Or better said, SEO is a tool of the modern public relations, and a very powerful tool if I may add. Yes, SEO has the power to bring your brand in front of your customers in a flash. But the problem is that most of the PR experts look at SEO solely from a “press release” optimisation perspective. And that is wrong.
SEO is about optimising content in general. PR is about sending out the right message. Now, do you remember that the main purpose of SEO is to optimise content for the people? Where does this place SEO in relation with PR? That’s right: on the same side of the barrier.
SEO is broadly criticised by the masses, but so is PR and that’s no surprise. Both manipulate something to get things done: SEO the search engines (and most recently the mind of the visitor) and PR the general public perception of the brand. The difference between SEO and PR comes when we get into detail: SEO is also about positioning the brand technically.
The results of a SEO campaign are measurable with exact instruments. Web analytics software prove the efficiency of using SEO to promote a brand or a product. On the other hand, PR alone cannot guarantee a place at the top of Google (unless Google news, but there “sic transit Gloria mundi” applies).
Yet, online PR campaigns are measurable too: use Google alerts to see how many times (and how often) people mention your brand and your name on other sites, then count how many links you get without actually begging people to link to you, and then you will know that your efforts were not in vain.