Last week I attended the Converse Century party to celebrate the brand’s hundredth birthday. 

Is Converse making full use of online PR, and which SEO techniques should such a big brand be using?

Let’s be clear on something, Converse is 100 years old. It doesn’t really need coverage for brand awareness; it simply needs PR to ensure the brand stays current.

With model Agyness Deyn, an attendee at last week’s London bash, being touted in the media as fresher and better dressed than Kate Moss, Converse succeeded in getting the PR it needs to appear cool.

But was there as much effort put into the online PR as traditional?

A brand like Converse should want to see the Top 10 search results for its brand include its own website and microsite, official YouTube and MySpace profiles, positive blog posts and news stories, from Google News sources, at the top.

Let’s take a look at the SEO…

OK, so Converse isn’t going to lose any sleep – though it should – if it doesn’t rank #1 for ‘trainers’, but surely when you’ve got a campaign called ‘converse century’ you’d want to rank for that?

Any SEO will be as surprised to know that ‘converse century’ doesn’t feature in the title tag of their homepage – even though there’s a flash movie for the Converse Century campaign on that page.

This means that blogs and Converse retailers are ranking for the term instead.
Leaving blogs to rank for its campaign’s term is quite a risk for Converse, as big brands are normally the subject of negative online PR from bloggers. Luckily for Converse there are no damaging blog posts appearing in the Top 10 that need burying.

As independent retailers rank on natural and paid-search for Converse brand related keywords, how could Converse use them for its own online PR? After all if just 10% of these sites linked to a Converse Century website imagine the potential traffic the campaign would get – not to mention ranking first for its own campaign name.

Converse should use its position as a big trusted brand to encourage retailers to link to their campaign. Giving online retailers ‘Approved online Converse Century retailer’ status, with a logo linking to a Converse Century micro-site is one potential way of attracting links and traffic.

Once the campaign site has the traffic, it’s up to Converse to then engage with the visitors and spread the brand message it wants to exude.

Leon Bailey is an Online Marketing, PR and Partnerships professional specialising in fashion, beauty and celebrity media. He currently works for