Can PR drive SEO for your start up or small business?

As someone trained in PR, I’ve honestly never really understood what SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) was all about.

Within the marketing function, we often don’t draw a link between PR and SEO.

But, I’ve come to learn that the link is much stronger than we often think.

Running Play Huahee (as both a start up and SME owner) has forced me to go on a crash course to learn about Organic SEO. I may not be an expert in this area.

But, let me share with you the similarities from what I’ve learnt.

And, also talk about how greater integration would truly benefit both the PR & Organic SEO functions:

Do note that this is about Organic SEO. (I haven’t ventured into the paid arena yet)

1. It’s all about Substance

PR is about finding news and story angles. SEO is about creating good valuable content for the consumer. Both of these aspects are not about directly selling your products.

But, telling stories and giving value through useful content articles.

2. Credibility Factor

PR has always prided itself on a credibility factor in that it is not an advertisement. Organic SEO is about making sure that Google sees you as a credible site.

This is done through making sure that your website has a clean layout, easy navigation, no keyword stuffing and backlinks from strong, authoritative sites back to yours.

Both bank on striving for credibility.

3. Relationships are the Core

A key component about PR is making sure that your brand has great relationships with the media.

This can done through offering them valuable story angles and checking in with them to understand what they need for an upcoming story etc.

SEO is about having a trusted relationship with Google, or making sure that they trust you enough to rank you higher.

It is also about building that connection with other authoritative sites and securing backlinks (links from their sites to yours).

This is also referred to as Off-page SEO where you get other sites (which have higher authority) link to your page.

This is seen to be a high importance factor that determines the ranking of your site on Google.


If the PR and SEO function works together, they can benefit each other in the following way:

1. PR: Give the PR team a useful metric for performance reporting.

In a world where marketing budgets are expected to drive sales, it’s increasingly difficult for PR to justify budgets because media exposure may or may not directly translate into sales.

But, greater integration between PR and SEO will provide a valuable metric to evaluate the perfomance of the PR function and the various media channels that it engages.

2. SEO: By leveraging on the relationships and story pitching expertise of the PR team, this will contribute towards Off-page SEO and lead to the creation of a highly ranked site on Google.

In the eyes of Google, the site will be seen as more credible, because of backlinks from sites with greater authority.


They can work together by embarking on a PR Driven Off-page SEOCampaign.

The role of PR will be to secure backlinks to the brand’s website. This can be done through securing authored articles or story pitching etc.

The role of SEO will be then to report on the analytics — no. of visits each backlink drove to the website etc.

This will enable the PR team to report the effectiveness of PR and the reach and relevance of media platforms, content types and audience.

Can PR drive SEO? Definitely, yes.

We’ve often restricted ourselves into thinking that PR is limited to appearing in the newspapers, tv or radio.

But, it’s time we look at PR as more than a channel.

It’s a strategy with great potential. If only, we learn to better integrate it with other marketing functions.

Read this for more:


P.s. I’ve started an email list where I share various things that I learn along the way — basically how PR fits into the bigger marketing ecosystem.

Let me know if you want to be on my email list 🙂