Posted December 12, 2008 10:59 am by with 13 comments

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If you want to optimize your Google rankings, who do you hire? An SEO, right?

If you need some web development stuff done, who do you pick? A web dev firm, right?

Now, if you want to implement an online public relations campaign, who do you turn to?

If you said a PR firm, you’d be wrong! And I can prove it with E-consultancy’s Online PR Industry Benchmarking report.

First, even PR firms don’t consider online PR to be their area of expertise–with 64% of UK PR firms confining online PR to a specialist division.

Maybe that lack of integration–and perhaps confidence– is why a whopping 49% of UK companies actually outsource their online PR to search marketing firms and web development companies.

Those that do outsource their online PR are anything but satisfied with the results–with only 48% of clients claiming to be either “very” or “moderately” satisfied.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the data–and if you’re a PR professional, I’d suggest it be mandatory that you do–you can find the full report at the E-consultancy web site.

  • Maybe that’s a sign that PR firms need to get with the times and embrace SEO and social media.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..SEO and Usability – SES Chicago 2008 Presentation

  • I agree with Utah. I think the problem lies with the PR firm not making online PR a prioity. The SEM firms are loving the business. PR firms need to read David Meerman Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”.

  • are PR firms even aware of the potentials of taking traditional forms of PR to the internet? most of them will probably have to bring added expertise into their business in order to be able to offer onlinePR solutions.
    John – I am currently reading David Meerman’s book and so far I am enjoying every single page. I realise that things are still just so much behind in Europe.

  • I would be weary to outsource my online PR campaign. It not only could get you banned from google, but not be as affective as choosing a good firm.

    Patrick’s last blog post..The US Auto Industry Bailout Bill

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  • it amazes me to see how many people truely are not online yet and how many marketing companies don’t offer website services

  • Those who remember the early days of search marketing have seen this cycle before – specialty SEM firms took market share away from the traditional and online agencies for almost a decade before the agencies built up their own capabilities (or bought SEM firms).

    I expect fully that we’ll see the same thing occur in Digital PR, which heavily impacts the online news and social media space. This particular stat gives me great hope since it takes a more experienced online marketer to maximize a content promotion campaign from Newsforce, and it’s a lot easier to explain to a digital marketer than a traditional PR firm.

    That being said, eventually the PR firms need to take some sort of leadership role here because they have the communications-strategy background that is potentially lacking in marketing firms. It can be a very different animal, measured in very different terms. PR is not just “making public noise”, issuing press releases and Twittering about your upcoming event. An experienced communication strategist lines up the sequence of public opinion “dominoes” that need to tip – and the key messages that need to be consumed – in order to prepare the way for Marketing to come in and finish the job.

  • Hah, that’s a dis grace for PR firms, one should be good at something(atleast) rather than outsourcing it!

    Abdul’s last blog post..Whos.Amung.Us taking Web Stats to a Whole New Level

  • Yea I just think this demonstrates a new specialty arising as a result of advancing media, at some point smart firms will incorporate it into their knowledge base.

  • It is really a bad thing.

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  • that’s terrible!! But proof I guess that some of the world is slower at adopting their practices and techniques to the web than others.. The non-tech oriented fields seem to be fooling themselves into believing that, somehow, the Internet will turn out to be nothing more than a short-lived fad that they can ignore until it goes away

  • Today being proficient in internet marketing is one of the core competencies firms must have for 21st century business practices. They would laugh if you suggested they might outsource handling and responding to emails… what’s different about social networking?

    Dave Guzeman’s last blog post..Book Reading Habits in America