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Old 12-14-2004   #1
rustybrick
 
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Public Relations Via Search Engines

I missed all of Greg Jarboe's presentation, this is really upsetting. Please check out PR Web, I also hope to have a write up about their service next week. I apologize.

Next up was Nan Dawkins from RedBoots Consulting. She explained that some of her clients are unique in that they want to target problems and not products. They reach unique target audience, the influencers. Who influences the influencers? Journalists and before them Bloggers. Blogs are an early warning system for news stories and often shape the coverage of big media outlets. So how does one use a search engine to research journalists and bloggers? She says you start with the basic SEO principles, optimize your press releases. You can use paid search to combat negative press , ugly blog rumors and message boards. Also use paid search to take advantage of breaking news. You must be willing to create/repackage content based on what is capturing the imagination of influencers at the moment (i.e. fahrenheit 9/11 and the day after tomorrow). News sites attract news junkies and contextual ads allow you to do that. You must also learn RSS, not how it works but how to set it up. Step 1: Distribute your press releases. The traffic does not go to your Web site, but to the PR Web or news site. Step 2. Create a blog, post to a blog and monitor blog chatter with Pub Sub or Blog Post. Step 3. Add a feed to your own site. Step 4. Advertise on Feeds, like on Feedster or other RSS news aggregators.

Ron Key from Converseon is now up. He started up to say that we are just beginning to scrap the surface of the potential of PR and SEO together as a tool. The missing element to what you are able to track with search engines is reputation. He asks how many people have Googled their company? Most raised their hand. Search Engines Impact corporate and brand reputation. Remember my "sunbeam water cooler" blog entry, with the customer service impact? A case in point includes; "home depot" and the 3rd result down is homedepotsucks.com (at least on the slide it was). There are about 4.1 million people searching on "home depot" each month, so this is major. An other example is "delta airlines" the number 6 results is boycottdelta.com. Today search engines have helped change the rules of the game by allowing a small player with a small site really make an impact on a large company's brand. The term being used for this is called "reputation attacks" with over 12,000 flames sites and growing. "Google has become the first page of corporate websites." David Weinberg quote.

Conduct a SERMA test (Search Engine Reputation Management) Go to the search engine and type in your company name. Review top listings. Ask yourself is there accurate and complete info, does it accurately reflect your company, are the descriptors coherent, is there false or misleading info. What can you do if you have a bad rep out there? You can go to litigation but that is hard. Direct outreach to the company directly, but it can end up worse or there can be no one there to contact. And some companies actually act like they are normal people and praise the company, we see it often in the forums. You can also build your own pages to knock off the bad press off the results. How do you do it? (1) Create a chasm in your org (2) Understand how your company and brands are searched on (3) Conduct an analysis to determine what keywords are leading to what kind of info (4) Once you got that, review your current pages and look at the full assets of company. (5) Also recruit partners and other 3rd parties to optimize for your brand. (6) Make full use of your domain names, use a minimum 5 domains. (7) Analyze the flame sites more closely, are they cloaking, etc.? If so, report them. (8) Fully optimize your content site wide and cross link. Avoid duplicate content, it wont help. (9) Continue to publish more content, i.e. press release (10) Stay vigilant.

Q & A:

Greg explains that you need to do more with your press release. If you send something out there and people read it and say, ok now what, then it does nothing. But with an airline service, he optimized a press release and said this is the first time they are flying to ABC and you get a special introductory offer at $X if you act within Y days. That press release exploded.

He then explained that Kevin Lee was skeptical about this. So he tried it out by optimizing a release for his wife's business. Within 24 hours Kevin's wife got a phone call from CNN to interview her for her speciality.
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