Opinion: From our readers - Education gap in SEO, affiliate marketing

Having recently gone through the recruitment process to find a new Yeti, I thought I'd share a few observations about recent graduates in communications, marketing and PR who applied for the role.

For instance, I was taken aback at the level of technical skills on display, with many having the ability to code basic HTML and use mainstream photo manipulation and graphic design packages - far more than I could do when starting out my career in PR.

An area where universities could improve is search engine optimisation (SEO) knowledge, awareness and training - a vital ingredient in any digital PR person's armoury.

Not one interviewee had any understanding of SEO, or how it could be incorporated into a modern-day PR toolkit.

I was also surprised at how little knowledge PR and marketing graduates had of affiliate marketing - estimated by Econsultancy to be a £4bn industry in the UK, and a sector in which PROs can have a great deal of positive influence. Affiliate marketing is a growing part of many big brands' marketing mix and I thought there would have been a greater focus on it in university courses.

Andy Barr, co-MD, 10 Yetis PR

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