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Samuel Scott's presentation from a webinar he gave at Moz in October 2014 that discussed how traditional public relations is the best way to build brand awareness and earn quality, authoritative backlinks. He went through the process of goal identification, target market identification, messaging and positioning, media list creation, press release development, and pitching. He also described how to integrate SEO and PR best practices into a holistic, integrated marketing strategy.
How to Integrate PR
Into SEO Strategy
By Samuel Scott
Senior Director of Digital Marketing, The Cline Group
Join us on Twitter at #Mozinar
Questions or problems? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cline Group
- Global, strategic marketing and PR firm
- Offices in New York, Philadelphia,
Tel Aviv, and Naples
Senior Director of Digital Marketing
- Former journalist turned Internet
- Certifications from Google, Hubspot,
- B.S. in journalism from Boston University
with International M.B.A. studies at
Bar-Ilan University in Israel
- Based in Tel Aviv
What is PR?
It’s a lot more than being a spokesperson
What is PR?
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s
“Public relations is a strategic
communication process that builds
mutually beneficial relationships between
organizations and their publics.”
Why is PR Important?
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing:
– Outbound (like PR) creates new demand
– Inbound fulfills existing demand
Why is PR Important?
The best “off-page SEO” methods have always just
been PR by other names
– “Guest posts” are just by-lined articles
– “Content plus outreach” predates the Web
– Asking anyone for links is just PR
Why is PR Important?
“If I had to choose between your average link builder and
an expert PR professional who knew how to approach and
interact with media outlets and presented well on camera,
I’d go for the public relations person any day of the week.”
—Everett Sizemore, seOverflow
The PR Process
1. Goal Identification
2. Target Market Identification
3. Messaging and Positioning
4. Media List Creation
5. Press Release Development & Pitching
6. Packaging and Follow-Up
PR is a means to the end of getting coverage that
supports a company’s overall goals.
• Gain VC funding or to exit by selling
• Maximize downloads of our mobile application
• Gain more users of our B2B software
• Build our brand through authoritative content
Target Market Identification
Research and compile a list of the general
targeted audiences based on the goals
Messaging and Positioning
How will you brand yourself?
How will you use text and more to
communicate the positioning?
Media List Creation
• Compile a list of outlets read by the target
audiences + relevant writers
• An ideal media list contains:
• Publications read by the target audience
• The specific writers who’d be most interested
• Large social-media followings
• Online sites with high Domain Authority
Audience Research (SEO)
• Create a persona (http://moz.com/blog/personas-understanding-the-person-
• Use random affinities (http://moz.com/blog/growing-your-audience-with-random-
Audience Research (PR)
• Existing company information & CRM data
• Customer surveys
• Audience data from firms such as ESRI
Use all of the research and information to create
an overall persona of the target audience!
Messaging & Positioning
Fill out these blanks:
The Importance of Co-Occurrence
Get reporters and writers to describe you with the
keyword-influenced terms you want!
XXXXXXXXX is a performance advertising platform,
focused exclusively on mobile. XXXXXXX’s targeting
technology makes use of all available data to
guarantee advertiser’s ROI.
XXXXXXX generates revenue for advertisers based on a cost-per-action
(CPA) business model, rather than cost per impression (CPM) or a cost
per click (CPC) offered by other mobile advertising providers,
XXXXXXXXX reaches more than 190 countries, generating over 2 billion
impressions per month.
XXXXXXXX has five operational sites around the world, with a focus on
the most dominant and emerging markets in the US and Asia Pacific
XXXXXXXXX is backed by strategic investors in the mobile space
including XXXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXX, providing the company
with access to the highly lucrative Asian mobile market.
XXXXXXX is the dominant mobile performance advertising player in
Asia, the fastest growing and the leading region of the world
concerning mobile advertising revenue and investment, with 49.2% of
total mobile ad revenue in 2011 alone:
– XXXXXXXX has little direct competition for its mobile real-time
– Ad networks do not performance CPA marketing, advertiser
authentication, or effective targeting solutions.
User targeting technologies are currently focused primarily on the
online segment with the world’s largest brands struggling to apply
those same rules for mobile. XXXXXXX’s technology allows brands to
take advantage of the mobile’s unique traits (on-the-go, location, click-to-
call, always on etc.)
With five operational sites across the globe, XXXXXXXXX is a leading
performance mobile advertising platform which uses real-time,
propriety targeting technology, to guarantee advertiser ROI.
XXXXXXXXX helps advertisers monetize their advertising budgets,
through acquiring customers and gaining valuable insight into usage
Backed by some of the most respected investors in the mobile industry
including XXXXXX, XXXXXXX, XXXXXX and XXXXX, XXXXXXXX works with
Fortune 500 companies to plan, design, execute and optimize their
mobile ad campaigns, guaranteeing they achieve their ROI goals.
Other Messaging Documents
• Elevator pitch
• Customer pains and your solutions
• Top five points (for interviews)
• Executive bios, FAQ documents, etc.
• Blurbs for social-media profiles
• Website meta titles and meta descriptions
• Website text
Channel Research (SEO)
Research Tools: Google Analytics, Open Site Explorer, ahrefs
Bulk URL checker: SEO Weather
Channel Research (PR)
Major PR Software Programs: Cision, Vocus, and Meltwater
Execution & Adjustment
Both SEO and PR can use data!
What PR Can Learn From SEO
• Which traffic from what outlets tends to
convert the most and bounce the least?
• Are branded searches increasing following the
• When links from outlets are broken or have
What SEO Can Learn From PR
• From what outlets (and type of outlets) is it
easiest to get coverage and links?
• The best practices for personal outreach and
communication (for social media and more)
• How reporters and others are responding to
the company’s online presence
The Point to Remember
Don’t think about how to get links. Think about how to get coverage and
publicity! The links will then come naturally as a result. You are not building
anything artificially, so you will never have to worry about Google penalties.