- 2:55 In your agency, do you guys do End-to-End SEO or just PR?
- 3:28 Does your agency differentiate PR Links and SEO links internally? Do you have a link building team specifically for each of them?
- 4:16 How do you distinguish the difference between PR and link building based on goals?
- 6:10 I know you work directly with Universities. If you were to take a step back and work in a different industry, what’s the first step to find that person who is story-worthy?
- 10:01 What kind of questions are you asking to extract that type of information that can help in finding your client’s story?
- 12:37 If you’re doing this for a new client that really needs some press, what are the things that you usually do to find media outlets to cover it?
- 16:16 Since HARO is time-sensitive, do you usually just go ahead and respond on behalf of your client?
- 20:02 If you’re trying to broker a new relationship, You mentioned that you’d go a little bit more blanket. How does that work?
- 22:41 When you get featured in a written article online, are you pretty insistent that they include a link?
- 24:47 With how quickly is the internet moving off websites and more into socials, are you guys seeing more of your campaigns pushed into things like youtube channels or podcasts?
- 26:55 How do you structure deals with PR?
Powered by Capture and Convert
2:55 In your agency, do you guys do end-to-end SEO or just PR?
We do a full service. We have a designated SEO team (which is tasked to manage contents and driving links) in our agency. We consider ourselves to be a really nice blend between public relations that can help you improve your brand awareness and an SEO focus agency that can get you those high-quality backlinks to your page.
3:28 Does your agency differentiate PR Links and SEO links internally? Do you have a link building team specifically for each of them?
We have two exclusive teams.
We have one team that is focused on PR links and we have an SEO team that independently focused on a quantity link building approach based on the contents that we’re creating for various clients (these links still have high quality even though our team put more focus on quantity). We structure it as two separate entities that work together for a common goal. We come together with tactics to get those high-quality links and push brand awareness.
4:16 How do you distinguish the difference between PR and link building in terms of goals?
I would think that the main difference is in the quality. When we’re looking at the process to get those highest quality backlinks, we found that the best way to do that is through expert-driven thought leadership rather than a content-driven approach.
The end goals between the two of them are holistically the same. To increase the rankings on the programs pages of the Universities that we’re working with.
But with a PR win, we can generate more exposure through social media or through retargeting. We can also push the name of the University and increase their brand value. This will ultimately influence those rankings because we can get a backlink from well-known publications such as Washington Post or Forbes.
6:10 I know you work directly with Universities. If you were to take a step back and work in a different industry, what’s the first step to find that person who is story-worthy?
We have worked with people that were not specifically in higher education. The process that we found to be successful is to find out what their passions are. It almost sounds obvious, but you have to actually sit down with them to pick their brain on things that they can actually speak to in an informative manner. Then, you need to find out a way to tie that on what’s happening now (Current News Cycle).
The key component after that is reaching out to the right reporters who might be interested in putting that information into the stories that they’re writing. We will consider it a success if we can have our client’s thought leadership inputted into that story. It’s a really good way to get your feet off the ground.
10:01 If you have an e-commerce client, what kind of questions are you asking to extract that type of information that can help in finding your client’s story?
Usually, I start every single conversation by asking what’s on top of their mind right now. I’ll ask them about the things that are happening in their industry which will be affecting their bottom line along with their passion for the businesses. I’ll let the conversation flow from there. I usually come to the interview half knowing where the direction would be because we have a good handle on the news cycle along with different publications and reporters that we can connect to our clients.
Reporters tend to constantly seek thought leadership, since they really need it for their story. If you can combine the passion and expertise of your client and present it to the reporters, I think you’re going to flourish.
12:37 If you took on a new client that really needs some press, what are the things that you usually do to find media outlets to cover it? Would you go for manual prospecting? Would you use something like Cision? Or would you still rely on the relationships that you had?
My answer would be all of the above.
We use Cision every day. What we found to be successful is using the distribution features. They have thousands of reporters in there. We usually cast our net pretty wide on that list. By doing that, we can get a lot of feedback from reporters and let us see the things that they’re working on.
We also do manual outreach. We usually do basic searches around what’s happening in the e-commerce world. After that, we’ll find out who’s writing about that topic and find out their contact information.
We’re also using more and more tools. Sparktoro is something that we’ve started to dabble into a little bit. We use it to find some hidden gem websites. Perhaps they would not be some big-name publications, but they can be publications that targeted smaller industries who are looking for insights or opinion pieces. We’re also using a service called help a reporter out. It’s basically a tool operated by Cision that enables reporters to send out requests when they are looking for a source. We can just respond to it and connect it with our client.
16:16 Since HARO is time-sensitive, do you usually just go ahead and respond on behalf of your client?
Yes, we usually set that standard upfront with our clients. Most of the time, this will make sense if you’re going to utilize HARO (Help a Reporter Out) as some sort of the main source to seek initial interviews with the reporters.
Sometimes, we just tell these reporters about our clients and ask if they wanted to speak with them. That can also be just as successful because sometimes they are just looking for a conversation with someone that can help them write their article.
22:41 When you get featured in a written article online, are you pretty insistent that they include a link?
We have clients with different goals. A lot of them are interested in that backlinking. We usually wouldn’t say it upfront to the publication. Generally, you can do research on a publication to find out whether they’re going to link. You can look at their previous articles about other people to see if they’re linking back to them.
We found that the best way to be successful to get that link is just to let the interview play out. The publications probably know that it’s coming. A lot of the time, digital PRs are looking for that backlink. Then, we send over the bio information that we want them to include about our clients and include a hyperlink over our clients’ names to a bio page. We ask them if it’s possible to include those in the article.
20:02 If you’re trying to broker a new relationship, you mentioned that you’d go a little bit more blanket. How does that work?
There are two main tactics that you can do.
You can use your clients as the lead to your pitch and throw them as a bait to a pool of reporters. You give a general description of your clients to the reporters and hope that they need your client’s expertise to help them write a piece about a certain industry. That is one way to do it.
But I found that we’re more successful when we reach out to the reporters and let them know about the kind of news angle that we’re looking at. We’ll find the type of story that we think our experts can comment on and we’ll convince the reporters that our clients have the credibility to speak on that topic.
24:47 With how quickly is the internet moving off websites and more into socials, are you guys seeing more of your campaigns pushed into things like youtube channels or podcasts?
Yes. The interesting thing about that is you get a wider range of benefits. For example, podcasts usually provide backlinks on their site under the little description of the episode. When it comes to social media, we’re using that for the amplification of the PR point. You can’t necessarily control who is going to click on our link through publications websites, but what you can do is put that link in front of your audiences and sort of drive them to that.
The amount of eyes that you can get through these influencers is crazy. The awareness around these social media is generally on the up. They could be an important tool in our kit as we move forward.
26:55 How do you structure deals with PR?
It’s kind of based around an opportunity. We have two main types of opportunities that we look to bring to our clients. Expert commentary (where our client is being directly quoted in a reported story) and Bylines/Op-Ed (where an editor of a publication is looking for article contribution authored by our client). Sometimes, we also offer our clients with opportunities to be part of an editorial team that helps the reporters write their articles.
We charge by opportunities. When we’re getting serious interest from a reporter or an editor that we think will fit the brand, passion, and expertise of our clients, that’s when we will charge our clients. So, there is some sort of guaranteed outcome for the clients. We’re not going to make them pay us hourly while we’re unable to give them any hits. I think it is important to provide our clients with a somewhat tangible guarantee.