Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Value of Online Editorial Coverage

Posted by thecastlegroup on March 31, 2010

A new survey shows that online users are more likely to click a link to a brand that’s mentioned in an article as opposed to brands using search ads, banners or other outright advertising.

This makes sense, of course. That’s why the PR industry succeeds – we put our clients in media settings that are favorable to them, such as the credible environment of a news story. In many ways, getting an online story – or at least a print story replicated online – is a better route than the former holy grail of simply a great print media piece.

Granted, a live link in a story does not guarantee an increase in business for our clients, but it can – and often does – drive traffic. All of this changes our jobs as PR professionals. Now, getting the story is part of the media relations job, not THE job.

We need to make sure the content we issue, whether to media or through channels that can reach online users, has live links and search-friendly terms. Those links need to point to home pages, custom landing pages, product pages, online stores – whatever makes the most sense to drive traffic to the right place. We need to know the search terms that draw traffic and those terms that our clients wish drew more traffic; we need to know what client competitors’ strong search terms are as well.

It’s good to hear that editorial, wherever it may live, still has the power to influence audiences and drive business opportunity. For the PR industry, online coverage represents one of the better measurement tools we’ve ever had, and makes our jobs more complex and more interesting. Let’s keep getting those (online) placements.


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