There was a thread on UKBF recently asking for recommendations on PR companies. Someone suggested the money would be better spent on SEO – a debate ensued over what was best, PR or SEO.
My opinion is that they’re two different things and ideally you should use both (sitting on the fence for a change, basically!)
Andy Barr from 10Yetis then posted his tuppence-worth. 10Yetis is a PR Agency we used for years in the early days of KashFlow and Andy also happens to know enough about SEO to give most people a run for their money (he’ll deny this allegation though as he’s too modest). So when he speaks, I listen. I thought his comments were interesting enough to warrant reproducing here:
Timing could not be better for this thread as we have our second instance of having to pitch for a new client where one of the companies we are pitching against is a SEO company.
At the min I see there are being two types of PR Agency, traditional ones who don’t dabble with online media in any way, and then the new breed of agency who understands online media and have their own “specialists” in various fields.
We were really lucky in that early on in our existence we worked with several clients who really opened our eyes to the value of understanding SEO and how PR can work brilliantly alongside campaigns.
As we progressed as an agency we kept coming up against the SEO conversation time and time again, and how we can prove that we can deliver similar value and returns… and so ps3pricecompare.co.uk was born!
We set up this site and optimised it as best we could and then the only marketing we gave it was EXCLUSIVELY PR.
We chose PS3’s because it is a saturated market, meaning it would be tough to rank highly for key terms, and also more importantly because the commission levels for a PS3 sale is quite good. 🙂
Oh yeah, revenue is based on traditional affiliate model, i.e sale = commission payment.
So, we launched the site with a Press Release about something scandalous (think it was about blokes wanting to play games more than they want to have sexy-time with their better half) and it immediately got coverage, including valuable in bound links.
Within 2 months the site was mid way up page one of google for the term “Cheap PS3” – a key phrase researched from using Hitwise.
We have continued PR’ing it every 2 months or so and the site is now in the top 6/7 page one of google and more importantly delivering a very health revenue stream that we never really anticipated.
So, nothing other than some on-site SEO from our own knowledge and a good blast of PR to build some valuable authority links.
We now use the site as a good example to show people we know about PR and it has also inspired me to set up a few other sideline sites that are only promoted via PR.
I guess that I am trying to say that I think finding a PR agency that understands and can contribute to your existing SEO activity is what people should be looking for and this does not mean one or the other, SEO’s and PR’s should be working in tandem.
Wise words and something to bear in mind when choosing a PR agency.
Update – The Yetis have written this up in a more polished form on their own blog.