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.


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


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


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.)


Five Things that Empire Avenue Does that Makes My Social Media Better

Sometimes in life, you get the rare opportunity to see things flourish right before your eyes.  You may not be the first to

Empire Avenue can help you improve your social media

notice that it’s happening, but you are one of those lucky few who catch a glimpse right before everyone else does and realize it.  That’s a bit how I feel about Empire Avenue.  Empire Avenue is the newest, greatest tool to help you with your social media.  Don’t believe me?  Read this, and this, and this.

Now those articles are interesting, but what I wanted to explain to you is more personal.  I want to share with you five things Empire Avenue does to make my social media efforts better.


I’m not going to lie.  With social media, some people naturally do it and some don’t.  Put me in the don’t category.  Oh, I tweet, and post, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, but it can definitely be a chore.  It’s not that I don’t see the value, but I just don’t think my life is that interesting all the time.

It’s still not, but Empire Avenue has given me a different outlook.  You see, for social media to be effective, it needs consistent nurturing.  It’s a bit like a plant.  If you nurture your plants they’ll grow, if you don’t they’ll die.   The big difference is you won’t see your social media dying, it just will.  Until now.  Empire Avenue works the same way the stock market does. You get bought and sold based on your social media.  You neglect it and you will lose investors, take care of it and you’ll thrive.  And let me tell you, seeing yourself be bought and sold is a powerful motivator to make sure you do your social media work.


In order to be have a powerful social media presence, you need to have some diversity.  You might be a Twitter machine, adding new tweets every few minutes.  That doesn’t mean you have a strong social media network.  Twitter is only one part.  What about Facebook?  YouTube?  Your Blog?  To have a strong social media network, you gotta update these as well.

Empire Avenue helps you out with this.  You see, Empire Avenue grades you on each individual network you use.  A poor grade in one area will most certainly hurt your total score and make people think twice about investing in you.  I know because my YouTube score has been like an anchor.  Letting me see that, however, has shown me exactly how to improve and, while my YouTube is still an anchor, its a much smaller one than it was.


Here’s something to think about.  How many people do you follow with your social media, or who follow you, who don’t use it at all?  It’s a question you really don’t think about, but you should.  Imagine replacing one of your followers with one who is engaged?  It could make a huge difference in your social media efforts.

Empire Avenue opened my eyes up to this and made me a bit more critical who I follow and who’s following me.  I hate to be rude, but as the song says “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”  Social media is all about interaction and activity.  If your not interacting and not active in my network, you’re gone (sorry Mom).


Before I joined Empire Avenue, my network was pretty bland.  I had very few people from outside my home city (Denver), or

How good is your Twitter network?

Colorado.  What I didn’t realize what that just because someone doesn’t live in your city doesn’t mean they can’t help your network.

Empire Avenue opened my eyes.  Before long I was exchanging tweets with Ford Motor Company’s Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager, Scott Monty.  I was talking social media strategy with professionals from Canada, Venezuela, and Europe.  These folks may not be local, but they are helping me become a better PR and Social Media strategist.  Thank you, Empire Avenue.


Let me ask you this, when was the last time you got up early to check on how your social media network was doing?  I know some of you always do this, but for the other 95% of us, social media updating can be difficult.  Creating meaningful content for social media is not easy, particularly for a business, but it has to be done.  So how does Empire Avenue help?

Well, because your worth on Empire Avenue is directly related to your social media network, you gotta update.  That little carrot is actually just the thing many people need.  I know it is for me.  When I see my stock dropping, I look around and try to find something that I can do to make my social media network more valuable.  But that’s exactly the mindset you need in order to have a strong social network.  Empire Avenue helps you do that.

Now I’m not here to tell you that Empire Avenue will automatically transform your social media network into a powerhouse overnight.  You still have to work at it.  All I’m saying is that by using Empire Avenue, I been able to tweak my network so that it works harder for me.  And that’s really what you want from your social media network, isn’t it.

Yeah I thought so.  Just remember to let me know when you join so I can buy some stock in you.

UPDATE:  I’ve had some folks tell me that I should add my Empire Avenue ticker symbol and a badge.  Here you go.  Buy me at (e)DADEVOL .

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

Five Social Media Lessons To Take From Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the World each year.  About half of those people tuning in are doing so solely of the commercials.  That doesn’t mean that these ads will help their companies.  In fact, many of the companies who create Super Bowl ads won’t get any boost from them.  In order for them to get traction from these ads, they need to follow some simple rules.  The same goes for you and your businesses’ social media practices.  Too many companies aren’t getting the most out of their social media…just like too many big companies aren’t getting anything out of their Super Bowl ads.  Here’s five social media lessons you can learn from Super Bowl commercials.

(Thanks to for putting these ads together)


Keeping it simple is always a great idea

The thing about Super Bowl Ads is that too many companies think that, because they’ve made such a huge investment, they need to throw everything possible into the commercial regardless of whether it fits their image. Unfortunately, this mostly leads to mashed up ads that aren’t funny, interesting, or relevant. For example, check out this Coke ad, verses this Coke Ad. Which one works better for you? To me, one hot, dusty soldier sharing a coke with his fellow hot, dusty, enemy-compatriot works a heck of a lot better than dragons and ogres and I’m not sure what…maybe puppies, does.


The same goes for your social media. It’s very likely that your product does something very well. Highlight that and people will come. You don’t need to jazz it up with needless bells and whistles. They just convolute your message and probably confuse the people you’re trying to reach.


Probably the biggest problem companies face with Super Bowl Ads is having their message overshadowed by the glitz.  Here’s a test.  Off the top of your head name the ads for these three companies,  Bridgestone, Stella Artois, and Teleflora.  I bet you remembered once you saw them, but the problem was that the product wasn’t the focus of the commercial so these great ads didn’t do anything to help the companies.

Don't let your message get lost in the shuffle

With you social media efforts, it is very easy to do lots of creative stuff.  Just remember that your product must come first.  If it doesn’t, any creative efforts will have been wasted.


The one thing, perhaps more than any other, that social media has given to companies is the ability to interact with their customers.  This is true, even with Super Bowl ads.  This year, Doritos and Pepsi Max used commercials created by their fans.  Not only did this save them tons of money in production costs, but it gave their customers a vested interest in watching their commercials.

Pepsi and Doritos can teach you how to have your customers help you

You don’t have to be Pepsi or Frito-Lay to take advantage of this.  Use social media to connect with your customers and get their opinions of your product.  Take their suggestions seriously.  This doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your product, but it is likely that your customers have great ideas about your product you may not have thought about.  Connecting with your customers helps you to serve them better in good times and in bad.  And better customer service is always a good thing.


Perhaps the one area where companies fail in regards to Super Bowl Ads is with the celebrity endorsement.  In most cases, one of two things happen.  Either the celebrity outshines the product, or the relationship between the product and celebrity is unbelievable.  Neither is good for the product.  Take for example Groupon’s commercial.  Don’t get me wrong, but Timothy Hutton talking about Tibet, or a restaurant in Tibet, or New York or something doesn’t help Groupon at all. Same with Eminem and Chrysler.  Does anyone think Eminem drives a Chrysler?  Didn’t think so.

Does using celebrities help you sell your products? Best Buy thinks so.

A simple rule of thumb for using celebrities in your social media is this; if they like your product and say something nice about it in public, highlight it.  For instance, Jim Rome who’s a well known sports talk show host, loves Bombay Sapphire.  He talks about it all the time.  That relationship helps Bombay way more than if they hired some movie star who has obviously never had a sip of gin in their lives.  In short, if a celebrity uses your product, let people know.  If they don’t, don’t.


When it comes to Super Bowl Ads the bottom line is this, will your ad, which this year cost $3 million dollars, help your company make at least that in sales.  Really, that’s the only way to determine if your ad was a success.  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that many of these companies will get that kind of bump in sales from their ads.

You should be thinking about this when it comes to your social media efforts.  What will the return on your social media efforts be?  If you’re smart, social media can help you to increase your customer base by large numbers with not a lot of cost.  If you pooh pooh you social media, or if you don’t use it at all, you could be losing a lot.  So make sure you take your social media efforts seriously.

Super Bowl Ads are fun, but they can also help show us how to make our own businesses more successful.  This is particularly true with social media.  Hopefully, by implementing these five tips, you can create a Super Bowl quality social media campaign.

Hopes this helps you out.


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

Advice for PR Pros and Everyone Else

Andrew Hudson just got back from Argentina and shot this video.

Not only is this fantastic video but it reinforces that lessons can be learned everywhere, we just need look.


What is the lesson?  Nothing worth learning is gained easily, Grasshopper.

Continue reading

Slinging Slang: Five Tips To Help You Avoid Social Media Misunderstandings

I know you laughed.

I love my wife.  I really do.  There’s just one problem.

She doesn’t get my jokes.  Ever.

I got millions of ’em and they’re funny,  I swear.  Except to my wife.  I have told jokes that have put entire rooms of people into stitches, but when I tell her I get nothing excepts crickets.

It’s not her fault though.  You see, she is from Venezuela and simply hasn’t had the same experiences that I had growing up in the United States.   So when I tell a joke about “hillbillies” for example, she has no clue as to why we might find it funny.

The same goes for slang.  Everyone uses slang to some degree.  Slang helps form our identity.  I mean imagine

An innocent misstep forced Alicia Machado to close her Twitter account

a Texan not using “y’all,” or a New Yorker not shouting “fuggedaboutit”.  How boring.  On the flip side, you can get pretty lost if you aren’t familiar with the particular slang others are using.


It’s something to think about when you’re using social media.

Just ask Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.   Fox News Latino explains.

The Venezuelan model and actress told a Mexican radio station that her twitter post in which she called for “peace between the Chinas,” referring to North and South Korea was misunderstood.

“I said it in a very colloquial way and people misunderstood me,” E!Latino reports Machado saying. “Obviously, I know there is a bombing going on between North and South Korea. When I said the ‘Chinas,’ I was referring to the Asian continent.”

I feel for Ms. Machado.  She used slang that is very common in Venezuela, but because others didn’t understand, she was thought of as “dumb.”

To make matters worse, Machado had to close her Twitter account because she was being deluged with insults.


This can be a real problem for people and businesses using social media, particularly when you only have 140 characters to make a point, or when you’re posting something from your “Smart” phone.

Just because you know doesn't mean others will

So to save yourself from a that kind of headache, here are five tips to help you avoid those social media misunderstandings.


It’s really hard not to use any slang when using social media.  Just make sure you’re not getting to provincial.  The “slangier” you get, the better the chance you will be misunderstood and your real message will be lost.


It’s happened to all of us.  We make one innocent comment that gets taken the wrong way and we end up apologizing for years.  Remember that it’s what you said that matters, not what you meant.  If you see a word or phrase that you’re about to send out and you think it might be misconstrued, it will.  Change it.  You’ll be happy you did.


I love my smart phone.  One of the best things about it is the auto-correct.  Unfortunately, one of the worst things about it is, also, the auto-correct.  More people have gotten into trouble by not proof-reading the stuff they send out via phone.  Take a second to make sure your auto-correct hasn’t decided to sabotage you by changing “sink” into “stink” in that post you were sending about plumbers.


I have always been of the opinion that everyone is smart, except for the people who try to act smart.  It’s a sure way to get you into trouble.  Stay away from puns or witty phrases unless you’re sure everyone will get them.  Realize the people you think will get it, won’t.


Don’t immediately hit send after you write something.  Once you post it, it’s in the public forever.  Give yourself a count of five before pushing the send button.  Remember, it’s always better to reflect upon on a post you will send rather than reflecting upon a post you just sent.

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you to amplify your message.  But as Ms. Machado found out, social media can also amplify mistakes and misunderstandings.  Hopefully these tips will help you so that when your using social media you are able to say what you mean, and you mean what you say.

Hope that helps you out.

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

Google May Not Care About Your Reputation But You Should

Reputation should be every businesses social media focus.

It was a jaw-dropping story in the New York Times by David Segal.

SHOPPING online in late July, Clarabelle Rodriguez typed the name of her favorite eyeglass brand into Google’s search bar.

In moments, she found the perfect frames — made by a French company called Lafont — on a Web site that looked snazzy and stood at the top of the search results. Not the tippy-top, where the paid ads are found, but under those, on Google’s version of the gold-medal podium, where the most relevant and popular site is displayed.

Ms. Rodriguez placed an order for both the Lafonts and a set of doctor-prescribed Ciba Vision contact lenses on that site, The total cost was $361.97.

It was the start of what Ms. Rodriguez would later describe as one of the most maddening and miserable experiences of her life.

What transpires is a nightmare scenario for any consumer, and frankly, for any business as well.  It becomes even worse when you understand why this is happening.  From the company itself.

“Hello, My name is Stanley with,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”

It’s all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: “I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.”

I understand that this is an extreme example, but any publicity is good publicity right?

SEO is important, but not as much as your reputation

Well no.

Look, I don’t believe that this is the kind of thing that the vast majority of businesses would want to associate themselves with, but it brings up an interesting point.

What are you more interested in as a business, your SEO or your reputation?

You may laugh at that question, but I assure you, too many of you are putting your Google rankings ahead of your businesses good name.  In fact, the only difference between your business and the one above is scale.

Want Proof?  Here are three warning signs that you may be caring more about your SEO rather than your reputation.

  • Your focus on blog posts is toward key words rather than on highlighting your expertise.
  • You post based on what’s popular rather than on where you see solutions to problems.
  • You post about topics that are irrelevant to your business’ strengths.

If you’re doing any of these, you probably want to rethink your social media strategy.  Let me help.

Simply put, most businesses are created because they are able to fill a need.  Your primary goal with social media, really with all public relations, should be to highlight why people should trust you, and ultimately, do business with you.  Everything else is superfluous.

It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses don’t seem to get that.

Here’s a simple solution.

Rather than focusing on popular issues, pick topics with an eye towards highlighting how your business can offer solutions to problems.  If you happen to be able to address a topic that others are talking about, great.  But it shouldn’t be a focus.  Once you have a topic, lay out clearly and concisely what the issue is and how your business is ideally suited to fixing that problem.  Make the case that people should turn to you when they have similar issues.  Only after you have written your post should you worry about how to increase your ranking on Google.

So remember this.  Social media is not a popularity contest.  If it were, then all of us would be acting just like the business above, stooping to any level to rise in the ranks of Google.  This is not to say that you should just ignore SEO words or popular topics, you shouldn’t.  Just understand that your focus should primarily be on what your business can do for others.

Focus on your reputation.  Your future customers will thank you.

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

Talking Turkey: Five Tips To Make Your Thanksgiving And Your Social Media a Success

Can you spot the real turkey?

Every family has one.  It was the Thanksgiving from Hell.

You remember…as much as you don’t want to, you do.

It was the year that Mom didn’t do turkey.  Instead she tried the Mongolian-Irish-Colombian-Vegan eel recipe she got from the guy handing out fliers at the mall.  The meal was so bad that Uncle Silus got drunk and yelled at Cousin Teddy, who got drunk and took the sledge hammer to Great Grannie Edie’s heirloom crystal cat collection.  By the end of the evening, the men were passed out amongst the crystal chards while Mom, in tears, chased the dogs away from the untouched dinner, not realizing that the animals were the only things that got her cooking.

Ahh the memories.  The terrible, ungodly, please-god-never-ever-let-that-happen-again memories.  I think we can all agree that we never want to go there again.

Amazingly, similar stuff happens when businesses get cute with their social media.

The boss has no clue about social media so he appoints some kid to do it for him.  The kid “totally knows this rad new platform that all the other kids are using” and ends up spending thousands on some site that can only be accessed in South Korea.  Meanwhile, the Twitter page that a former worker set up, is being used as a “why work sucks” discussion between two other employees who had access because the ex-worker sent everyone the password in a email.

Yeah…no.  We don’t want that either.

Never fear.  Here are five tips to ensure that your Thanksgiving, and your social media, will be a success


Too often, people treat Thanksgiving as a game of “anything you can do, I can do better.”  They try to make the dish that will be the one that the family will talk about for years.  The problem is, it usually is.  No one wants vegan eels for Thanksgiving.  They want turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Just because it’s not unique doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious.   And because you’re comfortable making turkey, it probably will be.

The same goes for your social media.  Here’s a secret, the reason why most businesses stick to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is because those are the sites the everyone else is using.   Social media is a tool to let people know about all the great things your business is doing.   I could have the coolest social media set up, but if no one sees it, it won’t do me any good.  Sticking to the social media sites that your familiar with, that other people are familiar with, will give you a better chance of successfully getting your message across.


Let me tell you what "seconds" means

This is something we all do, and regret it every year.  We see all the food on the Thanksgiving table and want to eat it all.  Now!  Unfortunately, by the time we’re done piling everything on our plate we have mixed everything together into an indistinguishable brown pile of mush.  It might still taste good, but we miss the chance to taste each dish individually. We might find that some of the dishes we liked aren’t as tasty as we thought, while other that we might not have liked turn out to be our favorites.  Knowing this can be helpful when you’re going back for seconds.  Because there will always be seconds.

Too many of us seem to have the same problem when it comes to social media.  There are so many interesting social media tools that we just can’t resist using all of them.  Sadly, when it comes time to use those tools, we don’t have the time or understanding to truly take advantage of each tool’s unique strengths.  By using fewer tools and getting to know them well, you can find which ones really suit your social media needs.


Remember the time Crazy Uncle Silus got really drunk and started telling loud tales about his escapades in the red light district of Amsterdam, using the dog’s favorite toy to explain every graphic detail?  So does your Grandmother, which is why Unky Silly doesn’t seem to make Thanksgiving anymore.  No one wants to feel uncomfortable at Thanksgiving.  Keep it that way.

Same goes for social media.  The last thing you want is people to see your social media and feel uncomfortable.  If they do, you can bet on two things happening.  The first is that they won’t look at your social media anymore.  The second is that they will tell lots of other people who, also, won’t look at your social media anymore.

A good rule of thumb for making sure your social media is appropriate is to ask yourself if your grandmother would be o.k. reading your stuff.  If you can’t say yes, you might want to rethink what you’re writing.

You may remember Thanksgiving but your family will


I don’t mean to keep reminding you about that Thanksgiving nightmare you’ve been trying to forget, but it should serve as a reminder of why everyone should mind their manners over the holidays.  Crazy Uncle Silus wasn’t always “crazy.”  But down a whole bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream and lay waste to a family heirloom and that’s all anyone will remember.  Don’t be that person.  Don’t talk politics.  Don’t bring up embarrassing stories about yourself or anyone else.  If you do, I can assure you, you’ll be hearing about it for the rest of your life.

Screwing up on social media has the same effect.  You make one unfortunate remark in a blog post, or malign someone’s mother in a tweet and you will never be able to put it behind you.  This is particularly bad if the faux pas happens on your businesses’ social media sites.  Your business will always be associated with that mistake.  Google will make sure of that.  So make sure you proof your work, and please no drunken Twitter posts.  No one wants that.


It is natural at Thanksgiving for the alcohol to flow as much as the food does.  A pre-meal martini, wine with dinner, a beer watching football and pretty soon you’re feeling pretty happy.  Make sure you aren’t driving.  Getting a DUI would definitely fall under the “Screw Up” section above.  Worse would be having a crash that killed you or someone else.  Thanksgiving would never be the same.  Having a designated driver will ensure that your family remembers Thanksgivings past for the right reasons.

Having a designated driver for your social media is essential as well.  Giving multiple people access to your businesses’ social media is just asking for trouble.  The more people who have access, the better the chance of an online train wreck.  Remember the “work sucks” employees?    You just don’t want that.  Make sure you have one person who is in charge of your social media.  It will make your message clearer and there will be a significantly less chance of having any social media “mistakes.”

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities to having a successful Thanksgiving and a successful social media campaign.  If you make sure to keep it simple, don’t put too much on your plate, remember grandma, limit your screw ups and appoint a designated driver, your Thanksgiving and you social media will give you a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all

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