PR is no longer the future of SEO. It already is PR.
SEOs recognise this, and the majority are now carrying out online PR: whether they call it that or not, all decent SEOs are now creating content and reaching out to online influencers.
General marketers realise this. In a survey we recently conducted of 250 UK marketers, 52% said that PR and SEO work closely together in their organisation, and a whopping 71% think their PR agencies are experts at SEO.
But how are those PR agencies performing in their newfound position as SEO experts?
The practise of blogger or influencer "engagement" is one of the most widely-used tactics in marketing these days, done by almost everyone, from PR agencies to SEOs, social marketers to spammers.
It's also one of the most commonly derided amongst the recipients and much-debated amongst bloggers and professionals - but rarely addressed by marketers themselves.
If you're doing it well, why share the secrets with your competitors? Sadly, a lot of marketers are doing it very badly indeed, and something needs to be done about it...
So, you want to get noticed, earn respect, fans, more money, more sales. You want to pepper the web with your beautiful little avatar in search of career development.
You want to become a brand that stands for something.
Well, it’s surprisingly easy to do this, with time and effort made in the right places. So I thought I’d write up a checklist showing how to go about it.
Some of this is going to sound like best practice for a PR person, but essentially that’s the task in hand. Being as visible as possible is the best part of building a personal brand.
NB: this is aimed more at those fairly new to the world of marketing, but there's a few presumptive tips for those already established.
While practising for my driving test, my instructor was always spouting jewels of wisdom. He also smoked too much and once nearly drove us into a traffic light but I guess nobody’s perfect.
Anyway, one of the themes that came up again and again was 'defensive driving', which Wikipedia helpfully defines as 'driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others'.
As a PR, I’ve spent a little time over the years considering how I’d describe my recommended approach to SEO, and I think a similarly 'defensive' approach is what works best for me.
In parts one to three of the this series on managing PR and blogger outreach in-house, I’ve guided you through: The Network, The Message, and Discovery/Dissemination, talking shop on tools of the trade to cut cost but still rock like a PR all-star.
In this final post on tracking, I’ll show you how to define clear objectives then get your reports together for the boss.
Looking to start some of your own PR or influencer relations in-house? Read up on tools of the trade and best practice in this four part series.
For years PRs (or publicists) operated in specific areas of industry with little fanfare or name recognition for the field. To find a job description, one would have had to look to the fashion, publishing and entertainment industry.
Large corporations kept public relations heads, but typically this role was a defensive position, rather than a proactive part of any marketing strategy.
We know the benefits of enabling all employees to use social media. Sales, service and just seeming human becomes a lot easier. Giving employees this freedom is easy in some organisations, generally small ones with a well-trained staff.
There are, however, inherent risks. If an employee goes rogue and damages your brand, it can be difficult to react quickly and avert loss of sales or sentiment.
It can also be difficult to easily track the impact of your employees' activity, and provide them with the best content to spread.
Addvocate is a platform designed to get rid of this tension, by offering guidance, daily messages and alerts, as well as analytics and optimisation.
We spoke to CEO and Founder Marcus Nelson…
There are few companies or organisations that can come close to rivalling the power that Google wields over the internet and search in particular.
So when the search engine updated its rules on unnatural link schemes recently, making specific reference to press releases, it triggered a rather alarmist article from ZDNet asking whether Google had killed PR agencies.
The convergence of PR and SEO is something we’ve covered previously on the blog, with articles focusing on the importance of search optimised PR and suggesting seven SEO tools to improve online PR efficiency.
However the article on ZDNet understandably (and probably intentionally) ruffled a few feathers within the PR industry as it painted them as black hat SEOs, out to flood the internet with dull, keyword loaded press releases just so they could help their clients climb a few places in search rankings.
PR professionals seem to embrace an air of superiority when it comes to the owned/earned/paid debate.
PRs have traditionally crafted stories that win or lose by their storytelling craft. If the story isn't powerful enough then the journalist will slam the phone down in a rage and never speak to you again.
Whereas on the paid side of the fence, the feeling is that content with a big media budget behind it can reach (or be pushed in front of) a wider audience, whether or not it is any good. And that that's just wrong.
Truths and flaws abound on both sides of this summary.
Bathrooms.com was launched by Ian Monk in 2004, and has just recently relaunched with a fully redesigned website.
Part of the relaunch included a focus on social and a PR-centric SEO strategy. I've been asking Ian about the thinking behind this approach and the results so far...