Should You Be Using PPC for PR?

When it comes to managing the public perception of your brand online, what are usually the hot topics? Social Media? Search Engine Optimization? I’d say those are the top two. But what about PPC?


For those of you unfamiliar with PPC (which stands for pay-per-click), it has to do with those little ads that pop up when you search on Google. These ads are typically at the top of the page as well as in the right margin area. You can set up an account with Google and have your ads pop up for certain keywords. When someone clicks on the ad, Google charges you. It’s a cheap way to get ads placed in relevant areas.  Sounds good, right?

Okay, so it’s obvious how this can help a business sell a product or service. But do people in the PR circle have any use for it? Well, let’s see.

A Short-Term Solution

As you probably know, you can’t always control what’s being said about you on the internet. No matter how many customers you satisfy, there will always be that select group that finds a reason to hate you. It’s just a fact of business life.

Having said that, it’s almost inevitable that at some point someone will start saying negative things about you online. And in the worst cases, it could come in the form of a negative story on a well-known news site. Or if you’re PayPal, it could be in the form of a website dedicated to how terrible you are (

Now, in this case, search engine optimization is not going to help you out. Sure it’s a long term solution to drive traffic to a company’s site. But, for example, what happens when an article comes out on about how terrible your company is? When someone Googles “(Your company name) is terrible” what are they going to find? The negative article. SEO can’t help you there.

But imagine this. Imagine if you paid for a PPC ad that will pop up on the same search page. And imagine that this ad takes searchers to an article you write that explains your side of the story. Can you see the potential? Most people understand that there are two sides to every story. And a PPC ad can get yours in front of the public eye almost immediately.

BP did this during the oil spill. Toyota did it when their vehicles were failing and causing major safety concerns. Why can’t your business do it too?

So Should You Use PPC for PR?

In short, if you have a message that you need people to find quickly, PPC can be a good way to make this happen—especially if you need to do some fast reputation management to combat nasty rumors being spread about your company online.

What say you? Has your company ever used PPC for PR? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here:

Mickie Kennedy,

This message is so on-target for me. An owner-operator of an auto repair shop was told by another owner-operator of a similar business that PPC is what he must do.

I was unaware how PPC worked and made other suggestions. Because he has limited knowledge of PR, SEO, GOOGLING, and Facebook Fan pages, I’ve offered to help him with his online experience. Because you have enlightened me about Paid-Per-Click: I am better informed and can give him options.

Thank you,

Charlotte M Liebel
aka @Sharliebel


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