PA pros: search engines and referrals 101

September 12, 2011

How do people discover stuff? Educate themselves? Make up their minds?

Ever increasingly, they:

  • Use a source they know and trust (a magazine, daily paper, website, whatever)
  • AND they use a search engine to look up whatever it is they want to know about
  • AND they read (or otherwise consume) whatever their peers recommend, increasingly via online recommendations (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)

Yet PA dinosaurs will often feed you variants of the following: MEPs only care about the FT, they’ll only listen to you if you get face time, policy-makers don’t trust the web. And so forth.

No.

80% of MEPs use interest group websites and 99% of MEP offices conduct research on policy matters using a search engine. Would you not want them to find your stuff? There are things you can do to help ensure that they do. It involves something collectively known as Search Engine Marketing.

Scores of MEPs (and their assistants) are avid Twitter and Facebook users. Their friends and followers include people who work in the same areas they do. They trust these people, so when these same people post something or recommend an article (i.e. referrals) they take note. Would you not want them to be recommending your stuff? Well in that case, make your stuff really interesting, and make sure it can be shared with ease.

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