The changing PR landscape

Posted under PR, SEO

PR has traditionally been about building brand reputations; re-inforcing values; influencing key stakeholders and engaging with consumers.  It’s been about persuasion and influencing attitudes to a product or proposition.

Historically, the most familiar method of achieving some of those objectives would have been to drive media engagement.  Some clients would want to measure column inches; others would demand more qualitative measurement.

But the PR landscape has changed to meet the opportunities provided by the digital revolution.  Modern-day PR agencies need to align themselves much more with marketing and embrace the opportunities presented by Search Engine Optimisation to maximise online results which are now so much more measureable.

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SEO agencies are now aligning themselves with PR specialists because they recognise the importance of carefully written content strategies – an essential ingredient to successful PR and marketing campaigns these days.

Consumption of news and information is via the internet and social media,  They are our first ports of call to find things. ‘To Google’ is now accepted as an everyday verb in the English language.  That really is a branding success!

All search engines are now much more discerning in terms of what comes to the top of the proverbial pile.  They are all now demanding high quality, professionally written content with material written specifically to be search engine optimised.  That means focusing on key terms to help ensure strong positioning and improved audience engagement.

Google and other search engines are seeking imaginative, planned content that brings genuine and authoritative value to the consumer.  Things like infographics; surveys, lists plus animated and current video are all examples of that content strategy mix.

Consumers are now much more selective about what they read and how and when they access that information.  They are fundamentally in control.  So when they put in their search terms – the search engines want them to find the best and most appropriate information to ensure they keep using the same search engine to find what they want.  It’s not rocket science.

Planning and creating eye-catching optimised content is the modern day PR.  Press releases sent to media lists are no longer enough.  The route to the audience is now much more direct.

It’s simply amazing the number of times we have been asked to look at websites and digital marketing activity for new clients only to find that there is no content strategy in place; no optimised material; poor messaging and therefore desperately poor audience engagement.

 

Peter Corder

A former journalist, Peter founded Media Matters back in 1994, having worked for a number of newspaper publishing groups across East Anglia and the East Midlands in senior editorial roles.

He began the business from converted outbuildings next to his home near Stamford before moving to offices in Lynch Wood back in 2007 to cope with increasing client workloads.

Peter has now stepped back from the coal-face of the business but still provides support to the Media Matters’ team and to some clients.