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?