Clients expect PR firms to be on top of SEO


Many companies face a delicate challenge in keeping their passionate users happy while insuring the company is profitable enough to pay the bills and invest in the future, objectives which often enter it conflict with one another. It isn’t rare that this conflict becomes a significant PR issue, as Facebook, through its management of Instagram, is experiencing first hand.

Google Image search results for Bobby Kotick
Google Image search results for Bobby Kotick, suggesting he’s evil and the devil

A New York Times article which appeared front and center on the first page of last Sunday’s business section illustrated clearly how clients expect their PR firms to actively manage search engine reputation issues as well:

“Think about what it’s like for my dating life when the first picture that comes up is me as the Devil,” says Mr. Kotick […] “You see all this chatter and you realize that they game the search results. These super-sophisticated 19-year-olds are smarter than our expensive P.R. firm.” (His publicist, Steven Rubenstein, shrugs sheepishly.)

Reputations are also defined by search engine results

Now I don’t imagine that Mr. Kotick expects his publicist to understand the nuances of Google Image Search, Google Web Search and Google Autocomplete (a.k.a. Google Suggest). But he does expect his PR firm to work actively with SEO professionals to manage Mr. Kotick’s search engine reputation, rather than leaving it solely up to others to define Mr. Kotick’s digital reputation.

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About Sean Carlos

Sean Carlos is a digital marketing consultant & teacher, assisting companies with their Search (SEO + SEA = SEM), Social Media & Digital Media Analytics strategies. Sean first worked with text indexing in 1990 in a project for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since then he worked for Hewlett-Packard Consulting and later as IT Manager of a real estate website before founding Antezeta in 2006. Sean is an official instructor of the Digital Analytics Association and collaborates with the Bocconi University. He is Chairman of the SMX Search and Social Media Conference, 13 & 14 November in Milan. He is also a co-author of the Treccani encyclopedic dictionary of computer science, ICT & digital media. Born in Providence, RI, USA, Sean received Honors in Physics from Bates College, Maine. He speaks English, Italian and German.

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