Helping organizations get coverage has long been the function of the public relations department. The work of public relations continues to focus on helping organizations be accessible, respected, and found. Search engine optimization (SEO) continues this tradition as more and more time is spent using the Internet.
Digital PR (or the combination of traditional public relations and SEO) creates a path for would-be public relations professionals in this increasingly wired world we live in. It is the ‘new talent’ that copywriting, influencer-knowing, spot-getting public relations buffs must have. This is part of the ever-evolving bag-of-tricks the public relations professional needs to occupy in order to help organizations they represent – be found.
The more traditional components of a pr professional’s skill-set (i.e. media relations, writing, account management, press releases, story pitches) are being added to as business gets piped around on the Internet. Awareness for emerging technologies, a granular understanding of social networks (and social media), and proven ability to provide SEO consultation add to the traditional talents public relations practitioners need to know.
It’s true that social media too is an essential part of public relations today and in the future – but all most too much to say. I share opinions with others on the matter who suggest in two years we won’t talk about ‘social media’ but we’ll talk again about the roles and functions of departments within an organization. What we call social media today will likely become so entrenched and second-nature that we’ll be able to see past ‘it’ and focus on the function and role ‘it’ plays in the work we perform.
Digital PR and the Next Era of Public Relations
Online newsrooms are a beacon of each organization they represent. Sharing digital assets, link building and connecting publishers with materials for empowerment touch on the value of these new media kits. Public relations professionals need to understand, and provide the benefits include placement and increased ‘findability’.
Keyword use is acutely related to publics, as ‘phraseology’ (or the study of the tendency of particular groups to use and/or be identified by homogenous language) is a cornerstone of SEM marketing which maintains a symbiotic relationship with an organization’s website SEO.
Similarly, the Social Media Press Release (SMPR) or the Social Media Release (SMR) is a more than a fandangle darling of the industry. It manages to identify an opportunity and a direction for future developments while paying credence to traditional functions and providing for them a voice in the current and future industry space.
Traditional public relations will not be replaced. In fact, digital pr is but a portion of the role and function public relations continues, and must continue to serve. Providing guidance for relating with others throughout organizations, including the entire gambit of organizational stakeholders is still and will continue to be the role of good public relations. Maintaining relevancy and accessibility is the public relations professional’s job. Understanding SEO is unquestionably a vital part of that role.
As a public relations practitioner myself it is of utmost importance that I equip myself with knowledge and experience for the sake of my clients, and the organizations I might work for. I aim to continue to improve and to grow my understanding of this portion (i.e. SEO) of the field. I seek every opportunity within reason to grow this understanding and look toward the TopRank Blog PRSA International Blog Contest as one more, fantastic hope for delivering for my clients through the SEO insights I might learn there. (Please pick me!)