SEO, Social Media & Story: Why Content Is Still King – and How to Steal the Crown










By Hope Katz Gibbs, Founder and President, Inkandescent Public Relations

Screenwriter Leo Rosten once said, “I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” That thoughtful philosophy reigns at my PR firm, Inkandescent Public Relations, and following its essence can help your company be successful in promoting your clients.

I tell my clients, most of who are entrepreneurs, “If we are going to say something, it must be something that matters, something that may even make a difference in someone’s life.”

That is one of the golden rules of journalism—and it’s what makes for writing that’s worth reading.

Practical Magic

Following are three reasons to have content-rich articles on your website:

1. It is a good business practice in terms of search-engine optimization. While Google analytics purposely change with the wind, experts agree that websites with content that is updated regularly—especially on the homepage—rank better than static, or image-heavy sites. So spend your web resources on enriching the content rather than on flashy graphics and music.

2. Websites that feature interesting articles are also more likely to be linked to by other sites, blogs, and social-media pages. Given the potential for that kind of viral marketing, why not adopt this strategy?

3. Content-rich websites are more fun to read. Doctors: offer medical tips. Lawyers: tell us about the latest changes in legislation. Chefs: share a recipe. Give, and you shall receive—fans, followers, and increased visibility.

Ready to Reach for the Stars?

So how can you generate great online content? By finding answers these three questions, I have helped my clients get the visibility they need:

1. What’s interesting about that? When my son, Dylan, was about 4, he was playing in the office of my husband, illustrator Michael Gibbs. Although Michael has been a successful artist for more than three decades and has a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism, he was floored when Dylan looked up at the piece he was working on and said, “So Daddy, what’s interesting about that?”

Holding back a laugh, Michael realized the wisdom of the question—and years later we both continue to apply that “out of the mouths of babes” brilliance to everything we do. After all, if you can’t figure out “what’s interesting about that,” why do it? And why would anyone else want to hear about it?

2. What sets you apart from the competition? If your client has a viable business, they know what sets them apart in the marketplace. Help them develop a clear, concise, consistent message—and then shout it from the rooftops.

3. Are you afraid to show off? Too many entrepreneurs have a fear of talking to reporters. But rather than shy away from getting into the news, understand that reporters don’t know as much about your field as you do. (And even if they do, they need an expert to confirm their theories.) So be brave—not arrogant, just confident—and fearlessly forge ahead.

Journalist Hope Katz Gibbs has been a newspaper and magazine reporter since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Miami Herald, and dozens of association, business, education, and general-interest magazines and alumni publications. In 2008, she founded Inkandescent Public Relations, a national PR, publications, media relations, marketing, and design firm, with offices in Washington, DC, and Miami, FL. Learn more at and