The digital revolution, in addition to opening new communications channels, has given the PR industry the chance to reinvigorate its previous work. In particular, by using search strategically, PR teams can optimize and enhance the visibility of existing content for clients so that it reaches an even wider audience and boosts the organization's corporate reputation.
Of course, taking advantage of tactics like this will require communicators to more openly embrace SEO. Some in the PR industry remain reluctant to consider search part of their arsenal of tools. This is a mistake, especially at a time when agencies are being asked to do more with less from recession-aware clients.
Until the industry gets a handle on SEO, agencies risk losing out on new revenue streams as clients call for outside help. Although many PR pros know to populate a press release with keywords, it is wholly worth the investment in training to bring staff up to speed on the latest techniques in search. After all, more and more in the general public – not just reporters – are turning online to do their research, shopping, and reading. Clients know it, and they want to be sure their name is found, appearing in the right context, and populated with useful information.
Without demonstrated expertise in SEO, PR risks not only missed sales opportunities but also damaging its reputation as a leader in the digital sphere. Accounts will be passed along to digital or advertising firms because a PR agency lacked the technical know-how for a basic SEO requirement from the client. Training staff in content optimization and link building will take an initial investment, but it ultimately gives PR the power to genuinely do more for less.