While Public Relations Management as a discipline has been around for a while now, the recent trends in Search Engine Optimization and the evident overlap between these two disciplines has given rise to a turf war that show no sign of ending anytime soon. While professionals belonging to both these disciplines focus on defending their roles to a great extent, a significant mistake that everybody is making at this point is, not taking the initiative to actually understand what optimization means and how it is relevant to PR management.
Optimization initiatives on search engines aim to ensure that the website of any business receives a good ranking as results for relevant search terms. Consequently, the primary objective of public relations management is to ensure that the brand has a positive reputation among its target audience and stakeholders.
Where do these Functions Overlap?
When described in simple terms, the two disciplines seem so very different. Yet, the main reason behind the friction between these two functions is that they tend to make use of very similar strategies to achieve their own respective core objectives.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your website’s ranking is to have other websites link back to your own pages. If your links appear on authoritative and well reputed websites, especially on respected media sites such as the New York Times, BBC etc., it s deemed to be of great value and an interesting way to convince these brands to talk about your company in their content.
Evidently, there is a conflict on this exact point, where the PR teams of a business believe that maintaining relationships with the media is meant to be their job.
At the same time, optimization experts also need to innovate and find ways to engage with internet based media in order to achieve those back-links and mentions on the World Wide Web.
In addition to interacting with high-profile media, Optimization experts are also working with a number of other reputed websites which may or may not belong to media to achieve more back-links on the internet. More often than not, PR teams tend to disapprove the content of the articles of the type of websites that optimization experts chose to associate with.
The Complexities of Social Media Integration
When social media platforms such as blogs and other networking websites come into play, there is an added opportunity for content and search engine experts to post a lot of keyword-rich content to attract further attention. At the same time, PR teams will want to make use of the same space to publish news announcements and other leadership related articles. There is a clear difference of opinion and objective between these two functions which tends to convert into a violent disagreement on the ownership of these social media platforms.
The practical thing to do is for businesses to draw lines between each department and design specific jurisdictions even on the internet space. For example, it would make more sense for the optimization projects to be executed on social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, since they also benefit the rankings and the PR could take over aspects which help in effectively managing the reputation of the business on the internet.
Whether or not a solution is arrived at with respect to these two disciplines, they both remain to play significant roles in the growth of the business in the long run.