PRSA 2009 International Conference Features Two Online Marketing Heroes

I’ll by flying to San Diego this weekend to speak at the PRSA 2009 International Conference next week. Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and a member of the SES Advisory Board, will also be speaking at the annual Public Relations Society of America event.

Odden is speaking on Monday, November 9, at 10:15 a.m. about “Help Google Find Your Releases: Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Tactics for Public Relations Professionals.”

Nine out of 10 journalists, reporters and editors use search engines to do their jobs, according to a recent survey by TopRank Online Marketing. In this environment, public relations professionals must understand the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO).

So, Odden will help PR people find out how to choose the best key words, optimize their newsroom and press releases, build better links, and sell SEO to decision makers. Plus, he’ll share “the No. 1 SEO tactic to implement today.”

I’ll be speaking on Tuesday, November 10, at 11:15 a.m. with Laura Sturaitis, the senior vice president, media and product services, at Business Wire.

How do you know your press release delivers value? Are there ways to increase a press releases’ ROI?

Sturaitis and I will discuss real live examples and techniques to get the most mileage for press releases, especially in the Web 2.0 world. We’ll explain why PR people need to work hand-in-hand with their Web team to see how visitors are getting to their site and moving through it. We’ll also examine Web analytics for compiling, tracking and measuring activity deriving from the press release via the wires and elsewhere.

If you want a preview, check out my post on the ComPRrehension blog, which is entitled, “Does Your Press Release Deliver Value?

Lee Odden and Greg Jarboe at SES San Jose 2008 serious.jpg Odden and I also spoke last year at the PRSA 2008 International Conference in Detroit. Why is this useful information for search engine optimizers to share with their colleagues down the hall in the public relations department? SEO specialists and PR specialists need to work together to handle the opportunities and threats created by Google universal search.

When Google announced universal search in May 2007, Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google, said, “The ultimate goal of universal search is to break down the silos of information that exist on the web and provide the very best answer every time a user enters a query.”

This radically changed everything we knew about search engine optimization (SEO) and public relations (PR). If your webmaster isn’t optimizing content for YouTube, Google News, or Google Images, then who is?

With more than 12.8 billion expanded search queries a month on Google Sites in the U.S., this isn’t a rhetorical question. In other words, the SEO specialists and PR specialists need to get out of their silos to ensure that their organization is getting found in all the right places.

As I told Michael Miller, the author of “Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus,” back in 2008, “For a good part of the 20th century, every part of the marketing mix was in a different silo. Advertising had its lingo and its metrics, and PR had its lingo and its metrics, and if you had a group that was focused on trade shows and events, they had their lingo and their metrics, etcetera. One of the things that is sort of a byproduct of keeping people in their silos is that things that the email marketing people learned ten years ago, or the search engine marketing people earned five years ago, the PR people in the same organization haven’t learned yet. As a result, they keep doing what used to work but stopped working a long time ago, only nobody noticed.”

I added, “To the extent that you can get the PR people interacting with the search people, they will discover that there are lots of things they can do together.”

And Odden was also interviewed for Miller’s book. So, your PR people will be getting the same advice no matter which online marketing guru they listen to at the PRSA 2009 International Conference — or which chapter of Miller’s book they read.

Odden and I both spoke at SES London 2008. Check out my video interview with him below.

Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing, at SES London 2008

And Odden and I are both speaking at SES Chicago 2009. So, there’s no escaping our combined message: Get out of your silo; start interacting with other members of your marketing team.

Get it? Got it? Good.

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