Considering my PR Campaigns class just had a lecture on SEO with Vanessa Fox, I thought this would be fitting.
It seems that more than ever we are hearing that companies need to do everything in their power to get to the top of the Google rankings. With the way the economy is right now, the more visibility a company and higher on Google they can get, the better. The phrase that is being used is search engine optimization or SEO.
I came across a post on the blog Rock Star PR by Jed Hallam about SEO and PR. The post basically summed up a Twitter discussion about whether or not PR practitioners should adopt SEO as part of their jobs since many SEO companies are now offering “online public relations” as part of their services. Hallam suggests that PR practitioners learn the techniques of SEO or else…
I definitely agree with Hallam in the sense that PR better jump on with SEO and learn some of the ins and outs before the SEO companies learn a thing or two about PR. I think what we have that the SEO companies don’t is training, quality and the ability to evolve and adapt.
PR practitioners learn to write and think strategically and ask questions and communicate in ways that many people don’t know how to. That in itself sets us above the SEO companies trying to sell online PR. The quality of content and meat in our writing also sets us apart. Also, PR practitioners have the ability to adapt to changes and pick up new tasks. PR tries to sell visibility with quality, as opposed to SEO companies that are trying to sell visibility and rankings, not necessarily with quality content.
Do you think that PR practitioners should pick up this new skill and get trained on how to optimize their search engine rankings for their clients? If PR doesn’t adapt and accept SEO as part of the practice do you think SEO companies will eventually win out over traditional PR companies?
Most public relations students who graduate from Arizona State’s J-school will know how to write a press release. We all know press releases are supposed to include main points about whatever it is we want media outlets to know about, but what are the media really looking for? What is going to get my release noticed over all the others?
I came across a guest post by a former professor of mine named Daryl James for the PR Practitioner. I also interned under him at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. I learned a lot by working there in terms of seeing how the media operates and how they weed through the hundreds of leads that come in each week. I think working in a newsroom is something every PR student should do.
James’ post gives five tips to PR professionals about what to include and what to leave out of press releases.
- Only include facts – James suggests bullet points containing the who, what, where, when, why and how
- It’s about the readers – Ask yourself, why should readers care about this?
- Don’t create more work for the editor – Paste the release in the body of the email and don’t use attachments
- Be honest – Don’t add more than there really is to the story or next time your release will get deleted without a second thought
- Be aware of your audience – Understand who your story is for
After reading this post I was a little upset. I had learned to write a press release in a PR class but not like this. We were taught to tell a story and include all the details. I would have liked to know things like bullets are OK and that it’s not about you or your client, it’s about the readers.
If those previous five points are true, what else do the media look for? What else can be done to put your releases above the others? What can I include in my releases to make editors eager to receive them?
Considering I am graduating in May and that hundreds of press releases are deleted every week at any given news organization, I found these tips to be extremely helpful. I just wish I had known facts like this earlier on.
I ran across a interesting topic on crisisblogger concerning executive worry about online reputations. It drew on a story from PRweek about a survey taken called Risky Business: Reputation Online. What struck me most was that of the 700 top executives surveyed, 66% of them were unaware that their reputations online were being effected by their own employees sharing their opinions.
With the population of online conversationalists growing rapidly it is easy to assume that reputations are being shattered or brightened through blogs or forums by the minute. Not only are consumers and journalists publicsizing facts or feelings about certain companies and organizations, but the those who play an inside role (the employees) are speaking up, or I should say: posting up.
As the ongoing etchical debate of credible blogging continues, taking an objective approach to everything we read is highly suggested. As crisisblogger says, “The speed with which rumors, accusations, revelations and misinformation can fly in these hyper-networks is unprecedented.” Like we learn in journalism school and hopefully known from common sense, we always need to evaluate the content that we read and take it with a grain of salt.
The PRweek story brings up a good point about how this tough economic time can effect all companies, and upset employees with blogs are no exception. As people with a passion for public relations, but also Americans who appreciate the right to free speech, how do we manage our reputation in a world where one post can make all the difference? What can we do to continue to build an image while we know others have the right to an opinion that can break us down?