I Better Learn This Before Someone Steals My Job…

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?

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6 Responses to I Better Learn This Before Someone Steals My Job…

  1. gbohulan says:

    What an interesting article? I think it is something we can’t deny. PR today is so different from what it was just a few years ago with everything being online. I believe SEO that is just ONE element to be cognoscente of for our clients. I could not imagine SEO companies taking over traditional PR companies. They are not the trained problem solvers we are with the excellent writing and communication skills required for the job. We’re too good for that.

  2. cafuller says:

    A huge part of being a PR practitioner is staying up-to-date on things. We need to know all about the new trends and new ways of communicating. I definitely think that the adaptation of social media makes it absolutely necessary to learn those SEO skills. Like you said, SEO doesn’t have the background that actual PR professionals have, but what good will that background be if we don’t adapt to this new trend? The internet and online communication is such a major movement that any company, whether it’s a PR firm or not, will have a hard time staying afloat if they don’t utilize it.

  3. plepkows says:

    Public relations practitioners should definitely learn the ins and outs of search engine optimization. It seems that the Internet has become the primary source of information for many people. And where are these people finding this information? Google. Appropriate search engine results are critical for success in today’s digital world. As Vanessa Fox discussed during the lecture, ineffective SEO can dramatically decrease the likelihood of publics getting the message you want them to hear.

    Fox focused her lecture on what results do come up when you search a company, but I was curious about what don’t. I tweeted her, and she told me that if you have no results, it can be bad for an organization, because many people believe that if Google can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Therefore, a focus on SEO is critical to ensuring that our messages reach our targets. If PR agencies don’t accept this and demonstrate an understanding of SEO, than SEO companies could take over this share of the market.

  4. Nancy Flores says:

    Just like PR Professionals had to adjust to the trend of email and digital press kits from their old ways of letter writting and faxing press releases, we now have to adjust to the more tech savy ways of PR. This includes using new and upcoming social media like twitter and Facebook to promote your client, use SEO on your press releases and client websites and know the secrets of how to get Google to work for you. We just have to adjust and conform to the change of technology. In five years or maybe less, I think we are going to have to do it again because our technology is always advancing.

  5. tmpace says:

    This is a great topic. I think it is very important for us PR practitioners to keep SEO in mind. What good is a campaign if no one can find our client. We have to adjust our skills to fit a companies needs. The first day of class we defined what PR is and what a campaign is, and what I really think both are is what are client needs it to be. And more than likely they need quality visibility!

  6. lmdavis2 says:

    Using search engines to benefit out profession is very important. We have to always make sure the reputation of your client is positive and learning how search engines work will help in that objective.

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