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Push Pull PR: Optimizing News Content

Posted by Media Relations on Monday, August 25th, 2008 - 3 Comments »

The buzz about SEO in the public relations industry has grown steadily over the past 2-3 years. Press releases were the easy target for promotion as candidates for optimization. With the growing use of Google and Yahoo News, optimizing press releases have been an easy way to gain prominent visibility with nominal effort.

As both a SEO and a PR practitioner for the past 8+ years, I get to educate clients and audiences at both PR & Search Marketing conferences. At public relations conferences, I’m the SEO guy talking about optimized PR. At search marketing conferences, I’m the PR guy talking about using PR for SEO.

The continuing convergence of both PR and SEO is inevitable. Neither is based on pay to play, although there are advertorial and paid editorial placement offerings. Editorial visibility in offline and online publications is for the most part “earned” as are the top rankings of web pages on search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Public relations practitioners have significantly warmed up to well documented possibilities and opportunities to extend their effectiveness for clients through implementing search engine optimization into their programs. The reality is that PR doesn’t have control over all of a companies digital assets.

While corporate public relations may not be able to influence their newfound SEO knowledge and enthusiasm across a company’s web content, there are several areas readily available in most cases.

The most common web site content areas under the influence of PR, at least from a content management perspective, include: press releases, online newsrooms, re-published media coverage, videos, podcasts, images, webinars, white papers, newsletters, in some cases a blog and routine announcements and media communications.

Armed with relevant keyword glossaries PR and communications professionals will be able to leverage the Pull in Push/Pull PR by optimizing the various types of content they publish with keywords that both journalists and consumers are looking for.

In a 2007 study by Bulldog Reporter and TEKgroup International with over 2000 respondents, 64% of journalists research stories online through Google News and Yahoo News. 70% read at least one blog regularly and 44% visit a social media site at least monthly. Optimizing content for visibility in these channels increases the opportunity for the media to pull themselves to your news content.

Pull PR in conjunction with media outreach and wire service distribution of press releases (the Push) can be particularly effective. To determine exactly how effective means employing tracking and analytics specific to the channels being optimized for. Analytics tools include web site analytics for the company web site, press release metrics and reporting from the wire services, social media monitoring services, online clipping services and SEO specific reporting such as rankings and conversions.

Taking advantage of the powerful opportunities that exist when combining natural search optimization with news content provides PR practitioners with another competitive advantage that is consistent with changes in the way the media is sourcing story content. PR agencies that do not bring a digital PR and SEO offering to their clients will find those clients looking for an agency that will.

3 Responses to “Push Pull PR: Optimizing News Content”

  1. Jeremy, PR4Pirates Says:

    Interesting post. I wonder if over time companies SEO strategy will be PR which will in turn drive product strategy.

    Many product managers build with the user and economic buyer personae in mind, but why not also imagine the press and and search engines as their own unique personae worthy of well-thought out use cases?

  2. Murphy’s Law » PR & SEO, pitching tips, social media, and Twitter Says:

    […] When I talk to PR people about social media, the one thing that rarely comes up is Search Engine Optimization.  Now I agree that search engines are very Web 1.0, but they’re still the number one pathway around the Internet.  If you’re managing online reputation you better understand search engines.  Lee Odden offers some thoughts on the subject. […]

  3. Richard Says:

    Agree with a lot of the mentioned topics covered here, specially interested on your points regarding SEO

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