This is a long overdue follow up to last week’s blog post about SAScon Mini which took place in central Manchester on the 17th of this month and featured speakers from all over the digital marketing world of Manchester, Leeds, and London. Part I featured reports on some talks by influential social media marketers, but part II will be commentary on a short panel discussion ostensibly about how PR, social media, and SEO can work together—but was actually just about what the three had in common: content.

Let me back up. The three esteemed panellists are fixtures of the Manchester digital marketing scene; Robin Wilson, Director Digital and PR and Social Media at McCann Erickson, Rob Weatherhead from MediaCom i-Lab and Andy Barr from 10 Yetis—and while they all had some bit of background with SEO, PR and Social Media, it seemed that Rob was representing SEO, Robin was social media, and Andy was PR.  They all agreed that the major component of all three industries was the production and distribution of content. They only things they disagreed on were the purpose of the content, and who does it better.

Personally, my argument has always been that, in regards to content, brand should always come first. That is, you do things like PR, social media, and SEO to enhance the brand—and everything else is just formatting. However, what was the most interesting is that the panel pretty much stopped at ‘content’.

They went to questions, and after tripping over a couple chairs I got to the microphone so that I could address the heads of some of the best and brightest from among the world’s largest and most prestigious advertising agencies, and 10 Yetis.

“You all talked a lot about content, from an SEO, PR, and social media perspective—but since this talk was about ‘connecting the dots’ I was wondering if you could possibly comment on any other similarities the three might have”

Blank stares from all three panellists.

With the past couple years of search becoming increasingly relevant, and Google updates making the outreach side of SEO increasingly difficult, PR firms everywhere are trying to add on SEO components to their businesses while SEOs are trying to rebrand as Online PR agencies (social media is a bit orphaned in this regard, but is still really relevant) and what the talk did the most for me was highlight how little the two actually have in common.

PR is important in getting links for SEO, but is a lot more than just outreach; equally SEO is a massively complicated and ever developing discipline. I don’t think this panel talk considered any of that.

The last talk of the day was by a very Old School SEO (whom I won’t mention by name) who ranted somewhat incoherently about Google.

Posted in SEO on 31st Jan 2014