Traditionally when you think about defining PR you’d probably say things like ‘enhancing reputation’, ‘influencing opinion’, ‘creating word of mouth’ or ‘generating advocates’. However, we believe that PR is now much broader than that, to the point where it is as much about search engine optimisation as it is about reputation.
SEO is of course all about driving traffic to your site via high rankings on search engines.
The types of people that have traditionally been in the hitherto separate camps of PR and SEO are very different types of people. PRs tend to be creatives, relationship builders, writers and communicators and SEO experts tend to be, well, techies.
They are very different disciplines, there is no doubt about that. You might almost go so far to say that PR is an art and SEO is a science. However, practitioners in both disciplines are going to have to learn to bridge that gap, and fast. PRs must at least have a very good knowledge of the core principles of SEO and vice versa for SEO and PR.
SEO agencies must team up with PR people to generate the best type of online content and the most effective PR coverage.
PR people must collaborate with SEO experts to enhance and leverage their campaigns. The commercial reality in 2011 is that companies need to drive traffic to their websites and SEO is a much more cost-effective way of doing it than competing for key-word advertising. We may well see more PR agencies take on SEO people to sit alongside the account management, creative and planning people.
There will already be clients out there who want to undertake PR purely for the rich SEO benefits that it brings. For these companies, creating a good impression with viewers of the online media where you achieve coverage is a nice by-product, but not the core aim. Not least because the conversion rates for good SEO are arguably much better than PR on its own. This trend is going to grow – significantly.
Clients should look for PR agencies that are very capable at SEO and SEO agencies that have access to quality PR resources. There may even be PR/ SEO teams that evolve out of this in the same way that copywriters and art directors go together in an advertising agency.Read More