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PPC in the PR Mix.
26 Oct 2012
As we all know, the lines between SEO and PR have been blurring for several years and now have to co-exist. One thing that has recently become apparent to me is the role that PPC also has to play in PR, particularly when it comes to disaster management.
As we all know, the lines between SEO and PR have been blurring for several years and now have to co-exist. One thing that has recently become apparent to me is the role that PPC also has to play in PR, particularly when it comes to disaster management. While the role of PR for SEO is ultimately aimed at creating sharable and unique content for the purposes of links, the reactive nature of PPC has made it a crucial channel to counter any negative sentiment that could be circulating around your brand for any number of reasons. As the latest footballer twitter faux pas have shown, as soon as someone is talking about you, you face an uphill struggle to control what is being said about you… Ask Ashley Cole. On Twitter and Facebook, PR teams will be looking to engage with those who have less than favourable things to say about you/your brand and will almost certainly have an official line to push as the story is actually breaking. But what happens once the story has broken? Once the most emotive and reactionary conversations have happened on the social channels and the story becomes the property of the mainstream media? This is where the results in the SERPs around your brand terms will really begin to take shape as invariably as the story gathers momentum, the News results will fill with less than favourable results. And where will people who have just heard about the latest scandal turn to look for the story? Google. This is where PPC can really play a part, for PR teams to have a considered and safe way of managing the increased interest in their brand. Here are the key considerations for approaching this kind of situation:
- An official statement by this point should already have been issued and be prominent on the site, this is what you want anyone interested in the story to be seeing. Not the content on forums, blogs and news sites trash-talking your brand, so this has to be the most prominent result on the first page of Google.
- Weigh up how crucial brand traffic is to the conversions of your campaign. Can you afford to be directing brand traffic to a statement and do you want to be potentially putting off customers who haven’t heard the negative talk around your brand? Probably not, so create a separate campaign dedicated to keywords coupling your brand terms with the topics of the scandal.
- Then… You wait. The beauty of this approach is that if your scandal isn’t causing a significant amount of people to search for your brand and the terms surrounding it, then your advert won’t even show, so you won’t be putting off potential customers.
- Monitor the overall impact on brand traffic and conversion rates – as these stories break, there will be an impact, but the above considerations are a great way of keeping on the front foot.