"What is…" Wednesday – What is a Social Media Release?
September 19, 2012
#MediaMonday – Jim Small
September 24, 2012
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Like many a PR pro, I am not a huge fan of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Well, let me be clearer:

I am not a huge fan of measuring success by manipulating analytics and appealing more to a numbers game that your actual audience.

BUT, there is an obvious advantage of having a higher search engine ranking, something PR pros do strive for. I will be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand SEO. I definitely see the connection, but other than using target messages and key words – content-contained things – there are many aspects of SEO I don’t agree with.

I have a friend who I often debate with over this topic. He is in the SEO/digital marketing biz. If we were to make a Venn diagram of our jobs, it would look something like this:

And our Facebook exchanges go something like this:

Friend: Come on PRs, get a grip on SEO

Me: The Death of SEO: This Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content

This argument has gone on for some time now, and it has developed into neither party wanting to admit the other may have a point. We’re stubborn like that. But when it comes down to it, he is all about statistical numbers that, as a public relations evangelist, I don’t believe truly reflect a campaign’s success. (Case in point: To my shock and appall, my friend admitted he believes it is necessary to purchase Twitter followers to “get the ball rolling.” The horror!)

Sure to a CEO who is unfamiliar with the social media landscape, seeing an increase in fans or followers may bring back those winning-popularity-contests-in-high-school sort of feelings, but how many of those fans or followers are you engaging with? If you bought them, zero. You can’t engage with robots. Sorry, Siri.

So today, I turn to you, dearest HMA Time readers – what are your thoughts on SEO and PR? Should they work together in harmony? Do PR pros need to “get a grip on SEO?” Or is SEO really the sleazy cousin of good ole fashion content creation?


Stephanie Lough
Stephanie Lough
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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