Why PR Professionals Need SEO

Until recently, SEO authorities have dismissed PR professionals from the realm of search engine optimization on the grounds that they are “glorified schmoozers” who rely solely on press statements and pretty graphics to maintain their campaigns. The increasingly digitized reporting from PR agencies, however, including linking, page rankings, social metrics, and keywords just begging to be optimized, has revealed a new frontier. Now, the PR sector is more than ready, if not overdue, for the visibility and converting power delivered by SEO. So how exactly can these once contrasting realms work together? The following areas will illustrate the beauty of this newly forged relationship.

Interpreting Search Engine Results

No public relations entity would disagree as to the importance of garnering public opinion of the companies that they represent. For decades, this involved intense litigation on the part of PR companies, as they scoured news reports, public statements, surveys, testimonials, and all other information pertaining to their clients. With the help of SEO, however, PR companies can use measuring tools like Google Analytics to decipher trends in website traffic, conversions, ROI, and other website-related activities to get a much clearer picture of a company’s reputation. Public relations people can also do their own “crawling,” using keyword research to locate online publications that either laud or condemn their clients.

Empowering Statements with SEO

Having established a current understanding of their clients’ online presence using search engine results, PR professionals are then more capable than ever to publish the most relevant content using SEO. Reaching out to social media, for example, will help PR firms tap into an audience of more than one billion people almost instantly. SMO is also invaluable to PR people because of its “live” quality; conversations, which lead to more conversions, can now occur between everyday people and PR personnel. This leads to increased brand loyalty and more fluid reputation management. Finally, by using optimized content to reach out to an immense audience, PR firms increase their own prestige with subtlety. Instead of advertising separately for themselves, simply representing their clients on the SEO stage will promote a public relations company to a large number of prospects.

Softening the Sell

Finally, by joining the ranks of the advertising-based content sponsored by their clients, optimized PR content helps to “soften the sell” by not advertising products directly. The very nature of public relations work isn’t direct selling, but relaxed communication with customers to inform them of a company’s activities while increasing that company’s reputation. Diversifying content in this way leads to a more permanent engagement with all demographics, increased brand loyalty, and improved ROI.


Lizzy Thomson writes on behalf of the digital PR specialist – PR Agency One. She blogs on all things PR, SEO and technology.

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