For a business that extols the virtues of publicity, the PR industry as a whole is a little shy in self promotion.

I had occasion to research a small fraction of the industry some time back and I found it seriously lacking in the search engine results. I looked at some fairly standard industry public relations keywords to see how individual firms rated against them in results. Now, I would like to state that whilst the industry may seem in the face on it fairly generic it’s actually quite fragmented. Some firms specialise in specific narrowly focused areas and therefore would not show up in results for broader terms. I looked at 30 keywords and at over 100 public relations firms to see how each of the companies rated against those search terms – up to the first 50 results only.

To be quiet frank, I think that looking at the first fifty results was being particularly generous indeed. Only twenty nine of the 110 companies looked at managed to rank in a Google search for any of the 30 terms.

I thought given the nature of their industry that the firms would be suing the internet a little more effectively. Stated another way, three quarters of the firms surveyed did not turn up in the search results for any of the keywords.

Again, it’s only fair to say that some of the companies could have popped up in a search for more specialist keywords. Even taking that into account, I do think that overall there should have been better visibility. www.simpsonftpr.ie would have to be congratulated as it had the most first places at three, but whilst I don’t want to detract from the achievement, I would have to point out that first places were in keywords sectors where that company specialises. www.hpr.ie had the most overall keywords in the top fifty at 16 followed closely by www.slatterycommunications.ie on 13 keywords. You can have a look at a detailed analysis.