The Internet has changed many things, the least of which how people get their news and consume information, as well as businesses promote themselves and connect with their audiences. For decades the work of PR has been kept to a handful of broad forms of media - print, TV, radio, and live in-person events. For a while now, the internet has been changing how businesses connect with their audiences in order to extend their message and purposefully engage. In short, more is possible, and the new functions that are emerging leverage the power and reach of the internet. Social media and SEO are two elements of online marketing that essentially change the landscape of PR and enable businesses to do achieve more by doing more.
These developments in the practice of PR directly mirror the evolution of audience behavior and activity, as more people are using social media and search engines to search for information on the web. The reality of today's society is that people connect with each other on social platforms to share their lives and access the internet daily to satisfy much of their informational needs. For example, they search to find a local doctor, read reviews on that doctor's practice, find directions there, as well as research a company before buying its products and services. This can be somewhat daunting for those adhering only strictly to traditional PR strategies and tactics, but for those willing to embrace it; new innovative methods provide great benefit and will soon become essential.
SEO Value in PR
One of the main elements that PR done through the Internet brings is the SEO value that in print mentions and backlinks achieve. In traditional media, placements are great but only go so far as the eyes that happen to be watching the particular news clip on the news channel where the client was featured or reading that article in the magazine. Press releases offer the same sort of limitation on visibility. In terms of exposure and visibility alone, material is available and can be seen for much longer periods of time online. The key is the backlink though.
Securing a backlink within the release or in the client mention/quote in an article from a reputable news outlet whose website has significant authority holds great SEO value. "This changes the game for PR, enabling businesses to accomplish dual goals in gaining exposure and getting a message out but also in establishing all-important SEO for a company's online presence," states John Borkowski, WebiMax's PR Manager. "I see the field going more in this direction in the years to come, out of necessity, as it will become increasingly more important for businesses to shift focus to PR practices that leverage where people are spending so much time -on the internet." This allows SEO agencies that also offer PR services to deliver additional value to their clients by achieving both PR goals while also increasing the ability of their clients' webpages to rank higher in search engine results pages SERPs for particular search keywords.
For more information regarding SEO, public relations, and how they can be used in conjunction to support one another, reach out to me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter @ryanwbudd.