The ever changing face of the Internet…

The Internet is a dynamic medium.  Therein lies one of the fundamental challenges for Public Relations.  If you are responsible for comunicating with your audience online, then you have to have a solid understanding of how and where people find information.

Forget the over-hyped “Internet time” mantra, the real online PR challenge is changing behavior.

For example, search engines are now probably the #1 point of departure for people looking for information.  Therefore, it makes sense that PR people should have a strong understanding of search engines and how search engine ranking works.

Of course that understanding won’t necessarily help you to work with all of your audience.

A report just released by Internet research firm, Hitwise has found that Internet users who research travel online are increasingly going directly to travel websites than going through search engines.

Does did mean that search engines are less important for travel companies? 

Not really, they still drive large volumes of traffic, but it does highlight an interesting trend. 

As your industry’s Internet audience matures, their behavior changes. People who are early in the purchase process may use search engines, while more educated customers may use a combination of magazines, search engines and blogs.

In effect the Internet is encouraging greater segmentation of audiences and their behavior. 

Now there’s a challenge….