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Roger Warner at Content & Motion has devised a handy cut-out-and-keep wallchart to help define and explain online PR.
With keywords placed bang in the middle it is clear that we’re talking here about SEO-focused PR, which remains a fantastic opportunity for anybody not doing it. And by ‘anybody’ I mean both clients and PR people.
It remains an area that many PRs have yet to properly understand, much less charge for. Leon Bailey Green recently posed the question as to whether PR might replace SEO. In theory it could do, but theories don’t always work out in practice... certainly I'm dubious.
In the foreseeable future it is far more likely that SEO replaces PR, at least in the online arena. Why? Because SEOs understand how to measure success online, and clients demand measurement and proof of ROI. Add to that the fact that most of the larger SEO agencies in the UK have set up online PR divisions. By contrast, how many PRs do you know who focus on SEO?
Turns out that Roger Warner is one of the few who does. It’s a great opportunity – I know because I have considered spinning off a search-focused PR firm for the past three years or so. There is still a gap to fill, in my view.
What is this chart missing?
For me, the onsite stuff could be expanded to include online press centres, RSSfeeds, tags, and perhaps more user engagement (which is filed under ‘offsite’ under ‘Content Engagement’). Roger explains more about how to actively get involved in the offline community in an accompanying blog post.
Other offsite factors might include a bit more on reputation monitoring, although that probably needs a chart of its own.
And just as ‘keywords’ are placed right in the middle of the chart, I’d draw a big circle around it and write MEASUREMENT inside it, in very large letters. If all this starts with keywords, then it ends with measurement, as Roger mentions in his blog post.
I guess it is also worth mentioning that PR is about more than just SEO, especially for the benefit of any PR experts who are reading this with furrowed brows. But there’s a simple solution: learn some SEO skills! And SEO dudes, learn some old school PR skills!
At any rate, if your boss is resistant to the ins and outs of online PR then it might be worth printing off a copy of the above chart and pinning it to a nearby wall.
Chris Lake is editor in chief at E-consultancy, and is Twittering here .