Post Penguin, SEOs are keen to learn the dark arts of PR. While public relations professionals show little interest in how their work influences search, online marketers have slowly but surely been learning basic PR skills. And they are doing quite a good job, I might add.
Blogger outreach, press releases and infographics are all core PR tactics which SEOs are using to acquire links.
While there is now a flood of poor quality content out there thanks to eager SEOs, and even talk of some blogs no longer taking comment pieces because of spammy media outreach, there is also some good work happening too. Some great work in fact.
SEOs are great at learning new things. It is in their DNA to be self taught and acquire knowledge. As I’ve worked in PR for a long, long time (too long?), I thought I’d share six things that I think SEOs should really know about PR, but don’t.
1. Think beyond the tactic
Forget press releases and infographics. Focus on the story instead.
Create a narrative and then tell it in as many ways possible. Yes, press releases and infographics might be nice tactics but some journalists would prefer a well written email instead of a press release, or a professionally designed report, rather than an infographic. Give the right content to the right people at the right time.
2. Journalists might say they don’t want to be called on the phone but…
Phone calls work. They might be despised by journalists but a well planned, researched short and punchy phone call will secure you coverage.
3. PR is media relations. With the focus on relations
Go and meet a journalist or a blogger. Go and visit their office. Take them out for lunch. Follow them on Twitter and chat about things that interest them. Don’t hide behind emails.
The same goes for blogger engagement.
You might not always be able to meet a contact but email should be the last resort after phone contact or a face to face meeting.
4. Not got a link? Phone the night editor
The night editor has very little to do comparatively, so call them and ask them to put the link in.
To incentivise them, offer then a freebie. Send a pizza or a curry to their office. Seriously, it works.
5. Anchor text in press releases doesn’t always work
I find journalists are rubbish at copy and pasting links into their copy, so write the URL out in full somewhere in the release. I am not saying don’t embed your links, but what I mean is make sure the link is an integral part of your story. Lines like: “For more information about us, visit www.pragencyone.co.uk” will work. A journalist is more likely to include your links if they can’t edit them out.
6. PR is about reputation, start to learn what this means and how valuable it is to a company
This is the biggy. Reputation is intangible but often makes up about 60% of the market value of a business. If you can show how you are influencing reputation then SEO can move up the value chain by influencing the C-suite.
If SEOs can grasp the value of reputation then they can start to muscle in on the big budgets that PR firms get to play with.