This week saw a heated exchange between The Times retail and M&A editor, Deirdre Hipwell, and some SEO marketers masquerading as PRs arguing over whether links to a company's website should be included in a news story. 

The exchange - which can be found on Twitter via the link below - makes fascinating and frustrating reading.

In short, the SEO/PR types believe The Times should provide backlinks to websites of companies quoted in news reports, claiming they add credibility. Predictably - and in my mind quite correctly - The Times disagreed. Being quoted in a newspaper of record as a source is credibility enough.

This is a discussion I've had countless times with digital marketers across many different sectors.  Being quoted on the BBC, an op-ed in CityAM or a byline in the FT is not enough. It needs a link to be worthwhile. 

PRs and particularly media relations experts understand the value of a well placed comment or editorial. But not their marketing and content colleagues. It is perhaps a mistake of our own making.

Marketing functions have become increasingly siloed and I'm not entirely sure we all really understand what other truly does. 

Many businesses - and particularly those without sophisticated marketing functions - simply do not know the difference between the myriad of marketing and comms disciplines. 

PRs need to educate their marketing colleagues to the true value of a line in The Times.  Their SEO and content colleagues need to explore ways to make that content work for them rather than naively ask a national newspaper to include a link.