Why SEO and PR are getting married

September 27 Wedding

When you think about how the world of PR works and what PR professionals do on a daily basis, it looks something like this:

  • Create content for client
  • Post content for client
  • Reach out to journalists, influencers, and publishers
  • Ask to have story covered
  • Wash, rinse, repeat

What other profession does this look like? If you’d said search engine optimization, or SEO, you’d be right:

  • Create content for client
  • Post content for client
  • Reach out to publishers, influencers, and other websites
  • Ask to have content linked
  • Wash, rinse, repeat

It should be no surprise that the two professions, public relations and SEO, share a lot of common ground on process. It should equally be no surprise that they share similar outcomes: earned media. In the case of PR, our earned media outcome is a media placement of a client’s story in as many relevant publications as possible. In the case of SEO, our earned media outcome is a link or several back to the target website, which boosts the site’s search rankings.

In fact, for the more forward thinking PR firms, SEO and PR are synonymous. If a brand blends its PR and SEO together, then when PR teams are soliciting stories on behalf of the brand, they can also work to include links back to the brand’s website in the articles. Likewise, if the SEO teams are working in parallel with the PR teams, then the SEO research into keywords, top domains and sites, and personalities can inform the PR work, helping to understand where to pitch for overall maximum marketing impact.

Here’s a question to test your integration of PR and SEO: when was the last time that your SEO team or agency gave your PR team or agency a list of keywords and phrases to work into media placements?

Here’s a question to test your integration of SEO and PR: when was the last time that your PR team sent a coverage report to the SEO team so they could validate the links they obtained?

If the answer to either question is neither, then you have some integration challenges ahead if you want to reap the maximum benefit for your marketing.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


Posted on July 22, 2013 in Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations, SEO

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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