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Bad news for Chipotle last week, as a judge ruled it was at fault for firing an employee who tweeted a negative comment about working there.
But while the fajita-flogger might not be happy about the situation, I think brands could certainly learn a few things at the expense of Chipotle’s misery.
As we all know, digital marketing ceased to exist last year. In January 2013, Forrester announced it was to be the year that ‘digital marketing’ became just ‘marketing’.
I’d like to posit that something similar happened to PR. In fact I think it happened earlier, though we have yet to have had the debate.
There’s no doubt that the internet has changed marketing’s function and activities, but its impact on PR has simply been to expand the discipline’s footprint.
In a world where everyone is a communicator, PR’s influence is all-pervasive. It’s for this reason that I find the term ‘online PR’ to be so reductive.
The press release, the original tool of the PR pro, is broken.
It happened in stages. First there came email, prior to which press releases had been faxed or posted to editors, the laboriousness of the task forcing PR people to choose their targets with appropriate care and attention.
But with email, you can grab a list and not think twice about bunging it out to all and sundry. The result was laziness leading to abuse.
Then came the SEO industry. The press release’s power for generating link juice was spotted. Stick a press release on a wire and regardless of its quality or newsworthiness, its content and links will get replicated across the web, even on some authoritative domains.
Once again, the result was laziness leading to abuse.
There are few companies or organisations that can come close to rivalling the power that Google wields over the internet and search in particular.
So when the search engine updated its rules on unnatural link schemes recently, making specific reference to press releases, it triggered a rather alarmist article from ZDNet asking whether Google had killed PR agencies.
The convergence of PR and SEO is something we’ve covered previously on the blog, with articles focusing on the importance of search optimised PR and suggesting seven SEO tools to improve online PR efficiency.
However the article on ZDNet understandably (and probably intentionally) ruffled a few feathers within the PR industry as it painted them as black hat SEOs, out to flood the internet with dull, keyword loaded press releases just so they could help their clients climb a few places in search rankings.
Recently I’ve had the pleasure of training a number of PR agencies on how they can work Search Engine Optimisation into their service offerings.
It’s no secret that lots of SEO agencies and teams are trying to do the reverse at the same time.
While this merging of disciplines is no big surprise, something that I hadn’t anticipated is just how useful SEO tools can be for people carrying out online PR.
You won’t have to travel far in this or any 2013 trend prediction piece to find that some of the most insightful thought leaders are proclaiming “content is King” when it comes to driving success in a digital world. I’m not buying that.
I don’t think content is King. I actually believe that we will in a digital world where convenience is King and content, is, in fact King Kong. And the link between the two is a powerful tool called Discovery.
The importance of Content Marketing across business sectors and organizations of all sizes continues to grow year over year.
When we surveyed marketers in October in association with Outbrain we found 90% of respondents believing that it will become more important over the next 12 months.
Here are six content marketing trends to watch in the next 12 months...
According to a recent talk at Outbrain NY, one of the most powerful voices of online news discovery, Gabe Rivera, believes algorithms will never be able to curate as effectively as humans.
This is why your content marketing initiatives should never underestimate human action.
It is about time that the public relations industry got to grips with SEO. As part of my work I have spent a lot of time building an SEO PR proposition, however many agencies still ignore the subject.
Apart from a few savvy PR agencies, the majority of PRs just don’t understand the relationship between PR and search engine visibility, let alone how to measure if this visibility leads to some sort of ‘conversion.’
Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Effective Blogger Relations is essential to brands these days. The high degree of trust of consumers in blogs, and the ability of bloggers to influence purchase decisions, make it hard to overstate the importance of this discipline.
Blogger relations are as important as they are delicate. Gaining positive coverage from bloggers is harder than being secretly criticised, publicly flamed or simply ignored.
Here are nine tips that will increase the chances of success from your Blogger Relations programme...
Econsultancy and LBi / bigmouthmedia have launched the 2011 State of Social Media survey, which aims to benchmark trends and levels of spending within the market.
As with similar studies published in 2009 and 2010, the research is based on a survey of client-side marketers and in-house PR professionals, as well as agencies, consultants and other specialists working in the social media arena.
More than 600 companies have already completed the survey since Friday, a great response which shows that interest in this topic shows no sign of abating.
Many companies are under the impression that opinion about brands on Twitter is mostly negative, but a new survey conducted by Econsultancy (and supported by Toluna) shows evidence to the contrary.
The Twitter for Business Guide, published earlier this week, includes findings from consumer research, which indicates that a higher proportion of consumers have conveyed positive, rather than negative feedback on the social platform.