Digital PR

800 533 Jane Hunt

[COVID-19] How to get your travel PR back on track

Today we heard from 4 leading national travel journalists and editors discussing how the global pandemic is impacting national travel PR and how brands can work with them.

When the impact of the virus was really hitting home (as we all worked from home) last week, JBH as an agency had to very quickly assess the impact of the virus on all of our clients and our current and future campaigns (travel related or not), to see how much we needed to pivot and reframe our activity.

And we’re pretty sure, this is going on in PR departments up and down the country. Some brands will continue, reframing their angles and tone, whilst other brands will be very nervous, tempted to hit ‘pause’ on all their PR activity for fear of offending.

But as we all know from previous hard times, those brands that continue to be vocal and create useful content for consumers, will benefit from having a presence during this time. And, journalists are crying out for content.

So the BIG question is… 

How can PRs generate positive PR coverage at this time?

To get some insight into the impact of the virus on travel journalists and editors, Roxhill discussed the situation with four journalists and editors from the top travel publications:

  •  Claire Irvin, Head of Travel at The Telegraph
  •  Chris Haslam, Chief Travel Writer at The Times & Sunday Times
  •  Jane Dunford, Travel Editor at The Guardian
  •  Tom Robbins, Travel Editor at The Financial Times

I’m going to share the main points from the webinar including…what travel journalists need right now from travel PRs and how you can deliver it…

One of the points was crucial – don’t feel guilty promoting your brand as this will help your brand survive and journalists need all the content they can get presenting LOTS of opportunities.

What content do travel journalists want right now?

  1. Humour – Amongst all the journalists, they all agreed that they and the nation would benefit from more humour, more light hearted content for some light relief
  2. Positive pieces – there’s a ‘huge appetite for positive pieces’ to lighten the mood of doom and gloom e.g. the swan and dolphin stories from venice (even if they were fake news
  3. Trends Consumers spend 48 weeks of the year dreaming about travel and only 4 weeks travelling, so how can you tap into that for 2021. What are the predictions or trends for next year once the travel ban has been lifted? We all have plenty of time now to research and plan, so what content can we offer aids this?
  4. Virtual travel – So with travel restrictions in place a lockdown fast approaching, even UK staycations are out the window, enter virtual travel! How can you inspire consumers with virtual content, get them inspired for when bans are lifted and the nation is itching to get away! We’re already seeing the first waves of this with The Times and The Sun both doing features, but there are plenty more travel topics to cover.

      

  5. Quirky content – more than ever, journalists want PRs to think outside the box. What interesting or weird things are your brand or the public doing in response to the crisis? Personal stories are always well received especially if you can show a different side to a topic.

What can you do differently?

This advice doesn’t just apply to travel PRs, this is relevant to every brand and agency out there, no matter what sector you work in.

  • Think like a journalist – how are brands responding to the crisis? Journalists want to hear the real impact on travel brands and how they are adapting. For example some resorts and spas are now offering Coronavirus anxiety-relief packages
      
  • Think about the philosophy of travel – what does travel mean to us and why? How does it affect us when we can’t go away? Does researching dream holidays help somewhat?
  • Consider timing – when pitching any story / angle, consider how the landscape might change very rapidly e.g. don’t pitch staycation content when the Government is suggestion people don’t travel in the UK or is about to announce a national lockdown
  • Pitch other sectors – in times like this brands need to be more creative and diverse with who they pitch. So if you’re a hotel, pitch interiors magazines or environmental publications if you have an eco-friendly USP

What not to pitch?

  • Journalist pet hates haven’t changed – some still don’t like any travel pitches that involve Instagram!
  • Don’t try and change the subject – think laterally rather than hide from the situation
  • Be cautious about sending anyone anywhere right now – everything should be a virtual online experience
  • Be careful about representing the travel industry as a ‘charity’ that needs supporting
  • No ‘happy monday’ emails please. Don’t promote hotels doing things when they aren’t even open.

Opportunities?

You may not think this is the best time for PR opportunities but journalists disagree believing there are more than ever, if you can think outside the box.

  • UK consumers have way more time to consume news and travel now and are therefore a hungry audience that need to see inspiring travel pieces for escapism and planning for 2021!
  • Luxury resorts are being asked by guests if they can be the first ones to visit when the travel sector reopens, building a buzz and an appetite for their experiences.
  • Virtual travel is a big opportunity if done well e.g. not just a Google map!
  • Sustainable travel will be a hot topic once again when travel bans are lifted so it could be the perfect time to educate and inspire

Key takeaway?

Most importantly, journalists NEED your ideas, updates, your energy and press releases! Think laterally! Report on situations across the world, help journalists fill their publications and keep morale high in the UK! So keep sending them your pitches…

Still unsure how to proceed?

If you’re still feeling very nervous and unsure IF and HOW to continue PR activity then give us a call on 0330 995 0830 or email hello@jbh.co.uk and we’d be happy to help – even if it’s just for a chat or to discuss any ideas. Our door is always open….

1024 682 Archie Da Costa

Top 5 Tips to Consider when Designing for Digital PR

Whether it is video, data visualisation or even a simple illustration, the right design can really level-up a digital PR campaign. But how do you decide on the best way to show the campaign to the rest of the world?

Having designed visual assets for many digital PR campaigns in a number of niches, I wanted to share our top 5 tips to keep in mind before putting pen to paper. 

Consider your Content and Data First

When receiving data and written content it can appear slightly overwhelming and it is important to visualise the key points in bite-size and digestible ways for the targeted audience. 

Depending on the content, you might decide to either split into a number of graphics or have a long infographic. It may work better as an interactive, or as pure data visualisation. What you need to consider is which format/s will display the content in the most accessible and interesting way.

From the examples below you can see how this will work depending on the content and data which has been collated and reduced into specific angles to support the overall digital PR campaign.

What is the main campaign objective?

 It is important to consider the main aims of the campaign which you should always ensure you understand before working on a design.  

The placement and size of the visualisation should be decided before the design process begins. Certain websites may not be able to handle large graphics etc.  

Having clear processes in place such as mood-boards, sketches and style-setters will help ensure that you can get the campaign moving on the correct track. You’ll be able to see what has previously been produced, what has been successful and it also allows you to plan out your approach with a campaign.

Less is more

 When it comes to design and digital PR campaigns, more graphics does not necessarily mean better results. 

From our previous campaigns, we have realised that smaller graphics such as index charts and single graphics have generated positive outreach results.

This does not stop you from linking back to a blog with further graphics that represent more in-depth data if the journalist wants to see a visualisation of the further data. This also gives journalists more of a reason to link back to the source website. 

How branded should the campaign be?

 In terms of branding, this is an area to be cautious of. We have found that producing graphics that are not overly branded produce better results. It can be difficult to earn links from overly branded pieces as it may come across as an advertisement. 

There needs to be a balance between branding and the overall goals of the campaign so that you can represent the data and content in the best way possible.  

It is a case of asking yourself, would you be interested in this if you were a journalist and have you seen similar images within articles before?

Style of the designs and visualisation

 The style of the design is important because you want to ensure that the graphics are as eye-catching as possible. 

With infographics and data visualisation, we tend to use various styles of graphs and maps to keep the design interesting and less repetitive for the viewer. 

These different styles of design can be important as it can help you differentiate between different angles, and by creating graphics like maps, you can attract either a global audience to more precise angles such as regional audience’s which can be seen below. 

3 Key Digital PR Design Takeaways

If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, it’s worth thinking about these three points, to see if it sparks any initial ideas: 

  • Always put pen-to-paper before you put mouse-to-screen – even the scrappiest of sketches can focus your mind before diving into digital designs
  • Encourage your team to send you examples of campaigns that they lovewe all contribute to a shared Pinterest Inspiration Board
  • Ask your team what publications they would like to see their campaigns land onsee if you can emulate their house style
800 533 Jane Hunt

How to do Reactive Digital PR in 2020

What is reactive Digital PR?

Good question! Reactive digital PR might have different meanings to different people, but for us, reactive digital PR is about responding quickly to news stories gaining ground or trending in the news.

These campaigns are not normally planned, but are seen as opportunities to respond quickly to a news story by adding a quote, or new data or case studies in order to generate coverage and links either for your brand or a client!

Although our client campaigns are planned in advance throughout the year, we do monitor the news for our clients to see what we could newsjack to gain some nice quick links, drive traffic and earn some brand awareness too!

Let’s look at a couple of examples…

1. Newsjacking Veganuary

Before Christmas, the team had been considering doing a piece around the amount of calories in the most popular supermarket ready meals, but as Veganuary began and the press was discussing the new vegan offerings on the high street, the team saw an opportunity to reveal which vegan fast foods are the most calorific and how they compared nutritionally to their meaty counterparts.

The team spent a couple of hours collecting the data, creating a few charts and then were ready to pitch to journalists as time was of the essence!

The campaign did so much better than we ever expected generating:39 pieces of coverage (30 linked), with 15 top-tier links

Not bad for a few hours work, right?!

In an effort to be fair and transparent, we’re also sharing a campaign that, although it got coverage, it didn’t gain many links…

 

2. Counting the Cost of Relocating Harry, Meghan and Archie

A good example of newsjacking is a piece we put together in response to Meghan and Harry moving to Canada.

As we have a client who relocates people overseas we saw an opportunity to generate coverage for our client by roughly calculating how much it would cost to move Harry, Meghan, Archie and all of their stuff over to Canada.

It took the team less than a day to put the content together with our clients help and get it into the right journalists inbox first thing the next day.
This resulted in some amazing coverage in The Sun and The Express for our client but no links (full disclosure). We’re still chasing the links, but slowly losing hope! Great brand awareness, nevertheless!

What have we learnt?

As we’ve learnt from the examples above, reactive digital PR doesn’t always equate to links. So how can you get started AND optimise your reactive campaign to generate links, not just coverage?

Tips to get started with reactive digital PR (and they won’t cost you a penny):

  • Read the news everyday (both online and print) – you never know where you may stumble across a good story
  • Set up Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts for keywords relating to your client/brand – monitor the web for content relating to the brand, their products and audience interests.
  • Monitor #journorequests to gain links quickly by supplying advice or a quote
  • Agree quick sign-off of on content with your client / or manager from the start so you can respond when the story is still timely
  • Have a calendar of national days and events in the year that are relevant to your brand/client and be ready with additional content

4 Tips to Help you get Links:

  • Give the journalist a reason to link back to your client/brand’s website e.g. additional data / quotes / methodology etc
  • Ask for a link before you send over the content – you’re supplying the journalist with something useful, so don’t be afraid to tell them a link is valuable to you up front
  • Know which sites don’t link as standard. Many sites have a no-link policy then don’t target these sites and focus your efforts on those that do!
  • Follow up as soon as you spot an unlinked brand mention. The sooner you ask for a link, the more likely it is!

To find out how reactive digital PR can work for your brand, contact us at hello@jbh.co.uk

1024 682 Carl Eden

10 Tips from Speaking to a Journalist

Recently, I had the opportunity to head to London to meet with Simon Neville, City Editor at the Press Association. As many PRs are in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of the newsroom, any opportunity for gaining inside insight is always welcome. Simon was there to answer the pressing questions we have when it comes to press – is there a perfect time of day to pitch? And what do journalists think of follow-ups?

Follow these quick tips when it comes to working with journalists.

1. Add Value

How does your story add value to the journalist or their readers? Many companies are happy to offer an opinion but tend to regurgitate what’s already been said. Some datasets have very little to say. Is the data you’re offering actually interesting, or is it only interesting to your client? Ask why – why would a journalist want this?

2. Journalists are Busy 

Your average journalist will get around three hundred new pitches a day. Simon described his role as spinning plates ten plates at once. Because of this, it’s easy for your pitch to get buried. Make sure you stand out with an engaging subject line.

3. Pitch Early 

Press Association have two people in from 7am checking for unusual pitches, and these days, newsrooms are opening earlier and earlier to get a head-start on the competition. It can help to get your story in before 9am. Mornings are key for coverage too, as many journalists are out or in meetings during the afternoon.

4. Get to the Point

Journalists are in a rush. Your subject line needs to be snappy, and they need to know what your pitch is about almost instantly. Keep things brief.

5. Speed Counts

You have to be available, because journalists work fast. If a journalist follows up asking for clarification on your data, a slow response could mean losing the story. If you don’t reply in time they’ll just move back down their pitches until they find someone who will.

6. Do THEIR Research 

With so many pitches and plates in the air, most journalists don’t have the time to do research. This can be a good opportunity for getting coverage. So for example, if you have a property client and the government releases data on new home builds by region, can you read the research on behalf of your client and pull out some key findings for the press? They’ll welcome someone doing the legwork for them.

7. Pictures Are Important 

Spend enough time reading retail stories and you’ll see the same header image on all of them. Journalists are hungry for imagery and often rely on the same handful of stock-photos to get by. If your client has a bank of original images, it might be worth sending them on – an image credit can still provide a link.

8. Comparisons are Key

One data set can be boring – compare two and you’re more likely to get a journalist’s attention.

9. Go Regional 

An extension of ‘Comparisons are Key,’ go even broader by breaking your data down by region. Gives you more journalists to contact too!

10. Always, Apply the Pub Test

Test your ideas with something called ‘the pub test.’ How do you do it? Easy – if the subject is something you’d happily discuss in the pub with your mates, it’s probably got legs for a story. If you wouldn’t, then maybe it’s not interesting enough?

Of course, not all journalists are the same. What are your pro-tips for working with press? 

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Content Marketing Lessons To Learn From 2019’s Top Google Searches

From the fire that nearly destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral to millions protesting the Hong Kong extradition bill, the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the start of an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, 2019 has delivered an assorted ensemble of news and events. 

But of all the stories that have grabbed the headlines this year, which ones have encouraged the public to jump onto Google to find out more? And perhaps most importantly, what lessons can we learn from these trending topics and queries to better inform future content marketing efforts?

Here we go…

Topic – European Parliament Election


Google classified ‘European Parliament Election’ as a ‘Breakout’ topic in 2019 due to a tremendous increase in popularity during the third week of May. With the dark cloud of Brexit still looming large over the UK, voters used this opportunity to exercise their opinion of European politics along with the rest of the continent.

Content Example

The Financial Times did a superb job summarising the European election results with five visually-engaging charts that demonstrated the power balance in parliament as well as the historic turnout numbers.

 

 

Lessons to Learn

Even though it’s often hard to comment on politics when you’ve got brand identity and company values to consider, the public continues to consume content about the issues affecting them – for this election, the Green vote enjoyed a huge increase because of the ongoing climate emergency. 

Then again, the driver behind this trending topic could be one of confusion. Are people from the UK still eligible to vote? What does it matter if we’re leaving the EU anyway? Google remains the go-to source for factual information among many, which is where content marketers may struggle to make an impact. 

Search Query – Register to Vote


Ever since Boris Johnson won the backing to hold a general election on 12th December, the popularity of the search query ‘Register to Vote’ kept increasing on Google. In the end, more than three million people registered to vote before the deadline.

Content Example

It might not have come from a brand, but Stormzy’s social media posts on Instagram and Twitter, which urged “every single person” who saw his message to exercise their democratic right, caused an immediate spike of 351,000 registrations.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote. The deadline is 23:59 tomorrow, the link is in my bio. Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation. Your “one little vote” means everything, there were millions of people who thought there “one little vote” didn’t mean shit and now Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU. So your vote really does count. I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him – I would be here all day if I began to list them…but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most. I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering. I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a “bunch of black kids” makes him “turn a hair”, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to blacks people as “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country. These are all MY views, I don’t care for your love or hate for them. I just think it’s important that we all register and go out and vote. And I think it’s important that we use our vote to make sure that the person who runs our country for the next 4 years is someone committed to doing what is right. GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRY YOUR BEST TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHO IT IS YOU’RE VOTING FOR. THE LINK TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS IN MY BIO. 💪🏿

A post shared by @ stormzy on

Lessons to Learn

Generation Z is an increasingly powerful demographic cohort. After all, today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s trendsetters. Content marketers should be putting in the hard yards to discover what Gen Z want to consume online in order to stay one step ahead of the game. 

In this example, they took their cues from one of the world’s most popular grime artists while casually browsing social media. Sure, it wasn’t a paid-for promotion, but that doesn’t mean to say a similar tactic wouldn’t work for a brand representing something equally significant or stirring.  

Sporting Events

Topic – 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup


“The Women’s World Cup has been a tournament we will look back on as the point when all of our longstanding expectations of what women’s football could be was realised,” said English footballer Eni Aluko. “It’s completely shattered the myth that people are not interested in women’s football.”

Content Example

Nike’s Dream Further campaign was more than just publicising the players wearing its attire at the World Cup; it showed millions of young girls around the world what the women’s game could look like in the future. Nike also released its first-ever football shirt made for girls featuring two custom patches conveying ‘unity and confidence’.

Lessons to Learn

Gender equality is now essential when it comes to content marketing. You only have to look at popular ad campaigns of yesteryear (or watch Mad Men) to see a barrage of masculine cues, which totally overlook the wants and needs of women. 

Some will point to sales data to reinforce the idea that only a certain gender buys your product or service. But you should be asking yourself why only one gender is buying. Chances are it’s because of an unconscious bias ingrained within your marketing content and copy. 

 

Search Query – Rugby World Cup Final


England’s Rugby World Cup final defeat was the most-watched British TV event of the year, with a peak audience of 12.8 million tuning in to see Eddie Jones’ side lose to South Africa 32-12. At one point, 79 per cent of the TV viewing audience across Britain was watching the match.

Content Example

The Rugby World Cup teamed up with TikTok to launch #RugbyFever, which encouraged fans to share their passion for the sport. Influencers flocked to the platform in their droves to share content using the hashtag, which accumulated a total of 186.1m views and was the number one performing TikTok trend in the sport globally during the tournament. 

Lessons to Learn

Traditional media and social media continue to battle it out for the public’s attention. As marketers, it all comes down to who your target demographic is and where they’re most likely to consume content. 

For example, 68 per cent of the Rugby World Cup Snapchat audience was between 13-24 years old, delivering 94.4m video views. The largest audience came from the USA, and its average video watch time nearly doubled from the start to the end of RWC 2019 (00:36 to 1:00 seconds).

 

Arts & Entertainment

Topic – Game of Thrones

After eight years on our televisions screens, Game of Thrones finally came to an end in 2019. Overall, the average gross audience per episode was 44.2 million across all platforms according to Nielsen. The budget for the eighth and final season was $90 million, and the top cast members were paid $500,000 per episode.

Content Example

Where do you begin? Mountain Dew launched ‘A Can Has No Name’ that only showed character names once chilled, the American Red Cross encouraged fans to donate blood with ‘Bleed for the Throne’, while Bud Light collaborated with HBO to promote the new season during a Super Bowl ad. But this incredible effort from Oreo should surely reign supreme on the iron throne. 

Lessons to Learn

Even if your brand has nothing to do with the subject in question – for example mythical kingdoms and fire-breathing dragons – you can still capitalise on popular culture to create stellar content marketing campaigns. 

Newsjacking can help you stay front of mind among audiences, especially if you can ride the buzz wave for as long as possible. Remember to be creative with campaigns that are both on-brand for your company and relevant to pop culture trends. 

People & Society

Topic – James Charles


James Charles, a YouTube personality and make-up artist, rose to prominence in May this year due to a feud with his long-time collaborator Tati Westbrook, who heavily criticised him in a 43-minute long video. Charles lost millions of subscribers as a result, and recently revealed that he has not mentally recovered from the ordeal with Westbrook. 

Content example

Before the controversy with Westbrook occurred, Charles was the first male spokesmodel for cosmetics brand CoverGirl, working alongside Katy Perry. This year, he appeared in a bullying prevention spot for Ad Council to highlight the backlash social media stars come under. 

 

Lessons to learn

“Influencer marketing is one of the most hyped marketing strategies today,” says Anne Hunter, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Growth, Kantar. “However, in a world that rises and falls on public opinion, at the speed of digital, there are dangers in an influencer strategy.”

Seeing as influencer marketing forces you to give up a fair amount of creative control, you should conduct thorough research on those you want to speak on behalf of your brand. Don’t forget to clearly define your brand’s messaging or the campaign’s expectations either. 

Now that the end of 2019 is within sight, most content marketers will be focusing on next year. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the trends that will make headlines in 2020, but we can help with all your content marketing needs. Get in touch for details. 

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Ranked: 10 of the Best Digital PR Campaigns of 2019 (so far…)

Taking a retrospective look at the biggest and best digital PR efforts of 2019 is something you’d probably expect to see towards the end of the year. 

But given the calibre of campaigns featured below, we thought why waste any time in talking about our favourites?

Nike – Dream Further

Nike has a stellar reputation for producing awe-inspiring adverts, especially when it comes to football. The 2019 Women’s World Cup was no different, with Nike enlisting the help of Wieden & Kennedy to create ‘Dream Further’, which follows in the footsteps of other inspirational campaigns ‘Dream Crazy’ and ‘Dream Crazier’. 

The three-minute spot sees 10-year-old Makena Cook step onto the pitch as a mascot, but she soon embarks on an imagined playing career alongside her idols including Australia’s Sam Kerr and England’s Fran Kirby. 

Although the ad promotes a limited edition ‘Dream Further’ jersey – the first-ever kids-only football shirt designed for girls – it was the USA Women’s team kit that broke records, becoming the most sold design ever in a single season on Nike.com. 

In terms of results, this campaign fared well, resulting in around 20 high-quality publications featuring a link to the campaign landing page, and almost 2million views on YouTube. 

KFC – Chicken Town

With its immense revenue and resources, you’d think KFC could easily shutdown the multitude of chicken restaurant knockoffs trading today with names like ‘QFC’ and ‘LFC’. 

But in an ad produced by agency Mother London, it calls upon the original chicken Don himself to simply send a godfather-like message – “a word to the wise, there is only one Colonel in Chicken Town.”

The ad has been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube and received high praise from many, with the top-rated comment reading: “in a sea of crappy ads I actually did the unusual and searched for this one to watch it again – incredible job whoever the creative team is.”

Guinness – Guinness Clear

For this year’s Six Nations, Guinness launched a new product to encourage people to drink responsibly throughout the tournament. Best of all, it doesn’t cost Guinness a thing to create or distribute. 

Guinness Clear, or ‘tap water’ as it’s more commonly known, will “keep you hydrated and help you stay in control.” Made to a time-honoured recipe, Guinness Clear offers a flavour unlike anything else. 

But even with a tongue-in-cheek campaign mini-site supported by video content featuring rugby internationals Brian O’Driscoll and Lawrence Dallaglio, many people on social media were duped into thinking Guinness Clear was a legitimate product.  

 

Britsh Airways – Made by Britain

In today’s turbulent political landscape, where opinions remain divided and the future still uncertain, sentiments that unite the masses are few and far between. But to mark its centenary, British Airways has written a heart-warming love letter to the UK. 

Celebrities including Olivia Colman, Anthony Joshua, Garry Oldman and Grayson Perry provide a snapshot of modern-day Britain as they take their seats on a special BA100 flight alongside compatriots from all walks of life. 

But despite racking up over 12 million views on YouTube, it’s difficult to decipher what viewers really think, as British Airways has taken the odd decision to disable comments on the video.

 

 

Paddy Power – Save Our Shirt

Despite a track record for courting controversy, Paddy Power’s decision to splash its logo across Huddersfield Town’s 2019 kit in a sash-style design still managed to raise plenty of eyebrows. 

A couple of days later, Huddersfield confirmed many people’s suspicions by revealing it was a hoax, but not before unveiling its actual strip for the 2019/20 season, which featured no sponsor at all. Since then, Paddy Power has ‘unsponsored’ other clubs including Motherwell, Newport County, Southend United and Macclesfield Town as part of its ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign. 

Speaking in digital PR metrics, this was one of the more successful campaigns in terms of media coverage and backlink generation, featuring on Forbes, the Sun and the Drum to name a few.  

“In terms of campaign launches and earned media, we are slightly blown away by how well it has gone,” Paddy Power head of PR Lee Price told PRWeek.

 

Brewdog – Advert

Yet another brand that takes an unashamedly outspoken approach to marketing, Brewdog claims that it’s ‘ditched the mainstream, embraced the alternative and drawn a line in the sand’ with this particular campaign. 

‘Advert’ is an attempt to increase craft beer sales against a backdrop of “mass-produced, industrial lager that monopolises advertising space.”

Not everyone believes that BrewDog is the anti-establishment maverick it claims to be, but Twitter was awash with praise for ‘Advert’ during commercial interruption of the Champions League final and Game of Thrones. 

 


The advert racked up over 43k views on YouTube and more than 5k articles written about the campaign, according to Google News.    

Pornhub – BEESEXUAL

PornHub has decided to capitalise on the fact it’s the 29th most popular website in the world by launching a philanthropic awareness campaign around the declining bee population. 

Each view of a ‘BEESEXUAL’ video results in a donation to charities including Operation Honey Bee and The Center for Honeybee Research.

“We turned short videos of foraging bees into what they really are: funny, kinky, nature porn featuring the voices of your favorite stars,” says the dedicated BEESEXUAL page on PornHub, which has attracted around 15,000 subscribers and nearly two million video views.

Comic Relief – Wise Words

Comic Relief never fails to make a powerful impact with its fundraising films. But this particular effort is stripped right back, highlighting the power of human nature and celebrating the charitable spirit of the British public. 

Bill Griffin, executive director of creative and brand, Comic Relief, said in a statement: “In these turbulent times, Comic Relief has an important role to remind the nation that we are more united than we’re led to believe.”

Donations are still welcome for Comic Relief 2019, but as of 30th July a total of £63,938,072 had been raised. 

 

 

UNHCR – 2 Billion Kilometres to Safety

Refugees travel two billion kilometres every year to escape war and persecution. In light of this, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) wants people to walk, run or bike the same distance to demonstrate solidarity. 

“At a time when we are facing so many misconceptions about refugees, it is vital that we remind ourselves of the real and dangerous journeys they are forced to take,” said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T. Clements.

The all-encompassing nature of this campaign, which includes a mobile app that’s compatible with fitness trackers, makes it as easy as possible for people to participate – the kilometre count is over six million so far. 

Mothercare – #BodyProudMums

Featuring ten mothers and their stories of having children, Body Proud Mums is a campaign that aims to celebrate the beauty of the post-birth body. 

One of the key motivations for Mothercare was to address the fact that over 80% of mums in the UK have admitted comparing their post-baby bodies to unrealistic ideals, while 90% of women aged 18-25 expect their bodies to compete with celebrities and what they see in the media.

The campaign photographer is Sophie Mayanne, who pledged in 2017 to never digitally manipulate skin in her work. Mothercare has also pledged to never use fake baby bumps for its maternity collections.  

 

 

We’ve produced our fair share of awesome digital PR campaigns in 2019 too. Get in touch to join the club.

1024 682 Carl Eden

Reddit, Get Set, Go!

When it comes to ideation, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Before you brainstorm with your team, you’re going to need to pool together a bank of potential ideas. This can be pretty daunting; even the most creative digital marketer will struggle to magic ideas out of the air.

Luckily, there’s Reddit. The self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is a fantastic resource to mine when you’re getting started, and can be an invaluable tool when it comes to generating creative ideas.

What is Reddit?

For those who haven’t used it before, Reddit is an American news discussion site. Registered members submit content to the site in the form of links, text posts and images, which are then up or down voted by other members. The more upvotes, the more popular the content, and the more likely it is to be seen.

Reddit is organised into boards known as subreddits, which cover just about everything – news, movies, health, fitness, books, games, music – and get more and more niche the deeper you go.

Essentially replacing the online forums of the 2000s, Reddit is a now a vast melting point of content, creativity, and idea sharing, and essentially, the river source for the sea of the entire internet. If you’re reading about something on a news site or Facebook, you can probably bet that it started in some form on Reddit.

The World’s Biggest Focus Group

Reddit is also huge – the 19th most popular website in the world, with around 330 million active users talking in 138,000 subreddits – but don’t let this overwhelm you. Reddit’s size is a positive. Think of the site as the world’s biggest focus group.

Reddit’s diverse user base makes it a useful tool for mining ideas in just about any subject. It’s just about knowing where to look.

Mining Reddit

First thing to do is download Reddit Enhancement Suite – this is a handy Chrome extension which allows you to keep scrolling indefinitely down Reddit without having to click through pages.

Next, in the search bar, start playing around with a few keywords which relate to your client.

The trick is to look at broader subjects which relate to your client without being too focused or ‘salesy.’ Start out wide, and then chop down as you go.

So for example, for a banking client, look broadly at keywords such as:

  • ‘Finance’
  • ‘Insurance’
  • ‘Homes’
  • ‘Property’
  • ‘Mortgages’
  • ‘Money advice.’

Set the toggles below the search bar to ‘Top’ and ‘All Time’ – which will bring up the most popular posts on the site.


As you go, make a note of the most popular posts – those with the most upvotes, or those with the most comments. This suggests the topic being discussed is one a large amount of people are interested in, and which might therefore be a good avenue to start mining for ideas. Don’t be afraid to make a note of posts with less upvotes but which are so weird, or so unique they stand out to you. The most original ideas can be found this way! Make notes as you go – jot down any common themes or anything that inspires you, and don’t worry about what you’ll do with it at this stage. 

Have a look at relevant subreddits too – i.e. r/finance – and make a note of posts there with the most upvotes.

In 5 minutes, you’ll end up with something like this:

So for our hypothetical banking client, we’ve got a few stems of ideas to build on here:

  • Unusual or non-traditional paths to financial success
  • Budgeting advice
  • Milestones of life
  • Debt regrets
  • Debts of the world
  • What we spend in a week
  • Regrets of homeowners
  • Unexpected deal-breakers when it comes to homes – i.e. neighbours, pets
  • Income vs house price
  • How far money goes in different countries
  • What size home you can get in different countries
  • Renting vs mortgages

All of which you can take into your team brainstorming sessions and begin to build out into some great ideas together.

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Why Metrics Matter: How Digital PR Can Bridge the Gap Between Journalism and SEO

As digital content marketers, we’re completely comfortable poking around various reporting tools to track and analyse the campaigns we’re working on.

We know what’s important to stakeholders and what our clients expect to see as a result of our efforts, today, tomorrow and in 2020.

As someone who works primarily through journalist based outreach, I was saddened to read this article earlier in the year.

Call me naive, but I had no real idea that many of the writers I communicate with on a daily basis, were paid, bonused and ranked using metrics that I am only used to seeing within a client-facing SEO report.

The article makes for some pretty grim reading actually, so here’s the TL;DR: journalists were sacked for inconsistent traffic flowing through their well-researched articles, which led to writers looking to use pseudonyms rather than their real bylines when covering ‘clickbait-style’ stories.

The reality is that these writers could boost their pay packet if their traffic levels were consistently in the right ballpark – see below for an example of a bonus structure based only on traffic.

Source: https://www.cjr.org/special_report/newsweek.php

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.

Looking forward to 2020, this is actually incredibly useful intel for those of us working in digital PR. We already know how to create content that drives traffic, so we need to sell that benefit through our campaign promotion. 

Ultimately, our experience can help journalists get paid more and get freelancers repeat commissions. 

So, what does this mean for our digital PR campaigns in 2020?

Campaigns need to tick more boxes than ever before, for writers who are being held over a barrel by their analytics tracking software. If they don’t then we simply won’t achieve coverage. 

I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine. Simple as that.  

We now need to ‘sell’ our campaigns to journalists by speaking the same language that they are now being expected to use: unique page views, dwell time on page and exit rate, amongst many others. 

What does this mean for external linking?

In this game, outbound links are our goal. It is what our clients come to us for and they make the web go around.

But what if (and it’s a BIG what-if) the external linking stops entirely..?

What if writers and journalists become so fixated on their metrics that they simply stop linking to external content to preserve their articles ‘dwell time’ or other metrics.

If we forget the hoo-har around ‘no-follow’ for a second and think more broadly about the impact that ZERO external links would have.

If every publication blanket adopted this policy, then we would really have a problem on our hands.

On the bright side, we are seeing an increasing number of publications offering up a transparent editorial policy about the content they will and won’t link to, which is incredibly helpful when it comes to ideation and campaign production.

Ticking every box

With so many extra hoops to jump through, we’re now looking for those ‘unicorn ideas’ that tick each and every box.  The ideas that:

  • Have an element of ‘click-bait’ appeal, but are not fake news
  • Tap into the zeitgeist, but are still relevant to our client
  • Have multiple hooks and angles with headlines that write themselves
  • Contain real expert advice to add credibility to the journalist’s article
  • Contain a linkable element on the client’s site to encourage writers to see the value in linking out.
800 533 Jane Hunt

10 of the best sources of digital PR inspiration

Are you looking for inspiration for your next digital PR campaign? Get your creative juices flowing and make your campaign stand-out with our list of 10 of the best places for digital PR inspiration on the internet right now.

Mark Porter (@markcporter)

”Some of my favourite campaigns over the years have been reactive. Sometimes they don’t work, and that’s often fine because you shouldn’t invest too heavily into them, but when they do work they can be very successful.’’

Mark has a knack for getting to the heart of successful campaigns. His Content, Curated newsletter offers up-to-date, jargon-free appraisals of some of the best campaigns and latest thinking around.


Information is Beautiful (@infobeautiful)

The doyens of data visualisation turn rigid statistics into beautiful infographics, making the unintelligible easy to gasp, and the uninteresting compelling.


Bored Panda (@boredpanda)

Bored Panda curates the weird and wonderful parts of the internet, with funny memes, moving stories and great art and design. But beware the meme-filled rabbit hole, just when deadlines are approaching!


The Pudding (@puddingviz)

Visual storytelling makes ideas more accessible—or so goes the adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’

In its own words, The Pudding “explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays”. Oof. Essentially brilliant infographics. It’s really good – take a look.


Digital PR Examples (@DigitalPREx)

Digital PR Examples is a great Twitter feed for those looking for PR inspiration. Highly browsable, it’s packed with great campaigns, new ideas and inspiration. And it’s a great hub of conversation between big thinkers in the industry.


PR Examples (@PRexamples)

PR Examples curates the best PR campaigns around on one beautiful site. Monthly ‘Top 10s’ make it even easier to find the best of the best.


Roxhill (@roxhillmedia)

The Roxhill website has brilliant daily content.. Sign-up for the RoxStars newsletter for shrewd industry analysis and tweet/instagram post/press-release of the day candidates. They also celebrate great pitches, analysing what works and explaining why.


PRMoment (@therealprmoment)

Inspiring conversations with some big names. The PRmoment podcast offers valuable insights into the minds of some of the most successful thinkers in the industry.


Brilliant Maps (@brilliantmaps)

Brilliant Maps makes surprising connections that illuminate the contours of culture, history, and politics.

Appropraitely named, Brilliant Maps showcases the use of maps to demonstrate everything from migration and murder-rates to mythical creatures and pub crawls. Great fun.


Guardian Data (@guardian)

The Data section of The Guardian website decodes the numbers behind the news. With intelligent use of analytics increasingly key to maximising PR and marketing success, it shows the value of critical thought when trying to make sense of the facts.

 

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

We Asked Digital PR Pros About the Campaigns they LOVE to HATE

Digital PR trends come and go, but there’s no denying that some campaign styles continue to ‘bang’ even if we are a bit sick of seeing them in the press and on our timelines.   

So, for a bit of fun this week, we asked the digital PR hivemind to reveal the ONE type of campaign they love to hate, the ‘old but gold’ topics that just keep on giving, even when you thought you’d seen the last of them. 

Index Rankings

Index style campaigns are SNAPPED up by the press due to their ease of displaying and filtering large amounts of data without them having to open Google Sheets. 

But as Mark Johnstone mentions here, the ‘fudge factor’ needs to be considered when reading data from these online tables:     

And Chris Nunn, just isn’t a fan full stop!

Brainteasers

Do you know what really grinds Will O’Hara’s gears? Brainteaser campaigns. 

Even our very own Aran from JBH wanted to weigh-in on the brainteaser bashing: 

Granted, there’s not a huge amount of substance in these campaigns, but for a quick-and-dirty link building campaign, even they can’t argue with the coverage.

Dream Job /  Fake Job

Without doubt the MOST mentioned campaign type in the replies were to do with ‘Dream Jobs’ or ‘Fake Jobs’.  

We’d be lying if we didn’t think ‘Damn, I wish I had thought of that…’ whenever we see a really great example of a fake job campaign. 

The Most Instagrammable…

GUILTY! We don’t get what’s not to love with these campaigns?!

Laura Hampton put it really nicely in her reply, mentioning that if journalists still have an appetite for this type of campaigns, then they are obviously still working for many brands.

Hana Bednarova has much the same stance, if they work then just do it!  

Can you think of a brand or product that WOULDN’T fit one of these campaigns? Daisy Sawyer thinks she has found one: 

Re-imagining XXX as XXX

Whether you like them or not, these design-heavy campaigns still land serious amounts of coverage. Dave Endsor commented that whilst he’s not overly keen on campaigns that are based around redesigns, he can’t deny the media’s appetite for them. 

The campaigns we expected to see in the replies (but didn’t…)

  • Popularity according to number of plays on Spotify
  • XXX Ranked by reviews on TripAdvisor
  • Racing bar charts
  • Interactive maps 

Putting personal preference aside…

Whatever your view on the campaign types listed above, there’s no doubt that the media is still hungry for shareable content in these formats.

We know that journalists working for many online publications are targeted on traffic metrics such as pageviews, unique users as well as social shares and engagement (a recent report has revealed how some publications even bonus their writers based on these kind of metrics). 

So if ‘Dream Job’ content is constantly ticking all their boxes, should we be surprised when we keep seeing them landing on top-tier publications?  

Have we missed any campaign types from the list? Weigh in on the original conversation: