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Are PRs just too shy about asking journalists for links?

Are PR agencies too shy to ask for links?

PR and SEO are getting closer together, with many SEO pros using PR techniques to support organic search campaigns. This is especially true in linkbuilding – where getting a link back to your web page from prominent online publications and blogs can greatly help SEO.

My experience of PRs, however, is that they would very rarely – if ever – consider asking an editor for a link to be inserted along with content they’re providing for a story or feature.   Search specialists are a lot less shy about this, as I was informed by top search and social marketer, Lisa Myers (@LisaDMyers of Verve Search agency).  

While presenting an award winning SEO case study about one of her clients at the UK Search Awards conference last week, Lisa explained that her agency was very up front about asking for a link when submitting articles to  online editors and bloggers.  After the event, Lisa told me that she got very good results from being open and direct with editors when requesting links.  Many PRs are still not trained to recognise the value of links and even if they are, they feel uncomfortable about asking for them.  Is it that we think it will somehow damage the journalist relationship? Are we just too coy? 

I’d love too hear what journalists feel about being asked for a link…. 

But my feeling is that if PR companies don’t start to pull up their socks about the links issue, we’re going to be surpassed by smart SEOs.  Watch  out!

(Image credit: Profound Whatever)