Are PR companies keeping up with the times? What exactly should you expect from your PR company?

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If you have hired a PR Agency in the past or are currently using one to produce news articles or gain coverage for your company, are you getting what you pay for? How do you monitor their online performance?
What are your PR firm actually doing to improve your presence in the market and how can they prove the effectiveness of their efforts? Do they have the expertise to promote your business online and are they doing so effectively?

In the past, PR companies would churn out Press Releases every month and ‘distribute’ these on your behalf but the truth of the matter is that there is no guarantee that the methods they were using generated any enquiries nor that the Press Releases were picked up and used in relevant publications. PR companies can choose to use various distribution services which suit their business but does it meet you online objectives? Have they recommended an appropriate social media strategy? Are they ‘tweeting’ on your behalf? Twitter and other powerful forms of social networking are especially relevent for B2B firms and b2b PR.

If your PR firm have written and distributed a Press Release for your company, you should be following this up to find out how much exposure the news has received. Which online and offline publications have published this and what audience was reached? It is after all the customer who you are trying to sell your services to, not the editors of publications.

If your PR firm has moved with the times and they ‘optimise’ your Press Releases for search engine purposes and these are then published, your customer can not only read your news but they can also click through to relevant ‘landing pages’ on your own website – a far more beneficial method than simply publishing a word document.

Charges for publishing and distributing optimised releases vary depending upon the service you opt for. Some distribution services can charge as much as $200 to optimise, and distribute a single Press Release so many PR firms in the past have avoided this expensive method in favour of less expensive or free news distribution services that DON’T optimise the news releases. These methods are quickly becoming redundant in favour of SEO Press Release distribution services that serve a much greater purpose since the majority of your customers have access to the internet and use search engines for research.

Don’t be put off though, there are B2B SEO Press Release Distribution portals that cost little or nothing, so make sure your PR firm is aware of the options available to them before they pay $200 and charge it back to your company!

Some hard copy journals MAY pick up your news article if it is deemed a relevant feature for a particular issue but if not, the news article will go un-noticed, un-read and become obsolete if a SEO Distribution service is not used.  Luckily, the internet has evolved so dramatically that a well written, SEO, keyword–rich publication will be read by potential customers AND will add weight to the ranking of your own website if the correct distribution methods are used.

Questions you should ask your PR company about your Press Releases:
1) Are they optimised for search engine purposes?
2) Will they be distributed to relevant publications (both online and hard copy)?
3) Are they going to be published in relevant publications?

If your PR firm answers ‘yes’ to all 3 of these questions, you will be able to monitor the performance of your news and you are on the right track.

To optimise, publish and distribute all of your Industry News, you can do this within a relevant Industry News section on the Industry Directory.

For more information about B2B SEO, strategic marketing, press release distribution, online PR, SEO (search engine optimisation), visit www.simplymarcomms.co.uk or subscribe to this blog here

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2 Responses to “Are PR companies keeping up with the times? What exactly should you expect from your PR company?”

  1. David Spencer says:

    Interesting blog and agree with your points. It should also be noted that in order to optimise releases for SEO you need to understand what the client’s customer will be searching for on google and other search engines.

    This means that the PR consultant must have a sound understanding of the business and perhaps even have access to some of the client’s analytics from the website – what keywords are used to find the website for instance? Its not one way traffic using online/digital PR but rather a joint learning exercise.

    It also means that if the PR consultant is good and does understand both the client’s market and the relevant media, then they are best placed to optimise coverage in online journals and to ensure that this coverage is high up in the search. It should also go without saying that the content still has to be strong to engage the customer and build trust.

    Also what about self publishing through microsites, linked in and other digital networking opportunities?

  2. Shaun Prasser says:

    The easiest way to build traffic to your website is through backlinks. It is the most amazing way to drive traffic to your site.This is a true asset if we are dealing with a site that will flood up visitors. High quality backlinks is a plus. Although wide array of choices of backlinks but I prefer one way backlinks. Although there are many ways to drive visitors, but for me, I personally choose backlinks because in this way your site will flood out of visitors and the more traffic, the more money will come to your pocket.

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