Public Relations and Search Engine Optimisation: Friends or Foe

PR and SEO 

Public relations and search engine optimisation may seem like two polar opposites in the marketing tool box. But if you work in PR it would be good to learn SEO and if you are in SEO it would be ideal to learn PR.  

Why would this be? Well good PR gets your message out there. It gets it to journalist, blog writers and people that are looking to write articles and if you do a good job at writing the news, they will post your content.   

Ok well that is all well and good but what does it mean for SEO and how will it help you.  

Well there are some basic principles of sending out online press releases that contain links back to your website have obvious benefits of gaining more, quality links, from news sources to your content. The basics here are to write the press release and at the end of the release include the links you would like to promote back to your site.  

But how do you get journalist to promote your message? This article is not going to delve deeply into how to write engaging press releases although the principles will be covered in the content marketing element of the social blogging site.

But PR should not be dismissed in your digital marketing campaign to merely sending out press releases. You can through a focused planning session find the journalists you want to target on social media and by approaching them, in a none spamming way. 

The aim with PR is to have something newsworthy to say. To get the attention by making your story interesting enough.  

However, through social media you can really impact your public / customer relations in a positive way. You can post short positive messages on twitter, facebook and so on. Or you can post your news on your blog. In digital the realm of PR really opens up beyond the traditional and transcends its origins. 

Online public relations & Search Engine Optimisation do have with it some challenges and need to be aware of potential hazards. Things can go wrong very quickly and bad PR needs to be handled with care. For example, if a customer gives you a bad review or writes something not very nice on your social media page the worst thing to do is go on the attack or on the defensive, the second worst thing to do is just delete the comment. Both of these tactics can be seen in a very negative light and the internet could turn on you and your brand very quickly. The simplest and easiest way to deal with this is to acknowledge the complaint or criticism online by replying with something like “I am sorry to hear you feel that way, most of our customers/readers are more than happy with the products and services we offer to them and we have exceptionally high customer rating scores. I am concerned that this has not been your experience and would welcome very much the opportunity to discuss this with you offline via private chat, email or phone to see if there is a way, we can rectify the situation and improve your experience”. Most people will accept this approach and it will help to calm them down, as long as you live up to it. Those that don’t and go on the attack further will be seen by the digital world inhabitants as trolls, spammers or just plain pathetic. 

If you are about to book a flight or holiday with a company you are not too sure about you will automatically look for reviews on that company for reassurance. On these sites you will no doubt see the above approach used again and again for those customer complaints. You may also even see how some people, no companies but members of the review community, will call out those that are clearly making false complaints to promote their own agenda, in some ways the internet can be self-policing.  

It would be a good idea to find out where your potential customers or public hand out online and what review sites, if any, they use so that you can become a part of that community and as discussed above proactively manage your online reputation be counteracting bad reviews and bad press.  

More on social media and creating a social identity for your customers later.  

SEO / search engine optimisation is not easy but it doesn't have to be rocket science either. 


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This article was written by Sam our Founder, Editor and Chief Behavioural Anarchist. Sam is a Data-Driven Marketing and Behavioural Communication’s Strategist based in Telford, Shropshire in the UK.

Here he is a Writer on Behavioural Insights, Media, Communications, Data Science & Marketing Technology. Keeping a watchful eye and investigating the misuse of technology and behavioural science by big business, media, and politicians in manipulating online narratives to sway public opinion. All opinions are his own. :

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