While Public Relations (PR) has always been a complementary procedure to traditional promotions, digital marketing has come up as the most potent source of leads and sales in recent times. Considering the nature of these two activities, some people wonder if they can be merged into one. Especially in recent years, with the increasing quality orientation of the search engines, we are seeing a gradual shift in digital marketing towards quality rather than quantity, thus taking it all the more closer to PR. Let us have a look at this issue in detail from three major perspectives.


Content Marketing

Content marketing has been the buzzword in digital marketing of late. What does it basically mean? It is all about creating quality content that is useful and informative to the prospective customers so that they perceive you as the authority in the field and purchase your product or services in the long run.

This has become necessary because competition is too high and the internet is saturated with information. The only way for you to stand out is to create exceptional content. Also, search engines are also getting smarter and they value long, in-depth content instead of desperate link-bait articles.

Now, this is where the PR comes in. In fact, this is something they have been doing for ages. PR material naturally needs to get published in the mainstream media. So, the quality of their content must be up to the mark. So, they have the requisite skills to play a major role in content marketing by standardizing the content creation and more importantly by getting published in major publications.

Link Building

As we know already, gone are the days of spammy, bulk link building. You do not have to get thousands of links from random websites to improve your SEO. What the search engines value instead is quality back links. You do not need hundreds or thousands of them. A handful of links from reputable websites such as major newspapers or authority sites in your field are worth their weight in gold.

Progressive companies have seen the need to diversify content in order to attract links. Companies have used Infographics and Instructographics combined with blogger outreach to attract links. Others, like Shopify, use widgets and templates to attract links by providing a free service of value. Brands need to focus on creating something of GENUINE value, something that others are not offering, that solves a pain point for their audience.

Now, again this is something where PR expert excel. PR specializes in leveraging contacts to create publicity in major publications. Where does SEO end and PR begin, or vice versa? Essentially the roles are the same, but PR experts have been building their networks for decades.


Social Media

Just like any other medium, social networking is maturing now after initial turbulent years. Even here we are noticing emerging trends that suggests the importance of quality content as well as influencer endorsements. Authority and reputation matters more now compared to volume and showmanship.

So, yet again this plays perfectly for the PR experts. For instance, getting shared on Facebook or retweeted by a celebrity or an authority figure of your field can do wonders to your business. Generally such people have thousands or even millions of followers. One such share can get you thousands of visitors. But the question is, how do you get such people to endorse you? This is exactly where your PR manager comes in handy. After all, building contacts is what she does for a living. Modern day PR also includes getting approval of influential figures on social media.

The road ahead:

PR must evolve to adopt new technologies and at the same time digital marketing must mature to build media presence and authority. While PR and digital marketing always had overlapping operations, now we can safely say that both are on the verge of becoming synonymous. SEO agencies, in-house digital departments, and others that are involved in this field need to rapidly adapt to use the same techniques as PR agencies, and vice versa. This evolution is inevitable.

During our latest Workshop (in Grass Valley, CA with the Nevada County Online meetup group) Nate discusses the difference between Email versus Social Media as tools and the tactics needed to effectively use them for your business.

HUGE thank you to Doug Greene who handled the video & audio, and our wonderful host Nevada County Online! Check out the clip below:

Guest post time! And yes, it does contain Doctor Who references, as per my editorial guidelines. Don't like it? Don't read it!

But seriously, I've got enough folks asking for social media advice, the least I can do is share this comprehensive infographic by Ivan Serrano. He really checks all the boxes here, so I hope you find it useful.


That business you started last year, the one that you love, but it sucks up all of your time and energy and turns glass half-full days into glass half-empty days, is just not shaping into your original vision of it. You keep looking anxiously at your Doctor Who quote on the fridge, waiting for your time to come: “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” But maybe there’s actually more you could be doing to build your business.

One of the easiest things to gloss over as a small business looking to grow is the etiquette of social media. A lot of business owners stop short as soon as they build their websites, create Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + accounts, and then think a post re-shared on each website is enough.

As it turns out, each social media site has its own personality, which means you get to have your own personality on each site as well. The same person, different sites. It’s extremely important to know the correct language for each site, so you don’t put out an informal tone on LinkedIn where you want to remain professional, or a business persona on Facebook when you want to be more casual; the TARDIS won’t translate content to each different platform for you. The more you master your online presence, the closer you may come to making your business happen.



Seth is an incredibly responsive marketing expert, whose replies to my questions, worries, and concerns are unfailingly clear, helpful, thorough, and patient.  He's steered me from being a twitter-resistant know-nothing to a confident, informed tweeter and follower.  Great guy to work with!

-Bill Abelson, writer (Dr. Canard)

Oceanside, CA
Glendale, CA

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