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Is Traditional PR Still a Valid Marketing Tactic for Business?

Thursday 14 November 2013

10 minute read

By Sarah Burns

For years we have all got used to the idea of “digital”. Old-fashioned PR methods had more or less gone out of the window, yet now, all of a sudden, there are rumblings that it’s all about to return?

Yes, really. If you look around the internet you’ll see that the bloggers, ‘tech experts’ and professionals are all hinting that it might be time to get out those business cards and pens – PR is back, and it’s cool.

It would be fair to say that ‘digital PR’ replaced ‘PR’ itself, for the last decade we have lived in an ‘Internet marketing boom’ – think SEO, PPC advertising and blogging – and now a number of elements culminating are ending that phase, if you will.

Over the last two years Google has upped its game, going from focusing on promoting those who created nonsense content, to now preferring social indicators, such as mentions, likes and tweets on social media. It is the valuable content and audience engagement on social media which allows companies to jump up the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Of course, we are talking about the regrowth of PR – the traditional, old fashioned sense of PR that is – so let’s leave social media behind, but understand it is because of the demise of SEO as it has always been known.

Google algorithms have changed since the Penguin 2.0 update earlier this year, to factor in social media, and phase out ‘backlinks’ (incoming or inbound links) and articles bogged down in keyword data.

So with all of this going on at Google – and let’s be honest, most of us want to be at the top of Google’s search results – what do we do?

Hello again, PR, our old friend! We are all going back to the old days of who you know, how you create a buzz around your company and how much value you give your audience, according to Forbes.

Of course just PR alone can’t make your brand a success, but it is the incorporation of new technologies, particularly when following the HubSpot strategy – which is all about super duper blog content with a large audience from social networks who are opting in to all of this content creation.

When Google’s algorithm gurus see all of your social followers turning to your website for its content again and again, they will realise you really do have something valuable, therefore boosting you up the SERPs – success!

Of course, that doesn’t really prove that retro PR is coming back, but we turn to the internet again for suggestions that the people want the human touch back.

It’s not just about being a faceless page on the internet with a group of faceless social media marketing strands behind that, or about jazzy websites and impossible to understand jargon – it’s having a strong message and clear identity.

Being able to meet with clients, journalists or customers and holding a good old-fashioned conversation is crucial to success – it just now forms a mixture of changing search and social methods along with PR.

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