“PR vs. SEO” vs. “PR + SEO” vs. “PR is SEO”

There’s an interesting blog conversation going on right now, which grew out of a recent Twitter discussion on the value of PR vs. SEO.  UK PR pro Stuart Bruce kicked things off by trying to define just what PR is for, and how SEO alone can’t accomplish PR’s goals.  The Holistic Search blog responds with discussion of getting PR and SEO teams to work towards a common goal.  Marshall Manson at Edelman Digital then talks about how, ultimately, good PR is good SEO.

Click through and read them all  for valuable discussion and great comments.  I’d like to particularly point out one of Manson’s comments:

My own view is that SEO, literally defined as an effort to improve performance in organic searches for a defined set of key words is far too often nothing more than an organized attempt to trick search engines. Too many SEO firms are selling solutions that involve solutions like paid “link building” and other dubious tactics . . . On the other hand, good online PR is about helping clients connect with audiences on the basis of a shared interest. A key aspect is ensuring that the content of the conversation is real, meaningful, and interesting. Transparency is also vital.

For Business Wire’s part, Manson is right on here.  While we offer a suite of SEO tools, including our Press Release Builder and its keyword analysis and placement functions, all of our tools and advice are in the service of the well-written, properly distributed press release.  All the keywords in the world can’t substitute for good content — if they could, press releases would just consist of a list of keywords and a company name!  (Not that “black hat” SEO/SEM firms haven’t tried things like this.)  Your SEO efforts on press releases need to be part of an engaging story about your company and its news.

And your press releases should be part of an ongoing strategy which includes publishing your news on your own website, properly targeting your news, and building relationships with journalists, bloggers and consumers.  All of these things will help, as one commenter puts it, to make sure your name and your brand are in the right place at the right time when people are looking for them.

5 Responses to “PR vs. SEO” vs. “PR + SEO” vs. “PR is SEO”

  1. Jim Jenkins says:

    Good comments.

    How do press releases play a role versus blogs in promoting the search engine ranking of a web site. My company ATIcourses.com does both, but as a small business we have limited time and people to both all the time. Should all press releases always be posted on the blog? Should more time be devoted to one than the other?

  2. [...] Combined these two can maximise ROI factors and secure both the push and the pull effects of marketing communications. Having a balance of push, pull and profile strategies is also recommended by academic literature (e.g. Chris Fill – Marketing Communications). Finally, is consideration of the statement by Phil Dennison, senior marketing specialist of Business Wire: “Make sure name and brand are in the right place at the right time when people are looking for them.” (Read the full story here) [...]

  3. [...] Combined these two can maximise ROI factors and secure both the push and the pull effects of marketing communications. Having a balance of push, pull and profile strategies is also recommended by academic literature (e.g. Chris Fill – Marketing Communications). Finally, is consideration of the statement by Phil Dennison, senior marketing specialist of Business Wire: “Make sure name and brand are in the right place at the right time when people are looking for them.” (Read the full story here) [...]

  4. Charlie says:

    Surely though – bad press/publicity with a good response from the company can actually be beneficial too?

  5. [...] your page should be found quickly and be pertinent enough to be found later. From a PR standpoint, “all the keywords in the world can’t substitute for good content,” (that’s why “sprinkle” was emphasized).  PR builds reputation through positive coverage, [...]

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