Utilising expanded online PR strategies could be key to improving returns during a slowing economy, an expert has stated.

Effective online PR can do much to obtain positive news coverage as well as inbound links from major sites, Jack Wallington, programmes manager at the Internet Advertising Bureau, said.

He advised businesses to offer "something new and useful and combine all of your messaging into one high impact blast" and to ensure that they take advantage of social media.

Companies should also send press releases to relevant blogs to see whether the medium can help offline PR as well as online activities, Mr Wallington said.

One element of online PR is reputation management, which sees businesses track mentions of their brands on the internet.

According to E-consultancy, the market for UK services in this field will grow to be worth an estimated £60 million this year.

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