Lee Odden

PR and Social Media: PRSA Teleseminar

Tomorrow the PRSA is conducting a teleseminar “PR and Social Media – What every practitioner needs to know“.

Take a first-hand look at the phenomena that are redefining the practice of public relations.  Hear from three digital PR pioneers about the array of new tools, strategies and channels available to today’s practitioner from Facebook and Second Life to blogger relations, digital video and search engine reputation management.

As has been the case with a number of public relations industry events, I am tasked with bringing a search marketing perspective to a PR and social media focused panel. A similar session was held at the PRSA International Conference last year, “Social Media for PR Practitioners“, so the seminar tomorrow will be a nice update.

The PR and Social Media event will include an interesting cast of PR characters:

  • Peter Himler from Flatiron Communications and The Flack blog who will be handling moderator duties.
  • David Bradfield, senior VP/partner at Fleishman-Hillard and manager of the FH Digital team
  • Nicco Mele, founder and president of EchoDitto
  • Lee Odden, CEO TopRank and co-founder of Misukanis Odden Public Relations

Interestingly, PR and web 2.0 pundit Steve Rubel made an alarmist post recently that SEOs using social media for search engine optimization benefits are going to ruin the fabric of the community. I have an opinion about that including the surprising fact that Steve is just noticing this trend now.

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about social media as a search marketing channel for well over a year and Online Marketing Blog has been warning SEOs about abusing social media since April 2007 with posts like “Social Media Marketing – Get it Straight” and “5 Blunders with Social News and Bookmarking“. Heck, there’s an entire conference dedicated to the subject of social media marketing, you may have heard of it, SMX Social Media. 🙂

I do happen to agree with Steve that over aggressive SEO efforts will have an effect on communities, but I’m not so sure it will ruin them. It makes no sense to ruin a channel that can be so productive. There’s also a difference between participating in social communities in a search engine friendly way and blatant manipulation for SEO purposes. Obviously, we advocate the former.

What I can promise you for the PRSA teleconference tomorrow is a fresh perspective on how PR professionals as well as marketers can better understand the unique opportunities with social media as a communications platform and the power of community. Many of the benefits of participating in social media communities come in the form of influence, credibility and brand trust as well as search engine and online marketing benefits.

The teleseminar happens tomorrow, so be sure to visit the PRSA site if you want more info or to register.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Here are the prices if you need them.
    Member $150 / Non-Member $250

  2. I’ve tried both, shamefully manipulating Social Media purely for SEO, and doing it properly to provide a better user experience.

    In the former, I not only didn’t get any benefit from Google, but I got a bit of a smackdown by other Social Media users.

    NEVER again shall I attempt such things. It simply isn’t worth it and it takes a while to get the tarnish off your name.