If you’re new to SEO or PR, then you might want to step back and review some of your on-site optimization and content assets before digging in here.

However, if you already know that high-quality, contextual backlinks are essential to your SEO strategy and you want to use PR to growth hack your way to the front page of google – then this article is for you.

Without beating you over the head about benefits and reasons for this – here are 5 highly-actionable PR growth hacks to secure those ever-loving SEO backlinks.

1. Pack Value-Driven Punches In Your Pitches

This is the golden rule for all outreach.

No one will want to link to your site or talk about you in any way if you don’t have something valuable to share.

“Always think about adding value to the Journalist, not just adding links,” Ian Cleary from OutreachPlus says. “When you build up trust with the Journalist you can become a source and this will inevitably lead to more links.”

How Do You Add Value?

The answer is create research that adds value to a story!

39% of writers prefer content that contains exclusive research in some form, so if you can provide it in your pitch – you are giving them something that they crave.

“Journalists love original research and it’s a great way to get on their radar,” Cleary says. “Include key influencers in your research to add authority to the article and position yourself as an authority to the Journalist. You want the Journalist to come back to you for their next article also.”

The lesson here is become a known and reliable source for awesome insight related to your industry.

Eventually, the journalists will come to you!

2. Leverage Events To Get Attention

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes doing things in the “real world” can provide high-impact results for your online strategies.

People want to feel like they are involved in something – so creating a space where people can come together can be insanely powerful.

“While traditional tactics such as guest posting is quite important to our efforts, grassroots marketing is one of our unique approaches,” Ryan Meghdies from Tastic Marketing says. “Setting up events, getting involved with current events, connecting people, and using this to generate unique quality content among strategic partners.”

Everyone that attends an event is going to be connected to the online world as well – the trick is converting that awesome experience into online content and social sharing.

If you are the organizer and host information, photos, or details about the event on your website – it will be the go-to link for sharing across the web.

In addition, leveraging partnerships and content creation during the event materializes another killer touch point for getting more exposure and those juicy backlinks when people share it!

3. Respond to Press Opportunities

This is one of the easiest PR growth hacks out there.

If you are looking to get quoted as an expert, there is no easier way than by connecting with a journalist who is actively asking to talk to one.

There are quite a few free services that connect experts with journalists – and if you haven’t heard of them before, then I highly suggest checking them out:

“Although it’s quite difficult due to the sheer volume of work you have to do, there are occasionally diamonds in the rough,” Daniel Johnson from Nascence and GrowthMachine says. “We’ve used them before to get in The Times, BBC and the Guardian.”

Johnson also recommends to “check out #Journorequest and #prrequest on Twitter to see if they can help.”

These services send out requests from journalists, writers, bloggers, and content creators on a daily basis – all of whom are looking for a source that could be you!

Of course – this is not a 100% reliable strategy as you can never be sure of what request will be active on any given day, but amazing opportunities do pop up!

Keep in mind, you are not the only one responding to these requests – so make your pitch stand out and really answer the query to the best of your ability.

4. Create Rockstar Content

As a golden rule – the weight and value behind your content will determine your success.

There is a constant hunger for new and amazing content on the internet – but people are sick of the same ol’ re-hashed content.

This means if you can generate incredible content ideas then you have something valuable to share in a variety of ways.

“Put some real thought and effort into your content and pitch the editor on something unique and engaging and you will have much higher response rates,” Paul Teitelman from paulteitelman.com advises. “I’ve found that “Industry Expert Roundups” get great responses along with “Definitive Resource Guides” that are long form content with tons of engaging images and screenshots.”

“However that content isn’t the time to boast your accolades, growth or company achievements,” Teitelman warns. “Focus on creating real value within your content and make sure to pitch editors and journalists fully thought out topics before you go knocking on their doors.”

With amazing content ideas in hand – you can pitch by:

  • Offering a completed article as a guest post
  • Connecting with other writers to collaborate
  • Grabbing an Editor’s interest and setting yourself up as an expert source

If you’re not getting any replies to your ideas – brainstorm some better ones!

5. Leverage Local Data

If you want to be successful at PR then you need to learn to do more than self-promotion.

You need to become a source of information that makes people want to cite, share, and return to your work!

An awesome PR growth hack for this is to tap into data that is accessible to your team.

“This could be first party data from a survey that you run on your customers or using platform like mechanical turk or secondary party data such as from your local governments website,” Jordan Choo from Kogneta recommends.

“Using this data turn it into a useful and insightful asset on your website this could be a comparison tool, a whitepaper, an interactive tool and even an animated infographic,” Choo says. “Then reach out to reporters, journalists and bloggers in your area letting them know about your asset.”

“Everyone, especially journalists, likes to read and hear about information related to them and the area that they live in and using this technique helps you do just that.”

This strategy is 10x more powerful if you own the data – but don’t panic if you don’t have the ammunition.

Choo recommends a couple of easy and open resources that anyone can leverage:

Open Data Bases:

Easy Visualization Tools:

The big lesson here is that there is data available – the hard part is turning it into something that is relatable and appealing to people.

If you can master this – you will have a sustainable and repeatable PR growth hack at your disposal!