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PushON at SAScon 2013 – Day 1: Social Media Meets PR Meets SEO

SAScon Live

Social MEdia meets pr meets seo – judith lewis, beyond, charlotte walker, carat and karyn fleeting, stowe family law

Judith introduces the session and hands over to Karyn and Charlotte…

Karyn Says…

I’m not a PR cheerleader. I built a comms team from the ground up, had to consider all elements (including SEO, PR & Social). I had to consider how to combine these three successfully. This requires people with flexible and agile skill sets. I’m also a blogger myself, so I’m used to being on the other side of online outreach.

Charlotte Says…

Previously each discipline has been quite siloed… nowadays people require a more varied skill set.

Judith says…

I work in SEO so most of my life revolves around building links. Nowadays, this requires and understanding of PR and social. You need to have a foot in each of these worlds.

So, do SEOs make good PRs?

Charlotte says…

In a word, no. For me it doesn’t really make sense to try to shoehorn and SEO into PR which is a completely different profession. We have a PR team and an SEO team and it’s important that they work together and understand each others roles, but it should be the right expert for the right job.

Karyn says…

I disagree. I wouldn’t have always – I used to think SEOs are awful at PR. But I do think it’s now impossible to be a good SEO without good PR skills, and vice versa. I get an avalanche of emails every day requesting all types of link. I’ve noticed that over the last few year these requests have improved dramatically. That said, I do find the best approaches are coming from PRs, but I find SEOs are closing the gaps. You do see a lot of digital agencies setting up their own PRm teams so it’s clearly become an important part of the process. I find that SEOs sometimes have a blinkered view of what PR is and what it can achieve. PRs take a more holistic approach.

Judith says…

Do SEOs make good PRs? Sometimes yes… sometimes no. I run a blog too and some of the approaches I get from SEO are great and some of them are PANTS. So I’m going to sit on the fence.

Any questions?

A man in a purple shirt asks…

Who’s going to be the lead in the SEO/PR/Social relationship? Who takes control in a multi-agency situation?

Charlotte says…

- This is something we deal with on a daily basis. I say the client should choose who’s taking charge as they have the best idea of what they want to achieve.It’s important to set clear objectives and KPIs for each agency.

The man in the purple shirt says…

I don’t think if often works out like that though because a lot of marketing managers just don’t know. Maybe that’s where multi-discipline agencies can really clear up.

Karyn says…

From a marketing pespective, the problem with that is, what if one team within the agency is not as good as the others? But there is also the issue of the tension and fighting between agencies. The marketing manager should insist on regular inter-agency meetings to encourage good teamwork.

PushON’s own Dan Collier (wearing a blue sweater) asks…

What do you think makes a PR better than an SEO for outreach? Do you think the SEO label actually hinders them?

Karyn says….

I don’t think the SEO label is necessarily an issue. PRs tend to do more research and present more creative propositions that fit in with my blog, while SEOs tend to throw money. There is still this divide, but the gap is closing.

Judith says…

- I have  sign on my site that says “I am not your link bitch, so don’t treat me as such”. So I don’t get much contact from SEOs.

Charlotte says…

- We have an SEO outreach team, which works much like the PR team, considering how we can build up relationships with bloggers and the like. It’s all about real life contact.

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