 


In conclusion, between PR and ORM, which one should a business choose? 

Online Reputation Management and Public Relations are both efficient methods of building your brand. The two are not mutually exclusive, and ORM campaigns can occur in tandem with PR campaigns. 

However, they both use different strategies to convey the image that you want out there about yourself. Online reputation managers focus on maintaining a high standing while PR reps tend more toward generating coverage for their client’s goods or services to get noticed by consumers (and potential customers). 

There is no clear-cut answer. Be sure you’re always working on both fronts: keep up appearances by managing negative feedback or emerging crises as well as establish lasting memories through successful campaigns that generate goodwill towards your brand name instead of fear. It is true that both can be equally valid and useful depending on your needs. 

By now you understand that showcasing positive reviews is important for managing your online reputation and relations with the public. 

trustmetrics.io is the go-to tool for this job! Businesses can collect, reply to, and categorize the reviews they receive. You can even select your best reviews and showcase them on your website!

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