“So, you’re in public relations. Does that mean you, like, relate to the public?”

I can’t recall how many times I’ve been asked what I do as a PR executive — or how I answered the question. When I entered the world of public relations just over four years ago, I spent my days writing press releases and feature articles, supporting trade shows and pitching ideas to the media. Fast-forward to today, and you’ll find me moderating social media channels, marketing content and dabbling in website optimization.

Wait, back up. Website optimization? But I’m in public relations! Truth be told, PR now plays a vital role in SEO. In fact, Lee Odden evangelized the importance of the PR/SEO relationship over at TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog.

Odden names several reasons for tying PR and SEO together. He mentions that this partnership helps demonstrate the value of a PR program, and I would argue that the partnership is imperative to the future of the PR practice. Here’s why.

PR and SEO Now Go Hand In Hand

The lines between PR, social media and content marketing have blurred. Additionally, companies are still challenged by leaner budgets, leaving many questioning the need for traditional PR in their overall marketing strategy. But what many companies don’t realize is that content created through PR efforts can support your SEO strategy.

Think about it: Search engines love relevant content, and users love finding authoritative links that fulfill their information needs. Who better to develop this content than PR writers armed with some key input provided by the Interactive and SEO team?

According to Odden, the PR and SEO teams should work together on the following:

  • Building customer profiles and determining how they consume content online
  • Mapping keywords and combining them with the audience profile to create an editorial calendar
  • Identifying where content can be posted — corporate blog, newsroom, social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and Slideshare
  • Planning how you can repurpose content — as podcasts, video, infographics, etc.

Once these tasks have been completed, PR writers can set to work creating appealing content for customers. After that material is posted online, interactive team members can work their magic to help increase the content’s pull. This process helps improve traffic to your site. It also establishes a greater ROI of your PR staff as they are now, essentially, part of the SEO and interactive team.

So, are your PR and interactive teams working together? Let us know, or ask us how Schubert’s public relations and interactive teams can help support your SEO endeavors through content development.

Chris HenneghanChris is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.