TopRank Marketing Editor

PRSA 2008: What’s The ROI On Your Press Release?

Greg Jarboe at PRSA 2008

Working for TopRank Online Marketing, which offers both SEO and public relations services, I always enjoy attending sessions that focus on both.

In part, it’s an excellent feeling to know that the SEO services we integrate into our online PR programs are ahead of the game in many ways, and in part because there is always something new and of value I can continue to offer to our clients.

That was my exact feeling when attending the PRSA session “What’s The ROI On Your Press Release.”  This excellent session was presented by:

  • Greg Jarboe, President, SEO-PR
  • Laura Sturaitis, Senior Vice President Media Services & Product Strategy, Business Wire
Lee Odden

Pubcon Session: Press and Public Relations Campaigns

SEO PR Tactics Measurement

The last session of the day for me was “Press and Public Relations Campaigns” with Robin Liss of Reviewed.com and Joe Beaulaurier from PRWeb. Moderation duties were scheduled to be handled by Brett Tabke but were switched at the last minute to Melanie Mitchell, VP of SEO/SEM at AOL. Sorry Brett, but I don’t think anyone had a problem with the switch. 🙂

Robin presented a case study for a promotion on the iPhone her site wirelessinfo.com did using multiple channels including Digg and a YouTube video that went viral. Joe presented the multiple media format press release options offered by PRWeb.

Jolina Pettice

SES Chicago Session: Are You Ignoring the Power of Images?

Social Media Panel - SES Chicago 2007

“Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Walt Disney

Jennifer Laycock Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Guide helped the audience understand the value of images and 3 benefits to submitting photos to image sharing sites, like Flickr.

She made an excellent point by demonstrating what impacts people the most:
Copy OR Images

Let’s try it. What impacts you more, the description of how I dressed my dog up for Halloween OR the picture of it?

Description: For Halloween, I dressed my pup up as an angel.

Image:
Wrigley

Without the image – or having to include a lot more copy – questions are left unanswered. In this example, questions that are answered through the image, but not the copy include:
-what Wrigley looks like
-what color(s) he is
-what kind of dog

Lee Odden

Leveraging Social Media and SEO for Public Relations

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Coming up very quickly next week is the Media Relations Summit in Washington D.C. and I’ll be bringing one of our account managers, Mike Yanke, who works with many of our public relations clients to learn from some of the best and brightest in the PR and media relations industry.

I’ll be joining fellow SEO/social media/PR practitioners Jamie O’Donnell and Sally Falkow, who are both flying in from California, in a session called “Media Relations Unbound: How SEO and Social Media Have Revolutionized Our Reach”. I’m speculating that Greg Jarboe is on yet another exotic island vacation. 🙂

In this session we’ll be providing both high level and practical insight into how public relations practitioners can and should leverage social media and search engine optimization to extend their reach and media relations effectiveness. Here’s the official session description:

Lee Odden

Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Tech Chicago

After getting into the Chicago Hilton, a familar place from SES conferences, I walked the 3-4 blogs to the Columbia University campus where Bulldog Reporter was holding the Advanced PR Technology event. Greg Jarboe and I switched the time of our session with Katie Paine so she could make a plane to Dubai.

Regrettably I did not join the event in the am when it started and missed a number of fantastic speakers including Debbie Weil, but I did get to meet her for the first time. We are fellow bloggers over at Business Blog Consulting. Shel Israel blogged about Phil Gomes presentation here.

Lee Odden

TopRank March Madness

March has been a bit crazy so far as we’ve been rolling out an enormous SEO campaign for one Fortune 20 client and are in the final stages of signing another. On top of that, March will be a speakorama on blogs and public relations.

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting for the IABC chapter in Minneapolis at St. Thomas University with Sarah Bjelland, a VP from Wells Fargo. The event was called, “Delivering Insight into Business Blogs” and I presented on social media in general, trends with business blogging, applications for blog software in a corporate communications strategy and best practices for corporate blogs.

Lee Odden

Press Releases as Marketing Tools

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Press releases were originally designed as a communication tool between company PR staff or public relations firms and the media. But now that online news sites such as Yahoo News and Google News contain such an abundance of press release content and RSS makes it easy to syndicate news, press releases can be effectively used as a direct to consumer communication tool.

Not only are press releases an effective tool for distributing content to the media and consumers, they can easily be syndicated creating a excellent opportunity to attract incoming links. Some of the press releases our SEO firm optimizes and distributes have gained as few as 30 unique domain name links and some have garnered over 500 – all from a single press release.

Lee Odden

5 Tips for Content Distribution Networks

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In the past I’ve written about the content versus links debate where SEOs seem to fall on one side or the other when assigning the majority of importance for search engine rankings. What’s missing from that conversation is the need for a distribution network.

There are many that believe the key to a successful link building campaign is to create content worth linking to. However, if you create great content and no one knows about it to send a link, then there’s a lot lost on the effort. “Build it and they will come” is not the reality with search marketing despite the hype from SEO nay-sayers.

Lee Odden

The Power of Social Media, Blogs and Online PR

When you attend conferences, read blogs or popular search marketing sites you’ll find plenty of subject matter experts in search marketing tactics ranging from search engine optimization to pay per click to local marketing and social media. It’s great to get those specific perspectives, but I get a lot of feedback from businesses that appreciate a more holistic approach to marketing online.

Recently, I was able to do an interview on the online radio show, Online Marketing with RSS Ray talking about an overall  approach to using social media, blogs and online public relations.

Below are links to the audio segments from the interview. All of the tactics discussed provide benefits for search engine optimization as well.

Lee Odden

Small Business Public Relations

Earlier this week Matt McGee of Small Business SEM blog did an interview with me about public relations for small businesses. Matt has had a lot of marketing experience so he asked some great questions that I think businesses small and large will benefit from.

Here are a few sample questions:

Are press releases better for traditional publicity purposes or for SEO purposes — or can the same release do both? How?

The same release can be used as an introduction to a publicity opportunity, but there is no substitute for human contact. Press release distribution alone rarely achieves media coverage. Contacting the media with a reference to a press release and unique story ideas can improve your chances of media coverage significantly. While a large percentage of journalists research press releases online, many continue to rely on press releases via email as a method of getting new story ideas.

Lee Odden

Push and Pull PR on eMarketing Talkshow

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This Friday I will be doing an online radio interview with eMarketing Talkshow about “Push and Pull Online Public Relations”. I’ll be talking with Cindy Turrietta about the market opportunity with online PR, explaining the concept of push and pull with examples of each as well as considerations on measuring results.

With all the buzz about optimizing and marketing with social media as well as the emerging meme in public relations on the social media news release format, there is an opportunity to help marketers better understand how these concepts can be applied in a practical manner.

Too often tactics get promoted as the latest and greatest trends without any substance or real world references. This interview is intended to provide a framework for understanding how marketers and public relations professionals can increase their reach and ability to be found by consumers as wel as the media by incorporating SEO concepts along with PR and social media.

Lee Odden

Push Pull Public Relations and Social Media PR

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One of the key components of the presentation I gave this morning at the Las Vegas Pubcon conference presented the idea of press release optimization and social media news releases in the context of push and pull. But before that, it’s important to understand the market opportunity with news search.

According to a report released by comScore, half of all internet users visited news sites in June 2006. Of the most popular news web sites, Yahoo News is #1 surpassing CNN, MSNBC and AOL News.

There’s also an increase in the use of social media both by end consumers and the media for tracking information that interests them. This includes: blog and news search engines, social news, social bookmarks, podcasts and video. The thing that ties all of this together is RSS. RSS enables people to subscribe to the kinds of content from the channels or formats that they are interested in.