I feel sorry for PR professionals. Mix a huge new field of influencers (bloggers and socially connected content producers of all kinds) with incredibly easy, instant access to published information (RSS readers and persistent searches), and it amazes me that the debate rages:
How do you succeed at generating buzz about your company?
Take Guy Kawasaki’s “How to Change the World” blog recently, for example.
Blame it on the client.
Who needs an agency? Do it yourself.
Frankly, I think we should all be taking a hard look at ourselves and asking: Are we stuck in this endless debate because we’re afraid to try something new?
The opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience in your market niche is here. The tools to reach them are here. Just put them together and use them.
How to Build Buzz: An Enterprise 2.0 PR Primer:
Link your PR efforts with your Search Engine Marketing efforts (SEMPR).
It seems extraordinarily obvious to me. Use your search engine marketing savvy to feed your public relations efforts. These two disciplines may live in two or more different people in your organization, but put them together now! My bet is the PR team will learn a lot from the SEM team.
And hereâ€™s a 30,000 foot overview as to why:
The three pillars of search are â€“ relevant keywords, quality links and fresh content.
Use your knowledge of what people are looking for online (find search terms that are performing well for you in your Pay Per Click campaigns) â€“ to create relevant keyword phrases, and feed those relevant keyword phrases into your press releases and blog posts as well as your web site.
People looking for your product or service are more likely to find your â€˜newsâ€™ or news coverage interesting because the phrases theyâ€™re looking for are suddenly called out for them.
There are two ways to gain links online. First, link to your site from your press releases. I’m amazed at how few people do. Second, find people who blog about your industry and comment on their posts. It’s likely you’ll be able to link to quality reference material on your own site to back up your comment â€“ if youâ€™re being thoughtful about your references. Quality is key to this activity. Make a good point and back it up with good data.
Suddenly you’ll be engaged in conversations about your market all over the web, and every link back to your site will help your ‘buzz.’ As your site gets links, it gains awareness from the search engines. As you speak about your market, you and your company will gain awareness.If you then write about your conversations on your own blog, youâ€™ll be perceived as a knowledgeable, engaged participant in your industry, not just your company. And it’s probably good for you to get out once in awhile.
All of this activity will infuse your web sites with fresh content, naturally. And the more often your web site is updated with fresh, relevant content, the more the search engine spiders will love to crawl and index your site. The more they index your site, the more you’ll show up when people (editors, analysts, prospects and potential buyers) search for information using (you guessed it) those keyword phrases you’ve optimized for.
It’s a compelling circle of love, and it really works.