A major benefit of the PR Search Value (PRSV) standard metric for public relations measurement is that it doubles as an SEO tool for PR professionals. The reason for this is that PRSV is inherently linked to search, the value of which is clear from the massive success of the SEO industry. The higher the PRSV value for an online publication or, indeed, any URL associated with PR activity, the more likely it is that media coverage or related content will appear in top search results.
This is hugely important for PR professionals, many of whom don’t understand or appreciate the threats – and opportunities – SEO is creating. The main reason for this is how search engines, such as Google, now rate where a site should be placed in search results based not only on the number of links to it but also on their quality.
These developments, which on the surface might seem fairly trivial, have fundamental and far-reaching consequences for the PR industry. The majority of websites now appearing in top Google search results are not those with the deepest SEO pockets but, rather, those containing high quality content with links from other high-quality sites. These are the very media that PR has traditionally targeted and worked with.
In a nutshell, the world has turned full-circle, with PR’s traditional skills coming back to the fore as online media increasingly dominate search results. Unlike before, however, with around 90% of consumers who use Google typically at a critical stage of their decision-making journey, it is this coverage in online media that can make the difference between making a purchase or not. From being the poor relation of sales and marketing, PR has suddenly become one of the major players.
It should also be noted that this fundamental change is far more significant than social media. Google search volumes typically dwarf even the largest number of ‘likes’ on Facebook and other social platforms; and levels of engagement through social media are nothing compared to the levels of interest from the majority of consumers searching for a company or brand through Google.
What Does This All Mean for Public Relations?
These developments are tremendous for the PR industry, but only if it takes full advantage of them. No longer within the shadow of advertising or in danger of being marginalised by digital and social marketing, PR can now justifiably claim to be closer to the consumer’s purchasing touchpoint than any of them through the power of search. The question is how many PR professionals recognise or understand this?
In fact, PR is the only discipline with the necessary skills to influence the media coverage results that increasingly dominate Google search results; and although results are predominantly online media, including digital versions of newspapers and magazines, they also include blogs and websites for conferences, exhibitions and seminars. In fact anything that can be influenced by PR and appears online falls into this category and can be assigned a PRSV value.
Of course, coverage can be bad as well as good; and while, in the past, being able to track results of PR activity was very useful, now that PR is on the front-line it is absolutely essential if companies and brands are to understand what their audiences are seeing and how this is affecting purchasing decisions; and this is especially true during a crisis when searches surge for obvious reasons.
The implications of these developments are huge for the PR industry and it must adapt rapidly to meet them. Not just in the future but now. To put this into perspective, even in the short time taken to read this, consumers – including B2B audiences – will have been making crucial decisions about companies and brands based on the results of searches they have carried out in the past few minutes.
This is precisely why the PR industry needs the PRSV standard measurement metric, which can be used across any sector in any country and any language.
Learn more about PRSV here.