Blogs  / January 28, 2015

PR Search 2013 vs. 2014

by Rebekah Iliff

Can you imagine a world without Search?

Take a deep breath. Now think about all the things you search for in a day.

Go on, do it.

Now that you’ve thought about it, without Search…

How would you know where to eat dinner in a new city? Or what your favorite celebrity is planning to name their baby. How would you appear “oh so smart” to a group of strangers talking about some random thing you’ve never heard of (until you clandestinely pull it up on Google)?

In my case, I wouldn’t have the foggiest notion as to when any major holiday falls for the given year, except Christmas or Independence Day because they always fall on the same date.

In addition to using Search as a simple way to manage my holiday calendar, I also use it to gain important insights into the lives and minds of men; as I often find myself (during extremely frustrating relationship moments) entering search queries that may or may not include the following phrases:

  • How do you know if he’s the one?
  • What does it mean when a guy tells you he likes your shoes?
  • What kind of a man listens to Taylor Swift?

Let’s face it, without Search, we would all be a little lost. Figuratively and literally.

Beyond just the functional aspects of Search, it also has the ability to provide us with useful “data” on what people find important for any given topic.

Case in point: Last year, we posted this nifty little write up on the top 2013 Search terms for PR and what it tells us about the PR narrative. After doing a little perusing through 2014 data, Leta and I were pleased – no, giddy – to find some marked shifts. Below is what we dug up, and our takeaways in terms of what these shifts in “PR Search” mean for the industry.


Key Takeaways:

1. NOT ONE “PRESS RELEASE” MENTION in 2014’s list. Yesssssssssss. Perhaps we are finally figuring out that as a storytelling mechanism, press releases just aren’t where it’s at. Let us rejoice.

2. Peeps are still having trouble defining PR. Well, that could be due to the fact that PR keeps owning different parts of the digital marketing puzzle. Maybe it’s not so much what PR is vs. why it’s important or where its value truly lies (e.g. people and relationships).

3. Marketing and advertising mentioned in the same breath as PR. Whaddup convergence? God, I love it when we’re right. #trendspotter

4. There was a nod to the shift of all things digital with #9, however this is also indicates a strong proclivity towards outsourcing. With more tools than ever (#PRTech), it might behoove companies to look inward first before seeking outside help.

5. Next up: Getting PR measurement, PRTech, and PESO to appear on 2015’s list.

Our Conclusion:

If search behavior is any indication of the trajectory of our industry, we are definitely on the right track. But there’s still plenty of room for growth. Let’s be mindful of how far we’ve come, but also continue to push forward when it comes to elevating the entire industry.

It’s only when we all commit to inciting intelligent conversation, creating meaningful content, and sharing the wisdom and expertise acquired that all PR ships rise with the tide.