One of my more popular talks on the conference circuit (back when that was a thing) was the intersection of two marketing disciplines at seemingly polar opposite ends of the spectrum. You won’t find too many SEOs that are also strong communicators- those that are, often go on to run their own agencies, or, at the very least, are also found on the aforementioned circuit of conferences. Likewise, you’ll be hard-pressed to force a Comms pro to sit down and perform the highly technical (and occasionally monotonous) work of technically optimizing a site. SEOs are more likely to sit at the developers’ lunch table, while PR pros are more likely to run with influencers, journalists, and content creators- what some might refer to as “the cool kids’ table.”
Most PR agencies will eventually branch into social media as a service because it’s one of the easiest services for a communications firm to implement into their business model. Many start this endeavor with a single intern at the helm.
But SEO is too technical of a skill set for most PR agency leaders to properly vet, hire, and manage as a service. Meanwhile, SEO shops are unlikely to expand into PR services for the exact same reason: it’s outside the agency management’s natural skillset to properly manage. Instead, you’ll see SEOs branch off into paid search or even web development first, which are far more familiar sandboxes for SEO agencies to expand into.
The situation isn’t any different in-house. Even if both services are fulfilled completely in-house, which isn’t that common, they most often operate in silos with limited communication. The SEO team likely reports upstream to the VP of Marketing, while the PR team might consist of a single Comms Director working in concert with the CEO and potentially collaborating on social media strategy from time to time.
And herein lies the opportunity.
If your SEO and PR teams are communicating with one another, you’ll get:
– Superior Coverage Opportunity Prioritization
– More Efficient Link Building Opportunities
– Decreased Risk of Google Penalties
– Increased Link Acquisition From Brand Mentions
It starts with leadership adopting the deep generalist mindset and understanding both disciplines, and then hiring SEO and PR pros that are open to collaboration outside of their respective silos. Whether the talent resides completely in-house, agency-side, or a mix of the two, brands and their marketing leaders need to capitalize on this opportunity in 2021. The ROI is too great to pass up on this opportunity.
Not ready to bring either or both of these disciplines in-house? Get yourself an agency that understands both (Fidelitas is open for business and growing).
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