Three Ways SEO Can Help You Boost Your Public Relations

SEO can help you make your public relations better

I hear all the time from fellow PR people that they don’t really deal with search engine optimization or SEO because it’s “a marketing thing.”  Well yes it is, but I think my esteemed colleagues are missing the boat on adapting SEO strategies as part of a PR campaign.  In fact, I think that if you are in PR and are not giving your clients SEO services, you are doing them a disservice.  Here are three areas where SEO can help you boost your public relations.

MAKE YOUR CLIENT AN EXPERT

It’s a pretty safe bet that the reason your client got into their line of work is because they know more than the average person about their profession and they have a passion about it.  A large part of public relations is to take that passion and use it to demonstrate your client’s expertise.  There are two reasons you want to do this.  The first is that customers like to purchase goods from people who are thought of as experts.  The second is that journalists like to interview experts.  By making your client an expert, you increase the chances of them getting media interviews.

Social media actually makes it easier to present your client’s expertise, but only if you use SEO.   For instance, where once you had to pitch media outlets to get articles by your client published, you can now get those articles self-published by using blogs. Blogs have given a lot more opportunities to people to share their expertise.  You need to take advantage.  The trick is how to get other people to actually read those blogs.  The answer is by implementing SEO.  The better job you do optimizing your clients social media efforts, the more likely they will be found in searches, more people will read your client’s content and they will pass those articles on.  In no time your client will have credibility as an expert in their field.  Once that credibility is there, you can start pitching to reporters.

SEO makes you visible to reporters

MAKE THEM VISIBLE TO REPORTERS

Here is a dirty little secret about reporters.  They need to get their information for stories as quickly and easily as possible.  That means that they often use search engines to find sources for stories.  Now imagine that a story regarding your client’s field comes up.  If you had used SEO to make your client a top result for searches about that field, you would have a much better chance of getting them interviewed for that story.  Additionally, if you were pitching a story on that profession, you could tell the reporter to “Google them.”  That reporter could see for themselves that your client does, indeed, have credibility.  Using SEO actually helps make your media relations efforts easier.

SEO shows your client results about their PR activity

HELPS CLIENT BUY INTO PR EFFORTS

Search engine optimization can also help public relations professionals solve one of their biggest pet peeves, the client who isn’t invested in their own PR.  Too many times a client thinks “Great, I hired a PR person.  Now to get on with my important tasks.” What they don’t understand is that PR is about them.  A PR pro can’t just say “Poof, your an expert.”  The client needs to be actively involved.   The problem then becomes, “I’ve been doing all this writing and interviewing, but I’m not seeing any results.” With SEO, you now have an answer.  If a client can see that they are first on a Google search about their profession, they can see what their participation has done for them.  Especially if you did a search before they got involved and their name was nowhere to be found.  SEO helps you to give positive reinforcement to your client so they will continue to actively participate in their own public relations efforts.

After seeing how search engine optimization can help your PR, you can understand that when I’m talking to my public relations colleagues and they ask “Why would I use SEO?”  My response is “Why wouldn’t you?”  Search engine optimization helps you position your client as an expert.  It helps journalists find you.  Most importantly it helps your client understand why their participation is so important.  So don’t be shy about using search engine optimization if your a public relations professional.  It will help make your job a heck of a lot easier.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here to access my portfolio.)

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Food Truck Follies: 5 Ways To Avoid A Government Caused Issue

The Cupcake Truck is having trouble with the city of Denver. What you can learn.

I love food trucks.  They have cheap, convenient eats that have food that’s often better than most restaurants.  One of my favorites here in Denver is the Cupcake Truck.

Unfortunately they’re having a problem with the City of Denver.  Apparently, the City of Denver doesn’t know how to deal with these food trucks or the temporary traffic that comes with them.

As a result, these food trucks are finding themselves in a crisis situation that may or may not be of their own doing.  Because there is a gray area here, however, no one is sure who is to blame for this problem.

Now, I’m not here to take sides, but this dispute can serve as a lesson to every business on how to minimize the possibility of  a clash with your local government officials.  Here are 5 tips to help you avoid a crisis situation involving city government.

DOT YOUR I’s & CROSS YOUR T’s

If you want to do business in a city, you need to get down to city hall and talk with more than one person about what forms and licences you need to operate legally.   When picking up forms, make sure to ask as many questions as possible. Get a name and number of someone you can contact whenever you have further issues you need to address.  You see, the more informed you are about how city government deals with your profession, the better able you are to handle interactions with government official in a positive manner.

JUMP THROUGH EVERY HOOP NECESSARY

Generally speaking, governments solve problems by making new rules.  These rules may seem frivolous to you, but to other folks they might be essential.  Make sure you follow every rule and regulation.  Anything you ignore, or miss opens you up to getting in trouble with your city.  You don’t want that.

KEEP CURRENT

A judge once told me that “ignorance isn’t an excuse.”  I hated hearing it, but it’s true.  Laws don’t happen overnight.  If you don’t pay attention to how a government is dealing with your industry, you will get burned.  Keeping current on your industry’s regulations will ensure you don’t run afoul of your local government.  Keeping city officials happy will make you happy.

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE

Look.  No one likes to deal with government bureaucracy.  It is tedious, repetitive, and time consuming.  The problem, however, is that if you want to work in a city, you have to deal with it.  The quicker you understand this, the better off you’ll be.   Make sure you deal with everyone in a positive manner.  If you are in a positive mind frame when dealing with people, even bureaucrats, they will be positive.  And positive people tend to be more helpful, which is nice when your dealing with a government agency.

HAVE A PLAN B

Keep your options open.  You never know what may happen when dealing with local government.  They may have a good reason for shutting you out of operating in their city.  If you have a backup plan, the frustration of running in to that brick wall won’t be as devastating.  Additionally, a good backup plan might give your local officials a reason to rethink their policies toward your type of business.

Now, I’m not saying that the Denver food trucks didn’t follow these steps.  What I’m telling you is you can never do too much to satisfy a bureaucracy.  So follow these 5 tips and avoid those government hassles.

Hope this helps you out.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here to access my resume.)

Turning Press Releases Into Press Coverage: Five Areas of Your Business To Find Great Newsworthy Stories

Here's some ways to turn press releases into press coverage

I was at a holiday party this past weekend and had a chance to talk with some reporters and PR folks.  I asked each person what was the biggest problem businesses faced when trying to pitch stories.  I was shocked that nearly all of the reporters and PR professionals agreed that finding a compelling story was the one thing businesses had the most trouble doing.

It is always amazing to me that businesses can’t seem to figure out the stories that make them interesting.  In that vain, here are five areas of your business where you can find that great story that can turn your press releases into press coverage.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR GOOD DEEDS

There’s one thing that most, if not all, news people bristle at is the perception that all they’re interested in is bad news.  It’s just not true.  News folks are interested in stories that are not “normal.”  Those stories can be good or bad, just not typical.  Here’s how this can work for you.  Do you as a company raise millions of dollars for a good cause?  Do you give away free products to the disadvantaged?  If you do, you need get a press release out, stat.  You see, you’re not “normal.”  There are many businesses out there who don’t do charity so finding one that does is newsworthy.  Reporters love positive news stories just as much as bad news stories, and the fact that your company is so charitable is news.  Let them know.

“SUPER” EMPLOYEES

Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super

What do your employees do when their not working for you?  If you don’t know, you should find out.   Too many Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super businesses don’t think about how their employees non-work actions can affect them, but it can.  Learn about your employees and support them when they do extraordinary stuff.  It would be a shame if you had employees that went to the mountains every weekend to help disable kids learn how to ski and you didn’t help them and tell the media about it.

OFFICE CULTURE

Why do people like working for you?  Yes, it might be that you give them 20% more money than anyone else, but more likely it has something to do with your office culture.  Do you allow dogs?  Do you have flexible hours?  Do you have a swimming pool in the main lobby?  If you do, I bet a news organization would love to do a story on it.

GENUINE INNOVATION

This area is where most businesses try to get news coverage but fail.  The reason is that their products are not interesting.  Look, I understand that to a company that makes rugs, using a brand new type of thread is interesting, but to the rest of us its not.  If you are using thread, however, that makes your rugs last for 200 years, or makes sure that nothing will ever stain them, or it makes your rugs fly…THAT is genuine innovation.  If your company is doing something that makes the average person on the street go “wow,” that’s a reason to let the press know.  By the way, that should exclude about 98% of the things businesses are currently writing press releases about now.

Are you an expert? Let reporters know.

EXPERTISE

Are you an expert in your field?  Do you have people on your staff who are experts?  I mean real “other folks come to you asking for help” expert, then you should notify the press.  Reporters are always looking to stack their Rolodex with experts they can call at a moments notice to help them with a subject.  Even better, tie your expertise in with something that is happening in the news.  You’d be surprised how often reporters are looking for experts.  Writing that press release will let those reporters know that you are the expert they should call.

To be sure, the hard and fast rule about sending out press releases is “less is more.”  But by examining these five areas of your business, you might just find a great story which will help you succeed in turning your press releases into genuine news coverage.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here for more information.)