The Conflict Between Branding and SEO

Branding Versus SEO: Does Consistent Messaging Conflict With SEO Best Practices?
Battle of the Titans
Branding Versus SEO

Good branding practices and good search engine optimization (SEO) practices make strange bedfellows.

While both are intended to advance the interests of an organization, they don’t always get along.

As marketers, we take it as a given that good branding is built on the foundation of well-defined positioning. The typical branding exercise is to define a few key positioning planks that a brand will own. For example, a brand definition might be: High-Quality; Good for the Environment; and Easy to Do Business With.

The hope is that we’ll create a branding platform that is attractive to our customer targets and that has some white space around it, with strong differentiation from the branding of the competition.

With these positioning elements in place, we then operationalize the brand, making sure that every customer and stakeholder touchpoint appropriately promotes our positioning.

Consistency in messaging is key. We want everyone in the organization preaching from the same hymn sheet. To ensure consistency, we marketers will often create blurbs of text that have the official “Marketing Department Stamp of Approval”.

That templated text, so valuable to the branding effort, can cause SEO problems. Here’s how.

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Using Twitter for Media Relations

It’s no question that media relations is changing. In the past, it may have been acceptable and successful to simply post a press release in an e-mail or a fax it to a newsroom. But in a world ruled by Facebook status messages and Tweets, old school media relations is having a hard time staying relevant and producing results.

Not to mention how overworked journalists are (check out this post from Frank Krolicki about pitching journalists that are stretched thin).

However, there is still a lot of grey area for social network media relations. The practice is still in the early stages of infancy as PR pros determine successful strategies and journalists look for more ways to hide from the bombardment of flack on their social accounts.

Twitter is rapidly emerging as one of the most commonly used social media sites for pitching and attempting media relations. This is mostly due to how open the network is and how easy it is to follow anyone, even Oprah!

But, this does not mean media relations professionals can take the opportunity to fill people’s inboxes. Instead, the skill of relationship building becomes more important than ever before.

So before you head out and start tweeting, following journos and DMing, here are some tips for utilizing Twitter tastefully for your media relations goals:

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Myths About the Media Interview

Media InterviewIn our blog introduction post, we noted that we come across recurring pain points for our clients.

One of these difficulties surrounds the issue of a media interview. Whether having an on-air conversation with a radio personality or news anchor, being quoted for a daily newspaper, talking with a reporter for their news blog, or even taking part in a “Twitterview,” an interview can play a significant role in public opinion about a company or a person.

So with so many different types of interviews, it’s understandable to feel somewhat anxious before sitting down with a reporter. Many questions may arise: Is the reporter expecting that I’ll have answers for all his questions? What information will the reporter know ahead of time, and how much explanation will be necessary? Will I be able to review the story before it’s published? What if I say something that’s incorrect or I want to retract a statement?

It’s best to take it one step at a time and realize that the journalist is just doing their job. They are often overworked and simply seeking a good story that will intrigue both their editor and their readership.

Here are some points of clarification for common misperceptions about the media, as well as suggestions for conducting a better interview: 

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Stop the Press Event! How Oprah Can Kill a Conversation

Oprah taping live on michigan avenueWhenever you plan a media event, you take the chance that something may outshine you on that day. Last year we lost half our TV coverage for a charity event due to a big fire on the Southside. It happens.

Unfortunately in the days of crunched deadline and busy camera crews, things come up. Even with a breaking story stealing your thunder, you may get the same number of placements, but you lose the conversations, and that’s often the most important part.

On Tuesday, Oprah took over Chicago. It was also the first day of Chicago Public Schools. Both got covered, but one was much more talked about than another.

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There’s An App For That (But There Doesn’t Need To Be)

iphone apps
Creative Commons License photo credit: Roodee

It may be a blogger’s cliche to start a post like this, but as of right now, there are well over 65,000 appsin Apple’s App Store.  The majority of those apps?  Games, not surprisingly, given the iPhone’s unique, highly flexible touch interface and recently revamped hardware specs.  But a new trend in the App Store has cropped up recently, seemingly having infected every one of the world’s brand and marketing managers with iPhone fever.  That trend is using the mobile app as a marketing tool.  More specifically, using the mobile app as nothing but a marketing tool.  But with an app store as large (not to mention as largely saturated) as Apple’s, does it really make sense to sink valuable development hours, effort, and money into creating an app that might never break the top 100 list?  We’ll cover the pros and cons of entering the highly coveted app game, as well as some work-arounds developers and marketers alike can use to ensure their mobile strategy makes sense.

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Visit the Walker Sands website. We specialize in PR and marketing services for technology solution providers and B2B companies. Walker Sands Digital offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions and helps firms to get the most from their online presence.
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