Lexi Mills will be speaking on Digital PR at Engage which will take place March 7–8 in Portland Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
Lexi Mills is a multi-award winning digital marketing expert, specialising in integrating PR and SEO at both a strategic and tactical level. She is President of The Future of Search Foundation and Managing Director of Shift6, an international consultancy which provides training, PR SEO services and support to agencies, businesses and investors. Her research work focuses on the opportunities, ethics and risks of machine learning and AI within the sector of internet search.
Lexi combines technical search algorithm knowledge and psychology to create data-driven measurable communications strategies that maximise influence on human behaviour. She applies this to external and internal communications strategies.
She has been part of core teams responsible for the communications, marketing and investment strategies of clients and agencies for over eight years. She focuses on e-commerce, finance and technology sectors. Working with start-ups, SMEs and big brands across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe and African markets in both the B2B and B2C environment.
2) How can SEO enhance the success of a PR Campaign?
SEO objectives and insights should be the very starting point of a PR campaign idea, especially for any e-commerce business. SEO metrics and challenges allow you to see emerging trends. In the digital world, a campaign can live forever and SEO metrics can help really show the longterm value of a campaign to a business in a way that traditional PR metrics are not able to. It is so important to think about how to maximize the online reach and long term imprint/ value of your PR campaign. Getting coverage in media outlets is fantastic; but, ensuring these stories get pitched to media with the right audience is increasingly important. Sometimes getting great links can be as valuable or more valuable than the target audience of the site however it is critical to craft a campaign in a way that it deserves links. If you have to ask for them then you know you need to reconsider how you express the idea in the future. Backlink analysis of competitors, similar campaigns or even your own site can be a fantastic way to kickstart a great press list. It’s also so important to make sure the technical SEO on your website is working properly. Links from relevant and high authority websites can only help you if your technical SEO is sound.
3) Many people think of Online PR as just submitting a press release to one of the companies that publish those things. What other effective avenues for Digital PR exist?
Some wires for certain have value but its not the value from the syndicated links its that they get your press release seen by journalists which can turn into press coverage with hopefully links in! You need to have a good story, that’s a critical part of a PR’s job and essential to a press release being of any value. The story also needs to be crafted with strong online assets that help a journalist and are worthy of being linked to.
You have to be careful cheap wire services just work as an email blast which is pointless they also have a bad reputation amongst the media for sending out fake stories so using them will most likely damage you getting real press coverage. You need to use something like PR Newswire or Businesswire who have a direct feed into a publications news desk making sure that your press release is delivered. It’s kind of like a private digital phone line into newsrooms.
PR Newswire and Businesswire also do a very low level of fact checking and authentication which can be helpful if a journalist doesn’t know the brand distributing the release. Since a lot of USA journalists and increasingly more European journalists around the world are being held personally liable in their employment contracts for any incorrect information the trust factor from using these wires is helpful. For European clients, there is also a level of GDPR protection you get through distributing this way.
I should have also mentioned that in the business and finance news space increasingly more coverage is being generated by AI, especially with the big publishers like Reuters and the AP…if you get coverage with them you pretty much get a wave of it thereafter. A lot of the AI is fed by newswires. AI generated coverage is super profitable for publishers. There are some advantages to small firms too:
“Through automation, we’re providing customers with 12 times the corporate earnings stories as before, including for a lot of very small companies that never received much attention,” said Lisa Gibbs, global business editor.
Todd Mintz knows PPC…knows Social Media…knows SEO…knows Blogging…knows Domaining…and knows them all real well. He runs growth marketing for <a href="https://www.position2.com"Position2)and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon’s Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Twitter and Facebook.