Prowly #PRChat with Ali Sheik, Director of PR at Reachology

If you’ve been following Prowly #PRChat, you know know that we feature an incredible range of voices and perspectives and this time our lineup gets even more impressive with the addition of Ali Sheik, Director of PR at Reachology and all-around expert on PR, media relations and event organization.

In his 20+ years of high-level experience, Ali has had a front-row seat to the inner workings of all things PR while representing an amazing list of clients from the world of sports, entertainment, fitness & health and beyond. After climbing to the top of the London PR industry with a number of global brands, he has now brought his insider’s skills and perspective to his own agency, where he continues to excel. 

Here’s what Ali had to say about the topics we asked him about. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your work at Reachology?

Reachology is a new hybrid SEO Digital PR agency that helps brands achieve online visibility, which in turn helps improve their SEO and their page ranking on Google.

Why is digital PR important for SEO?

Digital PR is important for SEO because it uses organic, earned content to secure backlinks and mentions. These are crucial for how Google views a brand’s authority and relevancy.

What’s one successful PR tactic you are using at the moment?

For us it’s less about tactics, which can be seen as a short-term focus and more about our long-term objectives.

From a client’s perspective, it’s about us understanding their goals and objectives. How we can help build their brand and join up activity such as content, SEO and backlinks while offering measurable results which show success and makes us accountable as an agency. We do this via our own in-house tools.

From the agency side, we look at the audiences we are targeting and the messages. Also how we can help accelerate sales cycles and create brand awareness.

What is a commonly held belief in public relations that you passionately disagree with?

That all PR is the same and that all agencies work in the same way.

Digital PR is a relatively new sector and focuses on brands that understand consumers are now online, and this is where they need to be in order to engage with them.

There are certainly more players in both the digital and traditional PR fields, but in my opinion, many agencies still do the bare minimum and employ a box-ticking mentality rather than challenging themselves to improve their offering and work in new ways.

What skills do you think PRs need to be successful long-term?

A love for media. Tenacity. Being analytical and understanding audiences. Being creative and strategic. Being an optimist and a realist at the same time. Enjoying working hard and getting things done. Being good with people.

What trends do you see in PR that you’re excited about?

Brands are starting to realise the benefits of digital PR and how it can help them. Gone are the days when you needed three separate agencies (PR, SEO, PPC) when results can be achieved with a good digital PR campaign.

Audiences are now focused on communicating, engaging, shopping and reading online. Increasing a brand’s online visibility simply means the can be found easier and quicker.

How do you go about tracking media coverage and measuring your PR efforts?

We use two in-house measurement tools that we created ourselves. ReachScore allows us to assign a score to mentions, ranging from national newspapers sites to blogs, social media and specialist sites. Q-Flux is a measurement formula for backlinks. We use Moz DA, Core Web Vitals scores, SEMrush traffic and keywords scores and relevancy in a weighted calculation.