There really isn’t a lot of difference between what search engine optimization specialists and public relations professionals are accomplishing for their clients right now.
Each "camp" makes efforts to reach out to high-authority journalists, freelancers, and bloggers to get them to mention clients’ sites. There may be entirely different reasons and tactics for doing the outreach, but the end result is nearly identical.
If you’re at all interested in switching from to PR from SEO, there are some things you should know. I spent almost 3 years working at SEO.com
, where I witnessed a huge shift in the types of things I had to do to get results for my clients. That shift hasn’t slowed down one bit. In 2012, I went on record in Forbes
claiming that SEO will be dead soon (my prediction was a bust).
So what was really happening? SEO and PR people are starting to learn from each other, and the results are pretty cool. Google, of course, has plenty of algorithms it updates on a regular basis, which keeps the SEO world in a constant state of panic/joy. Lately, it's been that way for PR, too.
Here are three skills SEO pros have that PR professionals can use, too.
No matter what, when you are cordial and polite to people, whether journalists, freelancers, or bloggers, you’ll always win. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, it does pay off. Specifically, try and ask people what they need or want, and give it to them without expecting anything in return. You’ll win with that strategy. And if you’re not nice, it is going to bite you in the butt. I can say that from personal experience.
2. Building relationships.
After you’ve started to perfect your Mr./Miss Nice Guy persona, you’ll begin to build up some solid relationships.
I can’t stress this enough: I’ve been able to place more clients in more places because of already-existing relationships than anything else I’ve done combined. And yes, getting clients mentioned in online or print publications is a huge part of SEO, just like it is with PR.
I talked with Scott Langdon, managing partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility
, who agreed. He said, “It’s also important that you continue to keep the relationship going by helping the other party as much as possible. Being nice is great, but if you can offer advice or anything else of value, that will go a long way when it comes to keeping these relationships going down the line, even when times get tough.”
3. Valuing strategy over Page Rank.
This is a concept that took me the most time to grasp (not because Page Rank is such a big deal, but because strategy never really was). It’s not intuitive for the average SEO person to strategize with a client about the exact word choice for a particular quote or getting a mention in a rather obscure industry publication.
After working at a PR agency, and spending hours on the exact wording for the 50-word "About" sections in a client's press release, I came to realize how important every word and tactic is. I will be forever in debt to my 2 mentors in PR, Cheryl Conner and Linda Walton for teaching me the importance of PR strategy and tactics.
I’m still no pro by any means. That’s why you should read this article from another PR Daily
contributor on eight PR strategy essentials
Do you have any advice for would-be SEO turned PR practitioners (or vice versa)? Please leave your best tip in the comments section.
Adam Torkildson is the owner of Tork Media, a PR and Content Marketing firm in Utah.