Google has recently changed the game regarding search engine optimization (SEO). On Thursday Google announced that it was upgrading its search engine algorithm, codenamed Hummingbird. This new update has followed in the wake of other structural updates including Panda and Penguin.
These updates have creating significant buzz on the Internet, specifically among advertisers and marketing professionals. The concern revolves around the effectiveness of previously established SEO techniques (i.e., link optimization). PR professionals have also raised concerns due to the changes
regarding press releases.
Debate about these new changes and the effectiveness of PR tactics such as media releases will no doubt continue for years to come. However, theses new rules provide an opportunity to remind our clients and management that while SEO does play an important part in the technical side of PR, there is indeed more to PR than improving your search engine rankings.
More than Just Press Releases
Does your C-Suite understand the strategic role of PR? Google’s media announcements, provides a chance to inform those departments about both the technical and strategic roles of public relations.
Although the most recent 2012 GAP Study noted that 60% of companies PR/COM report directly to the C-Suite (CEO, CCO, etc.), it is important to evaluate the C-Suite’s knowledge of PR and when necessary help change perceptions.
In communicating with the C-Suite it is also helpful to highlight the limitations of specific tactics. For example, online media releases will continue to be affected by changing policy and search engine updates, however, high quality content and strategic placement of resources will continue to have a strong place in effective campaigns.
Timing is everything
In PR timing is crucial. If Google’s announcements are creating buzz at your company it may be a great chance to increase awareness about the strategic role of public relations. The technical side of PR will always be directly influenced by changes in technology, however it is the strategic side that will navigate these changes and ensure that your company will reap the benefits.