Public relations (PR) and search engine optimization (SEO) are often treated as two separate disciplines, but companies experience more benefits when they merge. That’s because PR and SEO work closely together and require similar skill sets in the modern marketing landscape.
Both disciplines focus on developing customer relationships and creating top-notch content, which is essential for high rankings on the search engine results page (SERP). For business owners to stay competitive, they must produce and share insightful content with backlinks.
In fact, PR and SEO specialists have to work together to build high-quality backlinks. But that isn’t the only strategy both disciplines can improve when working together as a team.
How PR and SEO Work Together to Generate More Leads
Although PR and SEO were created for entirely different purposes, both are continuously evolving and changing the marketing landscape. Now, PR and SEO operate in 6 key areas.
1. PR and SEO Pros Can Offer Each Other Marketing Education
Most PR agents don’t understand the world of SEO, and SEO professionals have a hard time grasping the intricacies of reputation management. No department should work in a bubble, nor should they refuse to collaborate. When marketing teams work together, the business thrives.
Some smaller teams may even hire the wrong person for media outreach. An SEO specialist may have to speak to the media regularly, but they aren’t media trained like PR agents are.
Both PR and SEO professionals understand that engaging content is required to launch successful campaigns, but both need to educate each other on their specialties. When PR and SEO work together, they can create content that’s useful and well-suited for Google’s algorithm.
2. PR and SEO Can Improve Link Building Strategies
Marketing teams will send a PR agent to front-facing, earned coverage like non-paid stories and press releases, generating powerful backlinks for the company. While this coverage is valuable, most PR agents don’t understand SEO, so they unintentionally lessen the backlink’s impact.
If they consulted with an SEO professional first, they’d be able to generate media attention based on keywords. The PR agent can help the company rank based on a specific anchor text.
Since PR backlinks aren’t “black hat,” they don’t involve purchasing links from low-DR websites. Instead, PR agents use their skills to find quality coverage, while the SEO consultant checks if said coverage is ideal for Google’s link-building process. In the end, your backlinks go further.
3. PR and SEO can Create a Better Content Strategy
Creating valuable, actionable content is no easy task, but PR and SEO teams can come together to make it happen. Neither specialist will stop at creating incredible content; they’ll also make sure it works even more efficiently by sharing and repurposing it across marketing channels.
For example, if a team of SEO professionals and graphic artists makes a chart, infographic, or visual for a client, the team can repurpose it and include a link back to the original client.
The PR team then pitches this content to their sources, which creates easy wins for content placement. Both SEO and PR teams can then study changes in the pages they manage and see how many more shares their content achieved thanks to their input.
4. PR and SEO can Align Brands With Their Message
PR and SEO professionals can help companies understand their messaging. By conducting customer and competitive research, they can determine a brand’s pain points and value. What’s more, both experts can understand why a customer continues to use a product or service.
When a brand has a solid understanding of its target market, it can create content that maximizes the user experience and influences the feelings and perceptions of the customer.
Not only can PR and SEO teams guide businesses along the journey, but they can also create trust in the brand and position it in alignment with its message. To do this effectively, both teams have to communicate and collaborate constantly when creating and launching campaigns.
5. PR and SEO can Help Each Other With Influencer Outreach
While SEO strategists have a list of external websites and blog targets, PR professionals have a media list. When both industries combine their connections, they can secure more relationships with influencers, business owners, and media outlets that could help their outreach strategy.
Since PR pros are better able to build relationships, they can teach SEO marketers how to approach influencers. On the other hand, PR pros can learn about site analytics from SEO pros.
If both the SEO and PR strategists are good with people, you’ll have a match made in heaven. Instead of combining their efforts, SEO can focus on bloggers, while PR can reach out to media outlets. By separating their workflow, each person can avoid contacting the same people the other one has reached out to.
6. PR and SEO Benefit From Shared Goals and Data Analysis
You have to monitor your marketing strategy to understand what works and what doesn’t. In order for teams to do this effectively, they have to agree on common goals. A great way to create an achievable, measurable, and relevant goal is by using the SMART goal acronym strategy.
PR and SEO can develop goals where both of their metrics are involved. For example, both teams need to track website conversion rate, social media engagement, and link quality.
While PR and SEO are typically motivated by different end goals, they don’t have to be. When they combine their efforts under one shared vision, they can increase conversion rates significantly. Even if a strategy fails, both teams can see exactly where to improve.
How to Get Coverage PR Coverage For Your Brand
When a journalist asks, “what’s the hook?” they’re essentially asking what they should write about. You can give media outlets their “hook” by using the following methods to get coverage.
1. Capitalize on Current Events
Big media outlets love to capitalize on trends because their readers are actively searching for them. If a certain celebrity is on the lips of every gossip columnist, find a way to insert their name into your blog posts or promotions. With this tactic, your business will look more appealing.
Annual events like Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day always attract new readers, but local events can offer marketing opportunities beyond holidays. We recommend revolving part of your content strategy around these dates, so you can play your PR activity around it.
2. Get Quoted by HARO
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists with brands that want to post their content on other websites. HARO isn’t a guest posting platform; they’re a company that allows industry experts to offer insight on blog topics. The journalist then posts their quote within their article.
Since journalists understand that you’re doing them a favor, they’ll allow you to link back to your website and social media pages. When you appear on several high-DR websites, you’ll increase your reach. This attracts more traffic to your site. Additionally, HARO can be used for backlinks.
3. Utilize Reviews and Testimonials
A common but effective PR approach is product reviews. Companies pay influencers all the time to post quality reviews of their products, but most of the time, you don’t have to sign a paycheck. Several influencers will film a testimonial if you give them your product for free.
However, if you’re a decently-sized business, it’s essential that you pay your influencers. By offering free hotel rooms, transportation, and trips, you’ll attract high-quality influencers. Plus, you benefit from positive PR — everyone will want to work with your really generous brand.
4. Write Press Releases
Press releases are a tried and true tactic that shouldn’t be left off your marketing repertoire. However, SEO teams don’t always know how to use them correctly. More often than not, SEO professionals stuff press releases full of keywords and don’t focus on the storytelling aspect.
You have to write press releases that are interesting and newsworthy, then share them with the right journalists. Some SEO professionals also make the mistake of posting their press releases on their site. You can do this if you’re popular enough, but this tactic won’t work for startups.
5. Partner With a Charity
Without coming across as too cynical, partnering with a charity can definitely position your brand as benevolent. At the same time, you should only partner with an organization that suits your brand. For example, a vegan company could donate to local animal shelters.
When used in combination with other ad campaigns, the results can be powerful. It’s common for companies to offer hands-on activism with a monetary incentive. For example, a travel company could comp lodgings and give to a charity if their customers help build a house.
6. Run Controversial Campaigns
A controversial ad campaign gets people talking, for better or for worse. However, you’ll want to garner positive attention, if possible. Although your campaign will rely on going viral, and there’s no guarantee you will, the gains are incredible when top-tier publications notice you.
For example, a Swedish hotel chain offered a “relationship guarantee” to those who stayed in their hotel and got divorced less than a year later. The offer was designed to make people realize how important it is to spend time with your spouse, but media outlets ate it up.