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Public relations has traditionally been a tactic to drive publicity to a company, enhance reputation and highlight some of the good things they do for their community. It’s easy to understand how public relations can help build natural links and improve SEO. It’s not always easy to understand how to implement some of these ideas. Here’s a look at some public relations tools and tactics that can help you come up with great ideas, generate buzz, distribute content and manage your reach.

Inbox Q is an application that helps you find questions on Twitter and facilitate story ideas. For example, if you come across a trending question or topic within your industry it might be a good idea to write a press release or blog post which includes your company’s expert opinion about that topic.

Quora is much like Inbox Q in the way that it can help you generate ideas for press releases, blog posts and other online material. This question and answer site allows you to understand questions people want to know about your industry or product. Much like Twitter or Goggle+, you should follow thought-leaders in your industry and build your business reputation.

After you have a good gauge on what information your customers or others in your industry are seeking, you should consider conducting a poll or survey. Survelio is an online survey service that does all of market research, data collection and analytics for you. Survey Monkey allows you to create your own survey and do the outreach yourself.

When you want legitimate news sites and blogs to write about you, what do you do? Help a Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists/bloggers who are looking for reliable resources, with small businesses. Reporters are looking for companies they can reach out to and find out detailed industry-specific information and quote in stories. Businesses can sign up for this free service and can respond to questions reporters want to know in addition to “pitching the media” about their product/service/industry.

Have a product you want to get reviewed? Besides people reviewing your business on sites like Yelp or Google, you can connect with bloggers who will review your product on Pitch It to Me.

Maybe you’re not in a product based industry. Conducting a webinar is great way to share information, build your credibility and get people talking about you. GoToMeeting is a webinar service that allows you to set up a webinar without IT support.

When it’s time to distribute content and generate buzz there are a few different options. Premier press release distribution sites like Vocus, PR Newswire or Business Wire will send your optimized press release, to hundreds of different publications across the country. Free Press Release and Pitch Engine are good resources for those who have little or no budget.

Besides distrusting your content online, it’s important to make meaningful relationships in person. Meet Up is a website that makes it easy for anyone to organize or join local groups in a variety of different interests from business & career, technology and community & environment. Hosting an event? Placing it in Meet Up is a good way to promote it. Looking to meet other people who are passionate about what you do? Join a Meet Up group and promote your product or service.

Monitoring your efforts and what people are saying about your brand is also an important part of growing your business. Signing up for Google Alerts is simple and you’ll be notified every new time your company’s name is indexed in Google. Linkfluence is an online reputation management application that helps you measure and manage your influence. Social Mention is another application that helps you gauge if you have a positive, neutral or negative online reputation. The cool thing about Social Mention is that it will show you a live feed that gathers your mention across multiple platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.) in real-time.

With the right tools and resources, companies can incorporate powerful public relations tactics into their online marketing strategy.

What other tools have you used to generate and manage online buzz?