SEO for PRs

There was a day, a long, long time ago when the existence of your average PR person was much more simpler, but it was also a lot more boring… Today PR people have a lot on their plate and are often required to understand several other areas of expertise in order to be good at one they do. One of these is SEO.

Now, I’m not saying that we all need to to go out become SEO experts overnight, but getting a good understanding of it will help you and your clients.

So, here are a few simple tips for PRs venturing into the SEO space

  • Go and talk to the SEO team for your client and find out what they are doing, what they are focusing on and get their Keyword glossary from them
  • Review the areas that your working on and select the most relevant keywords from the keyword glossary that the SEO team shared with you – telling them which words you’ve selected
  • Integrate these words in to as much of your online communications as possible – headers and body text for SMPRs, descriptions and tags for other content like video and pictures
  • Incorporate your keywords throughout any social media profiles you might have
  • Be sure to include your client’s name along with a link through to further information along side your keywords in all activity
  • When spokespeople are commenting on blogs posts, forums or community sites make sure you include relevant keywords along with the company name and links through to further information 

The important thing here is to remember that we’re communications experts and when we use SEO, it must not overtake the conversations, so don’t try and shoe-horn keywords in where they don’t fit. Remember to provide links through to further information from your client, this will help with tracking and measurement.

There’s loads more to this debate and these are just a few thought starters, if you’ve got more, add them below.

SEO Vs PR: is there really a battle for Social Media?

I am fully prepared for a whole heap of disagreements on what I am about the write, but after sharing a link on Twitter about the so-called “battle for social media”, I thought I’d actually get my thoughts down. The article in question was by Andrew Girdwood and can be found here.

As I said the first time I read the article, I think that it’s an interesting take on the situation and I agree with it for the most. One part that I do disagree with is that “online PR” and “social media PR” are separate entities – they aren’t, they are part of the whole PR mix. Yes, there’s a different level of understanding required, yes there are different approaches, but it’s still PR.

Throughout my career, a few things have always stuck with me and one was an old MD of mine who used to say “the best skills for the job”. As such, she never looked at her agency as the consumer team, the technology team or the online team – she actually used to think in terms of “who’s my best radio person”, or “who gets killer pieces in the tabloids” and so on. I think that it’s the same for any client today – the best skills for the job.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that clients require a whole host of skills to get the job done. For instance, the launch of a new product might involve messaging developed by corporate PR, seeding by digital/social media PR and execution by consumer PR all backed up by a solid SEO programe. It’s not just one thing. Which kind of leads me on to the bit where I agree with Andrew – It’s about working together within the wider marketing mix. Solid marketing programmes need “the best skills” and that means PR, advertising, SEO, experiencial and so on….whatever the client’s needs are.

Where I see the difference from a PR point of view is the actual conversation. We’re not SEO specialists, sure, I understand SEO and I integrate it into the work I do where I can. Ultimately, I’d love to work more closely with SEO peeps to get my content and conversations working harder. But that’s what we’re about, the conversation…. that’s out Kung Fu if you will. And that’s where I might upset people, I don’t SEO fulfilling that role,  I see that as purely PR.

My closing thoughts – I just go back to what my old MD said – “the best skills for the job”