So if you’ve been reading any other blog entries, or have in fact met me in real life, then your going to be in a very good position to make an educated guess on to my answer to the question posed in the title. Of course, in true viewfromthedarkside fashion – I can whole-heartedly tell you yes, of course we can trust Twitter. Can we trust those who tweet? Now we’re talking.

Searching the Internet for worthwhile thoughts and information, I came across this very interesting blog entry on sponsored tweeting and consequently this gem of a website. The latter is a very interesting website that can calculate for you the supposed ‘worth’ of a celebrity endorsement on Twitter.

The idea that a celebrity out right telling you that they ‘endorse’ a product, is to my mind an absurd suggestion that people in general are idiots. Actually its not so absurd as I imagine many people are idiots and could well have their buying behavior influenced by a non-entity who appears only in gossip magazines for various unimportant reasons. Yes I do feel better for getting that off my chest, thank you.

I guess you can see where I’m going with this. By paying for a celebrity endorsement on Twitter, despite the tweet being marked as being paid for one does have to question the morality of influencing people through a medium that is designed to share people’s thoughts. But actually what do I care? If it works it works. That’s the business I’m in and I have no problem with using the tools at my disposal.

I remember a time, roughly six months ago, when I would simply laugh off the idea that someone with a degree in some form of IT would be anywhere near a PR Agency, other than to fix the email. Now I wonder whether someone like myself with a (future) degree in PR will be going anyway near an agency. Search Engine Optimisation is now a crucial part of most strategies and it is easy to see why.

Let’s be honest, we want to find something we ‘Google it’. Moreover we rarely go past the first few links, let alone the first page. Therefore SEO can be considered an immensely important part of brand visibility, to say nothing of bottom line implications. But as always, I’m a cynical son-of-a-gun.

The idea of a search engine is to ‘find’ what you are looking for, not to find what Generic-Multi-National-Corporation PLC wants you to. But ‘whoa there’ I here you cry, is that not my job as a PR person to get my client to the forefront of a publics mind? Why yes it is. Which is why I think SEO is the laziest form of PR.

My hypothetical job is to promote our client, to make sure their product or service is the product or service of choice of their public, and I have no problem with a ‘by any means necessary’ ethos. However, by utilising SEO you are putting metaphorical white flag above you reputation as a PR person. If you can’t promote your client through any means other than ‘cheating’ them to the top of Google, then maybe you’re in the wrong career. PR is all about persuasion, not search engine rankings. Don’t get me wrong, SEO can have a positive effect on a brand, but lets leave it to the IT department and not rely on it as the tip of your PR arrow.

Want to read a blog that has a sunnier outlook on SEO? Well you could search for it, but oh wait… Here, I did the legwork for you.