Do You Have Enough Authority In The Online World?

Authority Public Relation

Authority – For many public relations campaigns, authority makes the difference between a successful campaign and a failure.

You see, you can do everything right in an online campaign – you can write the perfect press release, you can have killer copy, and you can use eye-catching graphics. You can then launch the campaign by uploading it all to your website.

However, if nobody responds to your campaign, then you have failed to get your message across.

Why might nobody respond if you have done nearly everything right? What could have gone wrong?

The missing factor that caused the failure could be that your site doesn’t have enough online authority.

At this point, you might be asking the following questions:

  • What is online authority?
  • Why is it important?

Simply put, online authority equates to trust. Generally speaking, the more online authority that your website has the more likely people are to trust and respond to the information that you provide.

The most common ways to build authority for a website are:

  • Consistently, over time, provide reliable and relevant information. Eventually many will recognize that you are an authority
  • Be recognized as an authority (such as through a link) by someone who is already an authority.

Quick Quiz – When you are web browsing and you come upon an unfamiliar website what is the first thing that you do? Do you immediately respond to any offers or advertisements that you see on that unfamiliar site?

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably hesitant to act upon offers that you find on an unknown site even if the site features an item that you really want or need.

Instead, if you are interested in the product, you may begin to examine the site carefully to determine whether the site is legitimate, or not. You may look to see if you recognize any of the authors who have articles on the site. You may also do a web search on the site’s name to see what others have to say about them.

Most people will only take action once they have enough information to decide whether they trust a site. (Basically, people will wait until they have decided that you have enough authority before they take action.)

Share your thoughts and experiences about online authority.


  1. says

    Thanks Matt!

    You bring up another excellent point – readers scan online copy quickly to determine whether or not they will read it. Readers often make that decision within seconds of landing on a web page. The headline is indeed one of the most important parts of an online piece. (I’m glad this one did its job.)

    I still think that authority is important, particularly if you are encouraging the readers to take action – I think that authority (or trust) plays an important role.

    While a catchy headline might attract me to an article (which is important), if I don’t trust the article’s author I’m less likely to take action.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking comment.

  2. Matt Keegan says

    Laura, I’m blind to most pitches online. Perhaps for the reason that I’m online all of the time, that very few messages get through to me.

    Still, when I was searching Everything PR, the title of this article caught my attention and I didn’t even know that you were the writer at first.

    That means if the headline is attractive (some like to use the word magnetic) then I’m more likely to respond accordingly.

  3. says

    Thanks Douglas!

    I think often the step of building authority (i.e. trust) is skipped. We live in a somewhat “instant” culture and we often want instant results from our marketing too.

    Building authority is a sound marketing practice no matter how you look at things.

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