As the name suggests, we're going to cover a lot of ground at Full Stack Marketing. We've got a brilliant lineup of world-class marketing professionals — but one of the talks I'm most looking forward to is actually going to address an area traditionally seen as separate to the marketing function: public relations.
Meet Lexi Mills, PR SEO and ecommerce digital marketing specialist. Lexi's breadth of expertise spans two traditionally discrete areas of practice — PR and SEO — and it's going to be fascinating to hear her explain how she blends those disciplines to deliver results for her clients. Today, to help ease the wait for 21 August, we put her in the speaker spotlight to tell us about her work, and how she arrived in the inter-disciplinary world of PR SEO...
What do you do?
I am a PR SEO specialist, focusing on building teams and strategies that work together simultaneously to create online influence that will stand the test of any manual Google review or algorithm update.
What does a regular day look like for you?
My roles have been both SEO and PR agency side as well as working in-house. No two days are ever the same!
Tell us a little about your professional background.
I have always been interested in business and the internet, I even remember the internet before there were search engines! I began working in marketing in the music and events industry after which I worked for a few big brands before taking on a global consulting position in PR SEO at Distilled. Having self-taught myself in SEO it was a great privilege to learn from some of the very best in the world there. After a few years, I became aware that exceptional storytelling and PR skills were going to become critical to online business success; as such, I then took on a position as head of digital at Dynamo PR. There I have built out a digital team that not only uses PR to influence SEO but also takes insights from SEO metrics to inform PR strategies and increase their impact.
What are you going to talk about at Turing? Why do you think it's important?
When I first started specialising in PR SEO integration (5 years ago) it was considered cutting-edge; this is now evolving into a trend that is gaining momentum week on week. However, I am still surprised everyday how so many businesses separate these element of online marketing. This to me seems crazy — not only does this increase the costs and time of implementing work, but also decreases the effectiveness and resilience to algorithm changes over time.
In my talk I am going to show with real life examples of what integrated PR and SEO looks like and the results it can achieve. I will also try and share some of my thought processes for making decisions about integrated campaigns, some tactics to help get teams working together smoother, as well as some media industry insights.
For companies that are getting serious about marketing for the first time, where do you think they can get some quick wins?
I think the term quick win is dangerous, many people associate it with bygone tactics when SEOs used to attempt to ‘trick’ Google into thinking their site is the best and deserves to rank. Of course you need to get your basic technical details right, that’s your foundation. But thereafter internet marketers, business strategists and even investors building portfolios of online firms need to think not only about our businesses tomorrow, but also the month and year after that. We need strategies that survive each algorithm update. With inbound links still being extremely dominant in ranking sites, it makes sense to focus on getting this right. Sustainable modern link-building is not about trying to look natural, but in fact being natural. This view should not only change the starting point for your strategic approach but also increase the longevity of its impact.
What common mistake do you see marketers making that drives you nuts?
I often see emails saying, “I’ve written this great post, any chance of a sneaky link?” My response is always, “from where to where?” I don’t think you should ever have to ask for links. Ideally you should be building campaigns that media and bloggers should naturally want to link to because it adds value to their writing and their readers to do so. I think as marketers if we can change the language we use in this regard we will naturally influence our thought processes and behaviours.
And lastly, a quick-fire round — just for a little context about you.
- Tea or coffee? Both
- Wine or beer? Wine
- Twitter or Facebook? Facebook
- iPhone or Android? iPhone
- Favourite city? New York
- Last book you read? Buzzing Communities: How to Build Bigger, Better, and More Active Online Communities by Richard Millington and Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely.
- Last gig you went to? Oh Land in Times Square.