When you engage with a traditional PR agency, or if you take care of your own PR, one of the conversations you’re going to have is about the target “media landscape”. This is the list of media properties (newspapers, magazines, radio, etc) that you would like your business to appear in and this list will be used as a critical point of measurement in the success of any campaign. These media are the list that you have identified are read, watched or listened to by your target audience. We know that is increasingly becoming more difficult as the media expands and fragments.

We do know however that an article about your business or product in the Daily Telegraph is worth thousands of pounds in equivalent advertising spend. But what happens when the Telegraph goes entirely online like the world’s oldest newspaper did this year in Sweden.

Let’s firstly understand what doesn’t change. An article in the online version of the Telegraph doesn’t differ in content from the one in the analogue version. What does hugely change however is:

• Articles rarely retire online. Unlike analogue media which die immediately after publication, online PR stays around and with it any mention of your business. Check out this mention of eBay on the Telegraph site that goes back to 2001 — it’s still there and still promoting the eBay brand. Online brand exposure for businesses is therefore persistently a good thing.

• Some online news sites will talk about your business and place a link to you — this is vitally important for your natural Google listings as Google really likes contextualised links and this in turn will drive your business up the list when users perform natural searches. The BBC does this all the time see the right hand side of this page for links to Sky on this article about Sky and Amstrad.

Importantly you can now use Google to test the effectiveness of your PR agency by using Google news to assess which news sites have picked up your releases. As an example by typing in Amstrad into Google news we can see that there have been 197 mentions of Amstrad globally in the past 60 days. Equally by typing in Amstrads full URL we can see how many sites have put that all important link into Amstrad as well, in this case none. Link development should be high on the list of objectives for any campaign that you undertake.

So what about the sites that you don’t know about that could be very important to your PR campaign? For every offline media there are at least ten which you don’t know about including influential bloggers. For instance if we go back to the Amstrad issue again, according to the blog search engine there are 1,430 posts about Amstrad. Some of these post are of high authority and highly influential. This post has had nineteen responses and an unknown number of readers. It should therefore be on the media landscape of your PR agency.