PR & Online Marketing: Navigating the Conflux

edward-bernays-MacBookDid I just lose a contact, or does it seem like the lines between public-relations practitioner and online marketer are blurring? An increasing number of SEOs seem to think so (I happen to agree), but their perceptions of the role PR pros play in the SEM sandbox range from toy-sharer to sand-village slave.

Recently, I read a Search Engine Watch article by Jeremy Bencken that focused on the link-building benefits of PR. The post shared some sweet tips that any PR practitioner should implement, but some advice centered on PR primarily as a link-building tactic, neglecting the fact that PR is a strategy in and of itself: to drive the awareness that leads to the search. In other words, a story placed through media-relations efforts might not include a link, but if it led a reader to search for more information, it did its job. More on this concept after the jump.

The article amassed a decent comment thread, albeit mildly controversial. No doubt, many folks’ feelings on the matter echoed the remark shared by one commenter, Nick Stamoulis:

“Some PR professionals are worried that SEO is trying to take over their territory, so they’ve been a little reluctant to make their industry SEO friendly. The simple truth is that one is never going to replace the other, but the two have to work together to create the best possible results for a client.”

In the spirit of continuing this dialogue and figuring out how PR and online marketing can play nice, allow me to introduce a new AIMCLEAR mini blog series: PR & Online Marketing: Navigating the Conflux.

Check back for fresh installments coming atcha in the next several weeks. We’ll dish up the goods on:

  • Why PR pros need to think about strategy from an online-marketing perspective
  • Why traditional PR still matters and how to get coverage
  • Traditional PR tactics vs. “new” tactics
  • How to use keyword research for PR
  • How to leverage earned media placements

I, for one, am pretty stoked. Why? My background is in traditional public relations (primarily media relations) for companies large and small, B2B and B2C. At AIMCLEAR‘s awesome St. Paul office, I’m quickly getting schooled in all things online. This fascinating intersection, where PR meets online marketing, is what I’m all about.

See you back here for installment #1. Until then, cheers!

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