A blog post we just encountered could use some polishing, but wherever it came from it's making an important point: Public relations and search engine optimization (SEO) are closely related crafts and, thus, need to be closely coordinated. SEO awareness belongs in a PR toolkit, not just in those of web designers, marketeers, or IT staffers.
Once created, websites often take on lives of their own. They sit out there drawing viewers, but busy folks in the originating organization may pay them little heed. Too bad, for websites need to be continually monitored and updated to yield their best relational advantage. And that's a PR role, more than an IT one. We know of one site that didn't clearly identify its service offering and thus was banished to Google's outer reaches.
The post at hand notes that PR people can be helpful in keyword brainstorming, writing quality press releases, link building and tracking a site's rankings in light of a given branding effort. We'd add writing and updating copy for the site itself and insuring that it's easy for a visitor to use. Websites are our faces to the world, and they need to be kept trim and current. We need to be attracting visitors, welcoming them in, noting where they're coming from as well as what impressions they may be getting of us.
A website thus does a lot to identify an organization's publics, a prime PR role. Don't neglect your website – avoid setting and forgetting it. Awareness of SEO techniques and Web etiquette is important to keep that from happening.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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