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Is SEO and online public relations really the same thing?
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 by Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestroIn many businesses the public relations department as well as the SEO department work together.

They both deal with marketing online, they both make connections with other editors, they both write content, and they both promote this content.

Because SEO is still a new industry and public relations have slowly moved to the online realm, it is becoming harder and harder to see the difference between the two professions. If you’re an SEO or a PR pro, it’s natural to ask yourself: We might have different titles, but are we doing the same thing.

Where PR and SEO Differ

Although there might be some similarities, there are enough differences to make sure that these two departments remain separate. In many situations, you can’t do the job of the other. A few of these differences include:
  • Analytics and Data – SEO spends a lot of time analyzing results and tracking certain keywords and clicks. This is something that public relations departments generally steer away from. In other words, SEOs put a focus on the Google bots and are always conducting research and using different tools to optimize a website.
  • Offline Appearances – Public relations pros are often making appearances offline, which is quite different than answering a question or explaining a company via the Internet. You have to be outgoing, and you have to be able to think on your feet. This is something that isn’t needed nearly as much in the SEO world.
  • Content Creation – The way that the two departments create content is completely different. Although both want to write content that gets readers engaged, SEOs have to write a much larger number and therefore shorter pieces. PR professionals are the opposite—they write long pieces of detailed content less frequently.
The differences might not seem like many, but they are major aspects of each profession. The three things discussed above make up a large amount of the day for both SEO and PR, and because they differ so much, they actually compliment each other quite well.

Why PR and SEO Departments Work Well Together

Just because the two professions deal with different aspects of marketing does not mean that there isn’t some overlap when it comes to the two. There are a few different ways that PR and SEO compliment each other:

First, both have their own set of contacts and relationships. Public relations typically have more authoritative contacts in the media, so they can work with SEO to help get backlinks on those websites. SEO will be able to tell the PR pros what keywords to utilize and what links to use when writing and publishing articles online.

Second, both departments are in charge of writing content for both the site as well as third party sites. Public relations should be able to offer engaging content for readers and help keep things current, while SEO will be able to write a higher volume of articles for link building and educating readers.

Finally, SEO will be able to tell the PR department how their content is doing in terms of clicks and traffic. This can help the PR team determine where they should put their focus. On that same note, PR departments will know what is buzzing outside the online world, which should give SEOs a good for the next piece of content for the site.

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and
entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density
to recovering from searcn engine updates.

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