There are many people out there that think PR is slowly fading, that it is a field that is no longer as important as it used to be, we beg to differ! PR is still a vital part of your marketing, the only thing that has really changed, is where you content is distributed and more importantly how it is used.
Right now there are companies paying big bucks for SEO services. The reality is that some of these core services could be accomplished with the right PR firm, or a combination of a marketing and PR firm. Think about what the core things of SEO consist of which would be content, link building, traffic numbers and on-site meta tagging. When creating an article that is designed for distribution in media, most of them never make the actual newspaper. What happens is, these articles go on the media online version of the papers. Of course the original should be posted on your website as well, and if setup properly these articles will also mention and link back to your company. So by creating an article and setting it up properly on your website, you have now accomplished a few of the things you need for search engine optimization purposes.
You created content, if you set it up properly you have also got some meta tagging and you have created an inbound link. If the article is well written and is something that will draw users in, then the traffic will also happen. So with a single article, you have generated all created all needed aspects of SEO, while still adding value to your efforts. What can happen is that these articles also get shared, or as we call it, they go viral. This is more often the case with articles that are published on third party websites, especially larger newspaper or reporting websites. Since these website already have a large daily user base, or larger than most small business websites have at least.
Here is an example of a strategy that can generate a lot of inbound links, get shared quite a bit and generate both traffic and help with your search engine optimization effort. We call it the give back SEO program, which we see quite a few people implement. The concept works like this, the company sets up a scholarship, this does not have to be an outrageous amount, just has to be an amount that is reasonable. You write some articles about why you created the scholarship, who you hope the recipients could be, when you are awarding it and what the qualifications are to receive it. Build out the relevant pages on your website, setup the forms needed and so on.
Here is what then happens, the articles go out in a preset timing to local, both small and large media companies. You share the information on your social media profiles, and create a drip campaign for your articles. These get posted both on your website and get distributed through random distribution methods. If everything goes according to plan, which it normally does when you are giving away free money, the content and links back to your website all of sudden start popping up around the internet. The cost of a campaign like this is minimal, the work needed is minimal but the payoffs can be huge. If you do this on an annual basis, the content will keep growing. The links back will keep growing and you will start to see a consistent share of your online content. In the process you have done all parts of SEO and you have helped out someone that might be a complete stranger. This also helps with the corporate reputation and image.
Using PR to your benefit in a modern marketing world can make a huge difference. Keep in mind that this same concept works for other areas, it does not have to be a scholarship or any time of money given away, it can be anything that relates to giving back to the community. This is the type of things that local news caster, reporters and the people in the community are most likely to share. Don´t always try to flaunt your expertise in articles, sometimes you need to flaunt the good things you do. Even though it can be hard to do charitable community things, with a profit in mind. The reality is that the more you can make, the more you can give back. Just always remember, the community helped you get to where you are now and they will help getting you to where you want to be.