Digital PR

1024 682 Sophie Howarth

How important will data be in digital PR in 2022?

‘Data’ — say this word to a creative person, and they’ll probably run straight for the hills. But when it comes to digital PR campaigns, some of the most creative concepts start with data. Equally, if you can’t find the correct data to backup your campaign idea, back to the drawing board you go. As a digital PR agency that excels in delivering uniquely creative, data-led campaigns, we’re always thinking about data. Where to find it… new ways we can present it… how to shape it to suit our campaigns… the list goes on.

2021 saw JBH expand our data team to facilitate the sheer amount of research that goes into crafting dependable data-led digital PR campaigns, and we’re excited to grow our team even more throughout the course of this year. With these changes, along with the increase of data-led campaigns throughout the whole digital PR industry, we couldn’t help but wonder… just how important will data in digital PR be in 2022?

We sat down with our data team — Tori and Cindy — and JBH Digital PR Director, Rebecca, to find out.

(Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/46936021095341914/)


Before we look ahead to the future of data in digital PR, let’s look back at this past year. How important was data to your campaigns throughout 2021?

T: Data has stood at the forefront of most of our campaigns this year for one reason — nothing beats a shocking stat. Journalists eat them up, and audiences flock to them. Whether the data comes first or last, it’s the bread and butter of a good campaign.

C: Data-led campaigns have made up much of our output as they’ve  given us extra angles to dig into — as well as increased validation. With a good set of data, readers have the chance to consider things they may not have thought of before.

R: When I’m thinking about campaigns for clients, I’ll often start the idea generation process using data. I find it much easier to take a data set — or group of data sets — and use them as a springboard for my idea. I see many campaigns where data has obviously been the afterthought — retrofitting data sources to suit a campaign idea — whereas I prefer to work the opposite way, letting data dictate my idea. Data-led ideas have been vital to the success of our award-winning campaigns for 2021. 


What have been your biggest data mistakes in data-led campaigns, and how have you learnt from them?

T: My biggest mistake has been not trusting my gut. If something doesn’t look right or make sense, check it and then discuss it with others. No matter how credible and current your sources, they can still be wrong — so use multiple. If something does seem off, do further research into what’s causing it — you may land yourself extra angles.

C: My biggest mistakes have been not extensively checking for many more sources in order to make sure the data is correct. You can never do too much research, and it’s always best to have checked extensively to ensure you’re getting similar results from your sources. 

R: Sense checking the data. You can have as many credible data sources as you like, but if it doesn’t tick the ‘common sense’ box then you’ll really struggle to get cut through — plus, you might even cause journalists or commentators to pick your data apart. We’ve definitely learned to bake a ‘common sense check’ into our data QA process.


Let’s talk sources, methodologies… and dodgy data. What do you think makes data-led campaigns stronger?

T: I think the data is almost as important as the idea. Without strong data, the campaign will not go far. For me, creativity must go beyond ideation — the data must also be captivating. The campaigns we see dominating publications have creative methodologies, that’s what makes them strong.

C: I think what makes  a strong data-led campaign is using strong sources — as well as providing a lot of data in order to further back up what the campaign is saying. When the time and effort used to collect the data shines through the methodology, the campaign becomes even more unique and stands out from the crowd.

R: The hook and the top line. We should always be asking ourselves “What is the story?”, “Why would a journalist click on our email?”, and “Why would a reader read the story?”. These are the three key things I think about when bringing together a data-led campaign. 


Right now, what do you think is the most underused data source when it comes to data-led campaigns? In other words, what can you tap into? 

T: API’s are incredibly useful, and speed things up massively. Tapping directly into a site’s data is a game changing tactic — unfortunately, many of them have restrictions for media use, which is why they don’t appear too often.

C: I think while social media is a largely used data source, there’s the potential for us to collect even more data from these platforms due to their large number of users. There’s tons of information that can be gathered in many unique ways — offering us new angles in the process.

R: Most brands are already sitting on a goldmine of data. From sales data through to anonymised customer information, we’ve had fantastic success using internal client data to predict and comment on pop-culture trends. However, we are sensitive to the fact that brands in highly competitive niches might have reservations around sharing sensitive data. But there are ways around this and as long as we are careful with how and what we present, this data can lead to a hyper-relevant coverage and links for brands in a whole range of verticals.

 

Finally, in digital PR, data is one of the most powerful projection tools we have. What are your biggest projections for the way we’ll use data in 2022?

T: I think data will continue to be used to drive links, but the methodologies will adapt and become more complex, and campaigns more unique. I think the current space is dominated by trending data sources such as search volumes — and this will be replaced with more creative sources, and thus distinctive ideas.

C: I think there will be more innovative ways of collecting data as platforms adapt their services to provide even more material —  allowing us to think even more outside the box when approaching campaign ideation.

R: The data we share will come under more scrutiny — along with the insights we draw from it. As an industry, we need to tighten up on how and where we source data to ensure we’re presenting the truth. Over the last twelve months, JBH has been working hard on this — putting processes in place and seeking external training to ensure the data presented is as robust as possible.

To summarise, when planning your digital PR campaign, don’t forget to fall in love with the data first. More often than not, weaker campaigns are the ones in which data has clearly been an afterthought, and you’ll find that it’s far too easy for journalists to poke holes in methodology that’s been borne of an idea, rather than the other way around. Leading with the data gives you an immediate upper hand — automatically eliminating the “What if there’s no data to back it up?” dread, and consequently saving valuable time and energy for you to channel into campaign angles and outreach strategies.

The best digital PR campaigns are the ones that intrigue… fascinate… and scandalize — and as we discussed above, these reactions tend to be triggered by a shocking stat. What’s more, unlike other typically attention-grabbing content, your data doesn’t have to be a one-hit wonder. If the methodology and its resulting materials are strong, you can always repurpose old data for new campaigns. After all, they say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but a solid dataset never goes out of style. 

1024 683 Sophie Howarth

JBH’s Best Digital PR Examples of 2021

The Digital PR Low-down… Digital PR Unwrapped… our Digital PR Director, Rebecca Moss, delivering the results in the form of a 10 minute freestyle rap. There were a lot of ways we considered outlining our favourite digital PR examples of 2021, but as fellow digital PRs know, sometimes you just can’t beat a good old list. So, as the year comes to a close, the JBH team has rounded-up our best digital PR campaigns of 2021.

Since Christmas is the season of giving, we’re starting off with the digital PR campaigns we didn’t work on. These are digital PR examples from fellow agencies that shocked and fascinated us, warmed our hearts, made us laugh — and ultimately, made us green with envy.

The best digital PR examples we didn’t do

1. The Top 200 Common Passwords — Nordpass
First up is The Top 200 Common Passwords by Nordpass. We’ve already made it clear that, as a digital PR agency, we love lists — and if you’ve been around the industry block, you’ll know there aren’t many digital PR examples more thrilling than a ‘Top 100’ or ‘Most Common’ list. Sprinkle them onto our cornflakes! On a more serious note, we thought this campaign was highly topical, and a real conversation starter. After all, just how many times have you told your technophobe parents 123456 isn’t quite the cryptic password they assumed it to be?

2. 7 Fantasy Bedrooms Inspired by Iconic “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Queens — Household Quotes
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a talent show that’s nine years and 13 seasons strong — and that’s not counting its UK run. Everyone who’s anyone has a favourite queen from each series — always down to their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. In layman’s terms, RuPaul’s tongue-in-cheek acronym essentially means ‘personality’ — and what better way to portray personality than by Fantasy Bedrooms? As far as digital PR examples go, this campaign is a perfect case of when pop culture meets the post-Penguin world (if you know, you know).(Image source: https://news.yahoo.com/7-fantasy-bedrooms-inspired-iconic-162438870.html)

3. The Modern Attitudes to Sex and Dating Report — HANX
Here’s where the digital PR examples get a little saucy! You’ve heard of social distancing… but what about sexual distancing? This exploration of the global pandemic’s effect on sex and relationships couldn’t have been more fitting for public conversation. Injecting fresh energy into discussions around social distancing, The Modern Attitudes to Sex and Dating report gave us insight into how people feel about everything from sex on the first date… to approaching the STI conversation. Additionally, with talks of another UK lockdown looming, this falls into a subcategory of some of our gold digital PR examples — the campaigns that can be repurposed.

4. Side Hustle Economies — Canva
Just as the global health crisis has shaped much of our lives for the past two years, it’s also shaped much of our digital PR campaigns. We’ve seen tons of brand new words and phrases enter our everyday vocabulary — like ‘quarantine’, ‘lockdown’, and ‘key workers’. Also a result of the pandemic, another, more fun concept increasingly discussed by the public was the ‘side hustle’ — with Exploding Topics reporting that searches for this term had risen by 1533% since 2017 in October 2021. Side Hustle Economies looked at the careers that allow for a moonlighting role, top 10 ranking of said roles, and the ones that command the highest fees.

5. Social Salary Calculator — Lickd
In addition to the side hustle, in October 2021, Exploding Topics also reported that searches for ‘virtual influencer’ had increased 99x since 2017. But just how much could an online career earn you? In terms of topical digital PR examples, Lickd’s Social Salaries Calculator was another insightful campaign that seamlessly tapped into the public conversation. Using the median US and UK salaries as a benchmark, its interactive layout allowed people to calculate the number of sponsored posts on Instagram, and views on TikTok and YouTube required to earn the average annual salary.

6. The Most Expensive College in Every State, in One Map — Yahoo! Finance
We’ve already mentioned how much us digital PR professionals love lists and rankings, but there’s one more thing we unfailingly fall head over heels for — data maps. And with its colourful graphics depicting the most expensive US colleges in each state by emblem, this data-led campaign made it straight onto our list of good-looking digital PR examples — before we clocked the prices of the colleges, that is! But don’t worry, we’re not about to ask this map out on a date, we just know a good, digestible dataset when we see one.(Image source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/most-expensive-college-every-state-141300439.html)

7. The Scariest Movies — According to Science — Broadband Choices
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again — nothing beats evergreen content. While a Halloween-related campaign is technically seasonal, Scariest Movies According to Science made our evergreen digital PR examples cut because it can be relaunched year upon year. Same methodology… different results… even more links. Looking at the films that get people’s hearts hammering the most, this campaign crowned Rob Savage’s 2020 release, Host, as 2021’s scariest film of all time. But what will next year’s winner be? We can’t wait to find out.

8. Beauty Around the USA — Cosmetify
They say beauty is all around us — and in the 21st century, so are beauty products — not to mention beauty YouTubers, Instagrammers, TikTokers… you get the gist, it’s a trending topic. But which foundation will give you the most effortless glow? Which blusher works its magic to transform even the most sallow skin into a rosy tint? How can you sketch your sparse brows into the bushy beauties from your Pinterest boards? Through examining annual searches for a range of beauty brands, the Beauty Around the USA report successfully ranked top beauty brands like Glossier, Morphe, and Maybelline — helping people paint the perfect picture.

9. The Most Fun Cities to be a Student in 2021 — Study Inn
Along with the degree that could determine the course of, well, the rest of your life, university is crucially an experience. So, which university should you attend if you’re looking to make the most memories? Using the Guardian’s university league table from 2021, Study Inn scored the locations of top academic institutions based on the level of fun offered, average pint prices, and the proximity of bars and clubs to their sites — among other factors. Our only criticism: where was this list when we were selecting our uni courses?!

10. The Most Popular Brand in Every Country, Mapped — Business Financing
Yet another example of a digital PR campaign that tapped into new trends brought about by coronavirus — in this case, streaming and online shopping — Business Financing explored the varying preferences of consumers across the globe. Analysing each continent and every country, the results were made accessible to the everyman in a colour-coded map — very easy on the JBH eye. Predictably, consumer giants Google, Netflix, and Amazon made the podium for the World’s Most Popular Brands.

(Image source: https://vividmaps.com/most-popular-brands/amp/)

The digital PR campaigns we did do

Now, onto the digital PR examples we did work on — from the campaigns we thought would never land, to the ones that made us do a little post-outreach hair flick (you know the one). In a year that’s proved especially challenging, we’re giving ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for the following campaigns.

1. Why Can’t I Sleep at Night? — OTTY
“Why Can’t I Sleep at Night?” — it’s one of the world’s biggest questions, and as digital PR examples go, this is an ideal representation of when the most obvious ideas make for the best performing campaigns. For award-winning mattress brand, OTTY, we saw an opportunity to tap into a universal experience — sleep. After all, as the campaign itself states, sleep is essential to human survival. This campaign gained some amazing coverage in UK and US nationals — like the US Sun and the Mail Online — plus a high DA international link in the India Times.

2. The Most Colourful Places in the World — Uswitch
In the golden age of Instagram and its users’ competition over who can create the most beautiful grid, we looked at The Most Colourful Places in the World. Using colour dropping assessment, Google searches, and Instagram hashtags, we were able to determine the most vibrant destinations for people to holiday in, and set up home — and the results were stunning, if we do say so ourselves… not to mention the coverage! We achieved multiple links from top publications above DR 70 — including GQ Italia, Popular Photography, Digital Camera World, and Sapo.

3. The Most Successful NBA Wives and Girlfriends — SlotsUp
The wives of America’s NBA players aren’t just known for being uber glamorous arm candy, they’re also highly successful in their own right — in fact, some of them are even more affluent than their basketball beaus. But who’s the most successful of this brand of WAGs? From Kendall Jenner to Teyana Taylor, our data analysts crunched the numbers to see who sets the score off the court. In total, this campaign generated 25 links across five different countries — including spots in the Scottish Sun, and Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

4. Decorated Dates: Is Your Birthday Linked to Award-Winning Success? MyHeritage
What if no matter how many diplomas you achieved, or crosswords you completed, your birthday was the real secret to success? We analysed the birthdays of 1000 recipients of prestigious prizes to establish which due date hopeful parents should aim for if they want their offspring to become the next Einstein, Michael Phelps, Lizzo, or Emma Watson. On the whole, April took the most successful birthday month title, which makes July the best month for all the hard work. If you know what we mean. This campaign achieved notable global coverage — collecting 33 links throughout 16 different countries — including links in the UK Mirror, and French publication, Femme Actuelle.

5. The UK’s Best Cities for Bottomless Brunching, Ranked – The BottleClub
If we were to categorise our digital PR examples into the best proactive and reactive campaigns, then the UK’s Best Cities for Bottomless Brunching, Ranked study we completed for Bottle Club would definitely be a top scorer. Due to the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic, and the ensuing ever-changing rulebook for socialising, we did a lot of thinking on our feet this past year. While it was sometimes equal parts thrilling and chilling —it did help us produce some stellar reactive content. This campaign achieved a whopping 35 links in tons of leading UK news outlets — including The Independent, The Mirror, and MSN.com.

6. The UK Drug and Alcohol Use Survey 2021 – Delamere
Primarily, digital PR is about raising increasing brand awareness and boosting brand credibility — and this includes creating trust between business and user. Of this year’s digital PR examples, The UK Drug and Alcohol Use Survey has proven to be a great example of championing client expertise and inspiring consumer trust. Within the survey, we examined the rate of alcohol use in 2021, how many people use drugs throughout the UK, and the impact drug use can have on people’s lives — in addition to more promising stats like the rate of recovery. This campaign achieved 21 links in total — including highly relevant links in publications like Men’s Health. Even better, the survey was such a trusted source that the UK nationals began citing it without our even having to pitch. Remember that outreach hair flick we mentioned?

7. The ‘Dirty Delivery’ Report 2021 — money.co.uk
This is another perfect campaign to add to the list of evergreen digital PR examples that can be relaunched to boost your client’s brand awareness. In 2020, we analysed the surge effect the pandemic had on internet shopping, and the consequences for the environment. 2021 saw us revisit the issue just two weeks before the COP26 summit — and the results were just as shocking. This campaign proved to be particularly successful when Black Friday rolled around — with leading  publications like Country and Townhouse drawing on our stats to promote ‘Green Friday’, and Dazed using them to dub fast fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, ‘Big Ugly Thing’.

8. Sin Cities — The World’s Wildest Party Destinations Ranked — SlotsUp
During the very first lockdown, back when we were confined to four walls and consequently spending every minute of spare time fantasising about our next getaway, we tapped into the public’s subconscious with a definitive ranking of The World’s Wildest Party Destinations. From London to Las Vegas, our research outlined the perfect place to paint the town for every partygoer — we recommend having SkyScanner opened while you read this one. In terms of links, this campaign gained 150% on KPI — with domain authority links as high as 61 and 81.

9. Revealed: the world’s most popular condiments — money.co.uk
Condiments — they’ve ruined relationships and divided nations. Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration… nonetheless, the decision of whether to douse your chips in ketchup or mayo, or top your nachos with guacamole or salsa, is a tough one — but it was no match for our data team! We crunched the numbers to break down the most superior sauces — and we couldn’t resist popping the results in a colourful map. This campaign was a slow burn — but in true JBH style, we kept pushing, and our efforts paid off! Our tastiest, highly relevant links included spots in Delish, The Takeout, Delicious Magazine, and Eat This, Not That!

10. The Inclusive Index: The ultimate plus size fashion guide – WeThrift
The average woman in the UK wears a size 16, so you’d think that the fast fashion world would reflect this. Sadly, this doesn’t tend to be the case, and shopping for true-to-size clothes tends to be an exercise of pure frustration. But what if there was another way? Turns out, there is — at least with our Inclusive Index. We crunched the data to rank retailers in order of inclusivity — with Chinese fast-fashion brand, Shein coming out on top. We then went on to analyse the least inclusive retailers — with Spanish brand, Pull & Bear taking the lesser title. This was another topical campaign that took off — generating 32 links in total, with an average DA of 74. That’s in addition to links on Wales Online, Woman & Home, and a brand mention in The Guardian.

There you have it — join us in raising an ice-cold glass of Bailey’s to the best digital PR campaigns of 2021 — according to the JBH team, anyway! Any we missed? Let us know on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We’ll see you there!

 

800 471 Sophie Howarth

Ranked: the best New Year’s Eve movies to ring in 2022

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest global celebrations — a chance for people all around the world to shake off the past year and usher in a new beginning. Equally, it’s a night defined by drama — whether that’s romantic entanglements, realisations, or revelations — understandably making it a plot point utilised by writers and directors alike.

So, as 2021 becomes 2022, what are the best New Year’s Eve movies to watch? The pop culture enthusiasts here at JBH have analysed films featuring New Year’s Eve scenes to reveal the best ones to watch — and when to hit play to sync up your countdown into the New Year.

For this study, we analysed data from YouTube, IMDB, and Google Keyword Planner — allowing us to rank films by reviews, searches, and many other additional factors. 


Sync up your New Years countdown with these iconic movie moments

Taking 20 of the top-rated films that feature NYE celebrations, here’s when to hit play: 

A quick glance at the list above tells you the most iconic New Year’s Eve moments on-screen all took place before 2000 — Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II, Robert Zemeckis' Forrest Gump, and Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard. These vintage results aren't without their irony when you consider December 31st's midnight gong is meant to signal new beginnings! At least there's a solid balance between one of Hollywood's biggest villains — Michael Corleone, and treasured sweethearts — Forrest Gump. Number five finally brings us into the 21st century with Richard Curtis' About Time — because isn't New Year's Eve one of the most romantic dates in the calendar?

Every country's favourite New Year’s Eve moments on film

Whether you swear by the “New Year, New Me” mentality, or your 31st December is about securing that stroke-of-midnight smooch, everyone welcomes the New Year with open arms. In the same way, we all love a good old New Year’s Eve movie moment — but what’s every country’s favourite?

 

In the US, Tom Hanks takes the crown as the nation’s most loved outsider in Forrest Gump. The UK, Turkey, and France are fans of the slightly less heartwarming, apocalyptic Snowpiercer — brutal, post-climate disaster train battle, anyone?

Thankfully, Brazil brings it back with a highly apt musical number — Troy and Gabriella’s ‘Start of Something New’ in High School Musical.


What NYE Scenes Are the Most Watched?

1. The Godfather Part II

Views: 2,270,933

There are a lot of lists that The Godfather, Part II sits at the top of — but the most watched New Year’s Eve scenes is nonetheless a surprising one. A crime classic continuing the saga of Italian mob family, the Corelones, this is by no means a heartwarming depiction of new beginnings — much the opposite, in fact. But you can’t argue with cold, hard facts — in thisThe Godfather Part II - 2.2m views case, 2.2 million views on YouTube. Press play at 22:16:28 PM to watch family Don, Michael Corleone, reveal his own brother as a rat.

2. Iron Man 3 - 1.1m views

Views: 1,109,547

A self-made hero and relatable family favourite, Iron Man is the star of the second most popular New Year’s Eve film scene. With 1.1 million views, the scene depicts Tony Stark’s flashback to a New Year’s Eve party back in 1999 — when he met Professor Ho Yinsen for the very first time. The meeting is brief, with Stark keen to speed through the introduction to take care of more important matters in the bedroom. To hear the year’s final gong at the same time as Iron Man himself, press play at 23:55:50 PM.

3. Ghostbusters II - 967,000 views

Views: 967,863

In sci-fi circles, Ghostbusters II is actually defined as a New Year’s Eve movie — and with more than 1.1 million views in total, it comes as no surprise. Unlike the first two in the list, this is a film in which the entire plot leads up to a New Year’s Eve battle for the soul of the universe. In typical Ghostbusters fashion, this scene sees New York’s supernatural crime fighters ring in the New Year with a stream of slime. If you’d like the clock to strike 12 just as Venkman quips “Happy New Year!”, press play at 22:27:52 PM.

4. The Holiday - 509,998

Views: 509,998

A festive favourite among females, The Holiday is the film every boyfriend lives in fear of being subjected to come December 1st — and with its characters coming together for a New Year’s Eve party in the quaint English countryside at the film’s close, it makes for perfect watching on December 31st, too. More than 500,000 people — that’s approximately 250,000 boyfriends — have bore witness to this depiction of new beginnings and new relationships. To join in with the romantic festivities, press play at 21:49:49 PM.

5. When Harry Met Sally -  159,154

Views: 159,154

Beloved rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, shows leading man — and King of Layering — Harry Burns, racing to confess his love for high-maintenance heroine, Sally Albright. The clock strikes midnight as Sally’s storming away from him, but Harry gets his happy ending — ultimately wooing his true love with the line, “When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”. For this heart-racing-then-melting strike of the clock, press play at 22:30:27 PM.


Sources and Methodology

Taking 29 films with New Years Eve scenes, we have determined the time to click play so the clocks hit midnight in the film and real life at the same time. 

Please note: Streaming service or channel may cause a differing timestamp

Sources: Movies 2 Watch | Amazon Prime | Netflix | Disney+ | IMDB | The Numbers | YouTube

1024 682 Sophie Howarth

Digital PR vs. Traditional PR — old school, old friends, or old news?

Digital PR vs. traditional PR: both are highly effective ways to access your audience and boost your brand throughout the media landscape — but for the layperson, it can often be difficult to distinguish between the two. As a digital PR agency that started out as a balancing-every-single-PR-plate agency, we thought we’d break it down for you.

What are the ways in which digital PR and traditional PR differ, borrow from one another, and work together? All valid questions, and all ones we have the answers to! We looked at the origins of each discipline, and how they both operate today.

Digital PR vs. Traditional PR: an ever-evolving landscape

Back in the days of old school PR, a career in public relations automatically indicated you were well-connected — think Ab Fab’s PR party animal, Edina Monsoon, and her transatlantic sister, Samantha Jones. 

Instagram.com/p/CWqoH1cvbtL

Traditional PRs turned partygoers into patrons, and press releases into purchases. Today, technological innovations and the advent of new media have simultaneously widened our circles and bridged the gap between the public and the press. Now, anyone with a smartphone can witness the news as it’s unfolding — and even contribute their own perspective. 

This increase in connectivity means staying ahead of the game is more crucial than ever — cue digital PRs bolstering traditional PR techniques with link-building strategies, and clients requesting that traditional agencies tackle their PR from an SEO perspective.

What is digital PR?

We discuss this in detail over on our ‘What is Digital PR?’ page, but it never hurts to drive things home! A technique born out of Google’s SEO requirements, digital PR appears in many forms — backlinks (first and foremost), guest posts, press releases, influencer marketing, and more. Even with its range of manifestations, the aim of digital PR is simple: to build those all-important backlinks.

But what comes after backlinks? With the right digital PR campaign, the possibilities are endless. Along with being a great way to improve online visibility, generate leads, develop business-consumer relationships, launch products — and, on occasion, even make direct sales — backlinks built from digital PR can help strengthen a client’s reputation and increase brand awareness. 

For further insight into a digital PR campaign in action — with tangible results — we recommend taking a look at the Inclusive Index campaign we did for WeThrift, a popular shopping savings service. The client’s goals were to generate inbound links and increase inbound traffic to their website, so we put our heads together to come up with a digital PR campaign that simultaneously appealed to WeThrift’s customer base while addressing a topical industry issue — leading to a wealth of relevant coverage and referral traffic from an already-invested audience. 

The results speak for themselves! With 96 pieces of coverage and 76 links in total — a whopping 284% increase on KPIs — this campaign is an excellent example of the immense reach generated by a well-crafted piece of content that marries data and creativity. Even more significant is the fact that the referral traffic was made up of WeThrift’s existing market, as it meant that conversion was much more likely.

Another great example of when digital PR works is our exploration of ‘Iconic TV moments we miss the most’ — a campaign we did for UK-based price comparison platform, Uswitch, that sustained truly exponential growth. Using IMDb ratings to determine the popularity of some of society’s favourite shows, we successfully translated data into a highly relatable piece of content that could be consistently built on and reframed. In fact, due to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exclusive interview with Oprah — and Piers Morgan’s subsequent explosion on Good Morning Britain — it’s now been dubbed ‘The Most Complained About TV Moments’ campaign by the JBH team. Digital PR campaigns like these demonstrate not just the incredible reach potential of digital PR, but also its malleability. One thing we always make clear here at JBH is that it’s never too late to revisit, reshape, or relaunch an idea.

What is traditional PR?

“Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd” — spoken by P.T. Barnum, American entrepreneur and politician. For pop culture pundits among us, Barnum inspired The Greatest Showman — a Zac Efron-Hugh Jackman musical masterpiece that took the world by storm in 2017. But here in the JBH office, these eight words resound more than any of the soundtrack’s hits. The soul of PR lies in making people look — and that’s exactly where traditional PR began. 

More than just media coverage like print newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV, traditional PR is brand positioning, brand launches, and crisis communications — none of which digital PRs tend to be involved in. This form of PR is much more visibility centric — with a key focus on raising brand awareness and sentiment, and how the awareness portrays the client. For instance, how many times is the brand mentioned throughout? How is the company messaging conveyed?

Essentially, traditional PR is the more direct approach — sometimes, traditional PRs are even able to cut out the middleman. For instance, whereas both disciplines tend to rely on the cooperation of journalists to guarantee coverage, traditional PR has the power of the publicity stunt — when your brand pulls off something surprising, outlandish, or silly enough to capture public attention, the press will cover it anyway. 

With this in mind, one of the biggest contrasts between traditional and digital PR is their primary objectives. Traditional PR techniques have always been intended to build brand awareness, whereas digital PR is designed to build links. However, it’s worth noting that these two objectives go hand-in-hand — when people know about your brand, they’ll be more likely to link to it. In the same way, strategically placed links help to position your brand as an industry leader. 

In terms of how traditional PR fares independently, as society becomes more and more digitised — with the rise of smartphones, tablets, and the like — it would be easy to assume that people are leaving traditional outlets behind. The reality is that traditional PR continues to generate valuable publicity by targeting audiences who regularly listen to the radio, watch television, and purchase print media.

Some popular examples of traditional PR at its best include Irish bookkeeper, Paddy Power’s famous outrageous marketing stunts:

  • Designing ‘We won’t shit in your coffee’ posters following reports of faecal bacteria in iced coffees in Starbucks, Costa, and Caffè Nero
  • Sending three giant baby-gros emblazoned with odds on royal baby, Prince George’s name, to St. Mary’s Hospital in anticipation of his birth
  • Sending ‘Juan Direction’ — a Mexican Mariachi band — to welcome Donald Trump to the UK following his comments about building a wall between the US and Mexico 

                   https://dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/paddy-power-starbucks-costa-caffe-16963979

A Paddy Power betting shop (and next-door neighbour of Costa Coffee) displays daring posters.

When Digital PR Met Traditional PR

‘When Digital PR met Traditional PR’ — a less popular rom-com for sure, but no doubt just as culture-shaping as Nora Ephron’s classic. The overlap of traditional PR methods with the modern digital approach was inevitable — but how exactly do the two complement one another?

Outreach and media relations:
Something that hasn’t changed with the development of digital PR is the necessity of outreach, and the need to build relationships with journalists and media. A traditional PR agency’s arsenal has always included a list of reliable journalist contacts who can be called upon to write about their client’s niche or area of expertise — and digital PR is no different.

When planning your digital PR outreach, an essential part of the process is drawing up a media list. A PR media list stores all your key contacts in one place, and proves to be an invaluable resource for contacting the media quickly and efficiently. Though your approach may vary depending on the nature of your content, a strong, segmented media list allows you to outreach to your contacts en masse — ultimately cutting out wasted time and costs. While previously, the ring-round and mailing addresses were once the key to coverage, now digital PR professionals care more about a journalist’s social media profile. This allows us to tailor our pitches to suit their immediate interests.

Audience:
Similarly to the benefit of having a media list, the lifespan of your campaign depends on the publications that you pitch it to. That’s why it helps to research publications based on readership — before pitching your idea to the publications most likely to take you up on it, all the while considering how it will generate engagement. Just like traditional PRs stay 10 steps ahead by prioritising publications based on readership, digital PR follows the same rules.

Press releases:
Next on the list are press releases – an age old PR tool. The first ever press release is credited to Ivy Lee — an American publicity expert, and the founder of modern public relations. In 1906, a trainwreck in New Jersey claimed the lives of over 50 people. At the time, the train was owned by Pennsylvania Railroad — a client of Ivy Lee’s PR agency. A public relations trailblazer, Lee took charge of the story by writing up a press release and then distributing it to journalists. Lee’s digest detailed the story from the railroad’s perspective, and thus the press release was born! Over 100 years later, in both traditional and digital PR, press releases continue to be a handy tool for attracting news media to a story in a way that benefits your client.

newsmuseum.pt/en/spin-wall/first-press-release

https://newsmuseum.pt/en/spin-wall/first-press-release

The first ever press release, in its original format.

Working in harmony:
Often, digital PR campaigns are picked up in the mainstream media — bridging the gap between digital and traditional, and resulting in all-encompassing coverage. Likewise, traditional PR campaigns may be picked up online. Some examples of traditional and digital PR campaigns interchanging in this way include JBH’s work for tails.com, which made the pages of both the iNews and The Sunday People. In addition, our ‘Shop Now, Stress Later’ angle for money.co.uk made it into The Daily Mail.


The iNewspaper ran a full page spread featuring tails.com vet, Sean McCormack, discussing a campaign that JBH ran.


The Sunday People ran a half page spread featuring a campaign that JBH ran for tails.com

The Money Mail section of the Daily Mail ran newsjacking commentary from Money.co.uk, tied to a larger campaign JBH ran for the brand.

What can we learn from both approaches?

It goes without saying that digital PR wouldn’t be where it is today without its predecessor — and arguably, in some cases, partner — and a traditional approach to public relations holds many positives. 

First and foremost, digital media may be gaining popularity — but that doesn’t mean print media and other traditional channels are going anywhere any time soon. In fact, a recent survey from Ofcom showed that people continued to refer to traditional media for the majority of news regarding COVID-19 — with 82% stating it as their most used source, and of these people, 63% valuing it as their most important source. 

Another great advantage of traditional PR is its ability to target specific demographics and gain increased visibility for brands — sometimes independently. For example, the aforementioned Paddy Power campaigns are perfect representations of traditional PR’s standalone, stunt-pulling power — having earned them the title of ‘The Kings of PR’. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the reach of traditional PR campaigns in 2021 is often boosted by social media shares and backlinks — which is arguably digital PR.

As a renowned digital PR agency, one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from traditional PR is remembering the core of public relations itself — drawing that crowd! From there, you can establish brand identity and achieve positive coverage that adds value to your clients’ business objectives. In link-building, it’s important to apply this to every step. Think quality over quantity! Are the links gained relevant to the brand? What’s the domain authority of the publication? Is it a trusted publication? All these factors work together to highlight your client as an industry leader. 

The above-mentioned approach to backlinks is one endorsed by John Mueller — a search advocate at O Mighty Google. As you can see below, Mueller explained that when it comes to backlinks, less is most certainly not more.



“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.”

View the full recording of Google SEO office-hours hangout with John Mueller from February 19, 2021

To summarise, the reality of the ‘Digital PR vs. Traditional PR’ debate is that there is no debate — it’s never a case of choosing one over the other (forgive us for the clickbait title, we work in links after all). Instead, look at how traditional and digital PR work together — after all, no one ever said you can have too much PR!

The JBH team first found our feet straddling the two PR disciplines — before making the decision to channel our expertise and resources into purely digital PR. Before this shift, we’d crafted many successful traditional PR campaigns — and we continue to apply this knowledge in many of our digital PR campaigns today. 

In the beginning, traditional PR set the stage for even the most sophisticated digital PR campaigns — today, digital PR gives you access to optimum reach in just a few clicks. What’s most important to remember is that there’s no cookie-cutter approach to PR, and what works for one client won’t necessarily work for another. The trick is to always consider individual company goals and campaign objectives — then watch public relations work for you.

1024 682 Sophie Howarth

10 Things We Hate About Digital PR

As a digital PR agency that’s been in the link-building business for three and a half years, and the wider marketing industry for even longer, the JBH team understands the importance of coming to work every day with your glass half full. In fact, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love an uplifting square on the Instagram grid, or an embroidered cushion cliché — but even in our current culture of “Positive vibes only”, it’s important to remember that unpacking negative energy is just as important as spreading positivity.

Something that’s equally important in digital PR is promoting honesty — and that’s something we at JBH pride ourselves on. After all, whether you work in traditional or digital PR, results are never a sure thing. One thing we are sure of, however, is that we’re committed to our clients’ campaigns until we achieve the desired outcome. Nonetheless, if you’ve worked for a digital PR agency for any amount of time, you’ll know the journey isn’t always plain sailing. In fact… we’d go so far as to say it’s hardly ever plain sailing.

Link building is tough! So, join us in letting it all hang out for a change. In no particular order…

 

1. Rebecca Moss @Bexmoss

You’ve completed a stats-heavy, design-led report on a highly topical issue. The data? Impenetrable. The creative? Stunning. The journalist… can’t link because of their ‘editorial policy’.

 

 

2.Lauren Wilden @Laurenwilden

You’ve struck digital PR gold, and by ‘gold’, we mean you’ve landed a link in The Telegraph. But… there’s a catch! The link’s behind a paywall. “Alexa, play Anastacia’s ‘Left Outside Alone.'”

 

 

3. Sam Levene @SamLevenePR

You’re scrolling through Twitter and see the story that you came up with, researched, and wrote. It’s your lightbulb moment… up in lights. Only, it doesn’t mention your client?

 

 

4. Meg Granville @MegGranvillePR 

You’ve donned a beret and consumed only quiche Lorraine and croissants for days while completing a dataset to match the country your journalist writes for. You send the email. They open it. And ignore you. Au revoir!

 

 

5. James Renhard @JamesRenhard

You’re still out of breath from doing your high domain authority link victory dance… then you read the article to find your URL… and only your URL… no link in sight.

 

 

6. Lauren Wilden @Laurenwilden

Your outreach was successful, and a journalist wants to cover your content… in print. It’s called digital PR, look it up.

 

 

7. Sophie Campbell @SophieeCampbell

You spend hours hunched in front of YouTube, becoming a master in the art of data scraping to support your campaign. Then you see someone else has already outreached your idea.

 

 

8. Kal Withana @KalWithana

You’ve received a response from a journalist at a leading publication, but they’ll only link to your client if it’s an exclusive… so you end up doing their job for them writing the exclusive!

 

 

9. Rebecca Moss @Bexmoss

You turn the comment around. The deadline’s hit. *Hair flick* …then they don’t use it and never tell you why. And you see the piece live. And you cry.

 

 

10. James Renhard @JamesRenhard

You’ve done the work. The piece is live. The brand mention is there. But wait… there’s no link for your client — even though other brands are linked.

 

And… exhale. Feels good, doesn’t it? Although, let’s be honest…

(Image source: instagram.com/p/BEwpUiSLcOH)

 

 

1000 666 Sam Wright

Tight Briefs – How to get a content brief right for Digital PR!

Every copywriter has experienced a bad brief in their time but when it comes to Digital PR, there’s no time for a bad brief, especially if you’re working on a reactive or newsjacking piece.  

PR copy needs to be so much more than just a catchy headline. Your copywriter will need to deliver on-topic, quality copy that not only gains the interest of journalists but also engages readers once it’s published.

So, before you get started on briefing your copywriter, here are 6 top tips for creating a tight brief so good that not only will your copywriter thank you for it, but you’ll get the very best content delivered in return.

1. List of assets 

Make it clear the type of content you require your copywriter to create for you, whether it’s a newsjacking piece, reactive piece, copy for a landing page or a pitch.

A digital PR copywriter will need to understand the format and writing style of the copy you want them to deliver before they get started crafting your copy.

2. Tone of voice 

Who are you? Providing your copywriter with a tone of voice document (or TOV as they’ll probably refer to it) can help your copywriter understand how to produce content that truly represents your brand.

A tone of voice document should include a description of how your brand’s voice should sound –  is it serious, fun, informative, formal or casual? It should also give your copywriter guidance on the types of language they can use, from contractions and colloquialisms to the use of adjectives.

3. Purpose of the piece 

Give your copywriter an insight into what the copy is supposed to achieve? What is the angle or the purpose of the piece that you’re briefing them on? It’s also important that your copywriter understands how you, as the client, should tie into the content piece and the subject you’re briefing them on.

4. Set a clear word limit 

Setting a clear word limit is a great way to help your copywriter gauge the writing approach they should take to your brief. For example, if you’re briefing your copywriter to write content for a pitch with a low word count, your copywriter will know to write short, snappy and to the point copy. Alternatively, a brief for a landing page that has a higher word count, will allow your copywriter to generate content that has more detail and explores more angles.

5. Audience 

Who is your audience? You’ll get the best content out of your copywriter if they have a good understanding of who they are writing for and can have the audience in mind when creating your copy. Helpful indicators to include on who your audience is are the age group, sex, socio-economic profile, occupation and interests of the people you want to target.

Brand immersion sessions and onboarding sessions are also great ways to help your copywriter really understand your brand. Inviting your copywriter along gives them the opportunity to get a feel for who you are and it gives them a chance to ask questions too.

6. Clear deadlines 

Digital PR is known for its short turnaround times, but it’s important to set clear deadlines for you and your copywriter that are mindful of how long the full copywriting process takes.

What do we mean by this? Once your copywriter receives their brief, they will need to spend time researching the piece before they can even begin to start working their magic with words, and then there’s the proofreading and editing process to take into account too.

Top tips for writing content in digital PR

  • Know your brief – From the tone of voice of your client and the purpose of the piece to the audience you’re targeting, you need to have a good understanding of these elements before creating any content.
  • Don’t skimp on the research – Knowledge is power and the more insight and understanding you have around the topic you’re writing about, will really come across in your work.
  • Make your writing newsworthy – When writing for digital PR, you need to create interesting angles in the content you write and ensure it’s both engaging and attention-grabbing. That’s because, not only does your content need to encourage journalists to snap it up, but it also needs to serve its purpose of interesting the audience it was originally created for.
  • Remember you’re writing as the client When copywriting, it can sometimes be tempting to let your creativity run away with you, but if the content you’re creating is starting to sound more like you and less like your client, you need to reign those creative juices back in!
1024 682 Jane Hunt

Digital PR dry spell? Five ways you can make news out of nothing

Most (if not all) brands and agencies will experience the frustration of having a digital PR dry spell. A period of time (which feels like forever) when there’s no PR coverage or backlinks on the horizon.

And this is really common. You might be waiting for a hero campaign to go live or there might not be any relevant stories to newsjack.

But don’t despair, because there are ways that you can make news, literally out of nothing and this strategy works for brands and digital PR agencies. And they’re simple approaches that don’t require that much time or many resources.

We’ve been producing content like this for all of our clients, and we’ve noticed that the links we’re building are much more consistent, more relevant (and they point to the right pages!)

It doesn’t get any better. So, let’s dive right in.

There are five ways you can create a proactive PR story out of nothing:

1. Create a listicle featuring expert advice and tips 

Every brand has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to draw from. Pick a trending or unique topic and offer tips, or bust some myths using internal experts.

To give the journalist an extra reason to cover it, make it timely and hook it to an event, season or person!

Top tip: Supply imagery that is high-res and free to use as it will save the journalist time when bringing the story to life. They will thank you for it.

 

2. Repurpose existing blog content

It’s often easy to overlook a brand’s blog content because you’ve seen it before and maybe it’s not fresh or unique, but it may still be evergreen.

Sometimes they have content that might surprise you. Did you know dogs can get hayfever? Neither did I! But it’s something that all dog owners need to be aware of and one we can relate to!

Top Tip: Make sure your content is up to date. If there are any statistics that need updating, make sure you do so before pitching the story.

 

3. Look at what online tools the brand already has

You might be sick of seeing that mortgage calculator on your client’s site, but have you thought about using it as the basis for a creative pitch?

Using your client’s mortgage calculator, could you work out how much the monthly mortgage payment would be on a heritage home? We did this earlier in the year when Bridgerton was released.

If you want to do something a bit more serious, then you could use the calculator as the basis for a guide to finding the best mortgage deals or even applying for a mortgage in the first place.

Top Tip: Include a link to the calculator in your methodology for the calculations you’ve made. It can be a great way to get links, even if the journalist doesn’t initially include one.

 

4. Review old hero campaigns to see what can be re-pitched

A while ago, we produced a hero campaign about how fast fleas can multiply in your home for a dog food brand, and it didn’t perform as we expected. However, upon reviewing it, we realised we could reuse much of the advice for a proactive pitch on how dog and cat owners can keep their houses clean and free of pests.

Super simple and quick to do with product page links!

Top tip: Try and do a campaign review every quarter – look back  over your larger campaigns and see if there are any improvements that can be made or an angle that was missed the first time round. You might be surprised at what’s lurking in the pitch pile.

 

5. Look for new data that can spark ideas

Sometimes a new study can spark ideas super relevant to your brand and its expertise. You can use that data as a hook to create a story like the surge in online car insurance scams, then offer tips on how consumers can protect themselves.

Top tip – To make it even more relevant, what data can the brand add to make more of a story? What case studies can you add to bring the story to live, as we know journalists love a case study!

1000 666 Tori Alanis-Saunders

50 Google Sheet Formulas Every Digital PR Should Know

When you think of digital PR you may not think of spreadsheets, however, they are the bread and butter of any campaign.

Whether you’re using spreadsheets as part of a data-led digital PR campaign or simply as a way to track performance, knowing your way around them can really level-up your output.

Not every PR is a data whiz, this is where formulae can come in handy to automate and speed up the process. That’s why we have created the ultimate guide to Google sheet formulas to help maximise the stories that lie within your spreadsheets.

Ultimate Guide to Google Sheets Formulas for Digital PR’s


Formulas for Finance

From currency conversion to the stock market, Google Sheets has a whole range of formulas for you to explore.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to converting currencies. If your campaign isn’t landing in one country, why not try converting to another currency and re-pitching? You might be able to tap into a whole new audience.

1. Currency conversion: =A2*GOOGLEFINANCE(“CURRENCY:USDGBP”)
A great trick when working with money-related data, Google Finance’s currency conversion automatically fetches the most up-to-date conversion rates.

 

2. Companies current stock price: =GOOGLEFINANCE(“Ticker”, “price”)
Working with stocks? This trick allows you to fetch up-to-date stock prices for any company on the stock market.

3. Companies highest stock price in last year: =GOOGLEFINANCE(“Ticker”, “high52”)
If you want to know a company’s highest stock price over the course of the last year, use “high52”.

4. Companies lowest stock price in last year: =GOOGLEFINANCE(“Ticker”, “low52”)
If you want to know a company’s lowest stock price over the course of the last year, use “high52”


Formulas for text formatting

There’s nothing worse than copying and pasting some text into your spreadsheet to find that it’s all in capital letters. With these formulas you can automatically change formatting with a press of a button.

5. Anchor text: =$A$1
Anchoring cells allow you to drag across formulas without altering the cells used for the formula.

6. Capitalise first letter: =proper(A1)
If you’re working with names or places, or have simply been zooming through your data you might have forgotten a capital letter – this trick can automatically capitalise the first letter.

7. Google translate: =GOOGLETRANSLATE(A2, “en”,”es”)
A helpful tool when creating a global campaign, allowing mass translations to happen at the click of a button

 

8. All uppercase letters: =UPPER(A1)
This formula allows you to change all text in selected cells to uppercase.

9. All lowercase letters: =LOWER(A1)
This formula allows you to change all text in selected cells to lowercase.

10. Valid email checker: =ISEMAIL(value)
This trick is perfect for building media lists to prevent outreaching to dead emails

11. Convert number to text: =TEXT(number, format)
This formula will automatically convert any numeric values to written text.

12. Date: =DATE(year, month, day)
Using this formula, Google Sheets will automatically format the dates you’re working with so all dates are fluent.

13. Date if: =DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit)
If you need to find the number of days, weeks or months between two dates – this handy formula will work it out for you.

 

14. Date value: =DATEVALUE(date_string)
This formula changes a date string in a known format into Sheet’s accepted date format, this is great if you’re working with Americanised dates.

15. Current date/time: =NOW()
If you need to insert today’s date and/or time into your sheet – this formula will do it automatically without a calendar.

16. Detect language: =DETECTLANGUAGE(text_or_range)
If you’re working with other languages, this formula will detect which language is in a selected cell, allowing you to translate it with ease.

17. Valid URL checker: =ISURL(value)
Perfect for when adding hyperlinks or creating source lists, this formula checks if the link you’ve added is valid.

18. Count Characters in a cell: =LEN(cell)
Brushing up on your social media skills? This formula is perfect for planning out tweets so you can stick to the character limit.


Formulas for common calculations

You don’t have to be a maths expert to be able to use these formulas to generate new angles for your campaigns. Whether you’re creating a ranking index table or trying to find the average; put your phone calculator down and harness the power of Google Sheets.

19. Count: =COUNT(value1, [value2, …])
If you want to see how many cells are in your worksheet, or in a selected range – this formula will count them for you!

20. Count if: =COUNTIF(range, criterion)
If you want to count values in a selected range of cells based on specific criteria, this formula will do it automatically.

21. Percentage increase or decrease: =(New value – Old value) / Old value
Looking for a percentage? This formula allows you to find the percentage increase or decrease of data in your spreadsheet.

 

22. Percentage finder: =Part/Total
If you need to find the percentage of a value, this formula does it automatically for you.

23. Mean average: =average(A1:A10)
This trick fetches the average for a selected range of cells.

24. Median average: =median(A1:A10)
This formula automatically fetches the median average for a selected range of cells.

25. Vlookup: =VLOOKUP(A2,A:M,7,”FALSE”)
This famous formula looks up data from a table organized vertically, returning either exact or partial matches.

26. Hlookup: =HLOOKUP(search_key, range, index, [is_sorted])
Similar to a =VLookup, a =HLookup instead locates data from a table that is organised horizontally.

27. Correlation: =CORREL(data_y, data_x)
Great for when you’re working with statistics, =CORREL calculates the Pearson correlation coefficient between two sets of variable data and tells you whether there is a negative or positive correlation.

28. Net working days: =NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays])
This formula is handy for working out your remaining holidays – =NETWORKDAYS returns how many whole working days between the specified start and end dates, excluding weekends and identified holidays.

 

29. Find unique data: =UNIQUE(range)
If you’re working with, or cleaning data and need to remove any duplicates – Google’s ‘=Unique’ formula pulls any unique data from a selected range.

30. Count the number of unique values: =COUNTUNIQUE(value1, [value2, …])
If you need to know how many unique values you have in your dataset, this formula will do that for you automatically.

 

31. Divide: =value1/value2
This formula allows you to divide values.

32. Sum: =sum(value1:value50)
This formula lets you add up all the values in the selected cells.

33. Max value: =MAX(value1, [value2, …])
This formula will find the maximum value in a selected range.

34. Min value: =MIN(value1, [value2, …])
This formula will find the minimum value in a selected range.

35. Mode: =MODE(value1, [value2, …])
The =MODE formula will fetch the most commonly occurring value within a selected range.

36. Rank: =RANK(value, data,0/1)
This formula ranks data from ascending or descending from a selected range of data.

 

37. Rank Average: =RANK.AVG(value, data, [is_ascending])
If the data you’re trying to rank contains duplicates, by using =RANK.AVG instead of =RANK will create an average for those duplicated cells.

38. Fixed number of decimal places: =FIXED(number, [number_of_places], [suppress_separator])
If your decimal points are all over the place, this formula will automatically round them to the specified number of decimal places.

39. Import data from URL: =IMPORTDATA(url)
=IMPORTDATA imports data from a given URL into .CSV or .TSV formats – this is great if you’re working with large data sets

40. Import data from table or list within a HTML page: =IMPORTHTML(url, query, index)
=IMPORTHTML automatically imports data into your spreadsheet from either a table or list on a HTML page.

41. Import range of cells from another spreadsheet: =IMPORTRANGE(spreadsheet_url, range_string)
This formula allows you to import a range of data from one spreadsheet to another.

42. If error: =IFERROR(original_formula, value_if_error)
If error messages such as #DIV/0 are overruling up your sheet, the =IFERROR function allows you to return either a different message or empty cell rather than the dreaded #DIV/0 sign

43. Array: =ARRAYFORMULA(array_formula)
=ARRAYFORMULA outputs a range of cells, whereas a regular formula such as ‘=sum’ would only output a single value.

44. If a condition is true or false: =IF(condition, “YES”, “NO”)
This formula performs a test on a value in a specific cell, providing different results – such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No, based on whether the data is true or false.

45. Search Function: =IF(SEARCH(“search phrase”,cell), “YES”)
Looking for a cell that says something specific, this formula will fetch it for you automatically – rather than spending ages sifting through your dataset.

46. Create Single-cell chart: =SPARKLINE(A1:A50,{“charttype”,”column”})
If looking at rows and rows of data is hurting your eyes, this formula whips up a quick single-cell sparkline chart to make visualising data a bit easier.


Formulas for formatting

Quite possibly some of my most-used formulas are based on formatting. From splitting text to columns, to making rows of text into columns (transpose). You’ll save yourself bags of time and speed up your output using these formulas.

47. Split text to columns: =SPLIT(B3,” “)
Great for if you’re working with first and last names in the same cell, =SPLIT will split clearly defined data into separate cells.

 

48. Transpose: =TRANSPOSE(array_or_range)
Is your imported data the wrong way round? =TRANSPOSE can instantly transpose (switch rows, to columns and vice versa) the selected range of data.

49. Merge cells: =CONCATENATE(range)
This formula will automatically merge any cells in the selected range.

50. Sort cells: =SORT(range, sort_column, is_ascending)
The =SORT function allows you to sort rows of a specified range of cells, in either ascending or descending order.


Further resources

Looking for free data sources? We’ve collated 100 free data sources where you can download and try out some of these formulas in real-time!

100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns

On the lookout for new data sources? Here are some of the most compelling data sources you can use in your next digital PR campaign.

How to find compelling data for your next digital PR campaign

Want to know what a data journalist thinks about your data? Ashley Kirk, visual projects editor at the Guardian revealed all in our webinar from earlier in the year. Watch again for free, here!

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Brighton SEO 2021: Turn spreadsheets into stories with the JBH digital PR framework

For the Online PR Show at Brighton SEO 2021, I presented my framework, which allows digital PR teams to turn datasets (of any size) into newsworthy and campaignable stories. 

Following the framework, digital PR teams will spot the stories hidden within a spreadsheet packed full of data without needing a degree in data analysis. 

The framework was designed for teams who: 

  • Already run data-led digital PR campaigns but want to squeeze more out of them
  • Would like to produce data-led campaigns but don’t know where to start
  • Want to target journalists and audiences in different sectors

This talk will reveal how we explore every avenue when putting our digital PR campaigns together without a computer science degree. 

 

Turning spreadsheets into stories: a framework for interpreting large datasets into campaign-able stories

Data-led digital PR campaigns are my comfort zone. I default to this campaign style when I know I need the campaign to land lots of very high quality or niche links. By no means are they the only type of campaigns we run here at JBH, but I know we can build more links with campaigns backed by data than we can without it. 

But, I am not a data scientist or a maths expert, in fact, I barely passed my maths GCSE, so I needed to create a framework that would help me (and now you) uncover the magic that lies between the spreadsheets. 

By following my three-step framework you’ll be able to: 

  1. Extract newsworthy stories from any data set
  2. Get more stories out of every campaign that you run (and pitch more journalists)
  3. Present your data-led campaigns in a much more compelling way

So why did I develop this framework?

I see so many campaigns being shared with impressive data behind them (shoutout to the PR data analysts in the room). Still, when I check the coverage, maybe one or two generic angles landed coverage. But what we don’t hear as much is what we do with that data once we have it.

Why are we exhausting ourselves and not our datasets?

Earlier this year, the JBH team had a creativity masterclass with Mark Johnstone, and he said something that stuck with me, and I asked him if I could share this with everyone. 

Data is only as good as the questions we ask it

And that resonated with me. 

The data already holds all of the stories. We just need to use our storytelling skills to figure them out. In the same way that a journalist will use specific lines of questioning to get the scoop. 

We must interrogate our datasets to get our own scoop. And you can start with these three questions: 

  • What stories do you care about the most?

If you were only able to get one story out of this dataset, what should it be? What do you care the most about? 

  • What are the secondary stories?

What are the second, third and fourth stories you hope to get from this dataset? Write them down and go looking for them. 

  • What is the juiciest story? 

What is the key nugget of information that is going to get those journalists clicking on your email

Here’s how you can turn spreadsheets into stories with JBHs digital PR framework

Onto the framework and starting with the techniques I repeatedly use to make sure I am getting as many stories as possible out of every campaign we launch. 

Rescue a dead dataset with the multiplier technique

You’ll see journalists use this technique all of the time, and it’s something we can use too! Multipliers help audiences make sense of statistics. 

Per Capita is probably the most common multiplier and it’s really just a fancy way of saying per person

So let’s say you are working on a campaign looking to discover which city in Europe has the greenest space for residents to enjoy. Even without looking at the data, we can probably guess that London would be ranked the top city. 

But that’s not very interesting. Would you talk about that with your mates down the pub? It doesn’t pass the ‘so what test’…yet. 

You can get a brand new story by using the multiplier technique:  

Divide the total amount of green space by the number of people who would have to share that space (population), putting Paris at the top of the table. 

 

There are many other ways you can use multipliers, and all can help rescue a dead or disappointing dataset.

This year, we launched a campaign that looked at the best countries worldwide for startups based on the availability of government grants and support. I hoped that somewhere really quirky and unexpected would come out on top.

But it was the USA. I didn’t pass the ‘so what’ test. I needed to make this campaign more compelling.

So I went back into the raw dataset and asked it some more questions.

via GIPHY

We divided the number of start-up businesses by the number of established businesses to find out which country had the highest ratio of start-ups.

Canada topped the ranking, along with a whole new pool of journalists to pitch.

Make data more digestible with the comparisons and groupings technique

Comparisons and groupings are another technique we use to make big stats feel and sound more digestible.

Can you visualise what 429,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas looks like? I don’t think I could.

So let’s compare that figure to something we can all relate to.

We ran a campaign last November that predicted the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere due to our love for online shopping.

Great data, timely, shocking, newsworthy – all the things we love in a digital PR campaign – but we needed to get the messaging right.

We did that using the comparison technique – we worked out what 429,000 tonnes of carbon would be in return flights between London and New York and the same weight in Elephants.

Use spin to make your data sound more impressive

Spin is the third and final part of the framework and quite possibly the most fun. Spin doesn’t have to be negative. You are using your skills to communicate the story most effectively.

Let’s take this market research data for tails.com, revealing the UK’s most pampered pooches. If we take the data at face value, these are the stories we have:

  • Dogs owned by women get 41% of the treats in a household
  • Dogs owned by men get 44% of the treats in the household
  • Men more generous with treats than women

On the surface, this data doesn’t contain much of a story – the percentages between men and women are too close together to be a story on their own.

Let’s take another look and see how else we can slice and dice this data.

The angle I was looking for was ‘it’s me or the dog’ – tapping into the well-known rivalry between couples and their pets.

So, how often do women treat their dogs vs treating their partners?

 

Here, we can see that women are three times more likely to buy treats for their dogs than their partners.

This is more compelling, and I can already see the headlines this story will generate:

Using my framework, you’ll now be able to squeeze more out of every single campaign you launch

  • You’ll pitch more stories and broaden that pool of prospects
  • You’ll save yourself time and headaches
  • You’ll exhaust your datasets and not yourself
JBH PR Percentage Calculator
1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Introducing the JBH PR Percentage Calculator

At JBH, we have a dedicated channel on Slack where we test our headlines. We use the reactions and vote for the ones we find the most interesting. 

So I tested these headline options on the team to see which ones they felt were the most compelling:  

A: 15% of families in the UK order takeaway every weeknight 

B: One in six UK families order a takeaway five times a week

Option B got the most votes, and there is a reason for that. 

It is very unlikely that a journalist will use a ‘raw’ percentage in a headline, and that is because there are more compelling ways to express percentages.

Here’s an example of a recent article where the journalist does just that. They use 1 in 5 in the headline and then reveal the full percentage in the body copy. 

Journalists and Percentages

One in five and 18% are basically the same thing, but one sounds more interesting than the other; which is why they use it in the headline. 

Do you want to present your percentages in a more poignant way?

Forget Googling ‘how to express 18% as a fraction’; we’ve created a tool that does all the hard work for you. 

JBH, in collaboration with Roobley, have created the PR Percentage Calculator, an interactive tool to make your percentages more poignant. 

Try it here: https://jbh.co.uk/pr-percentage-fraction-calculator/#/ 

Simply use the slider or start typing to find your percentage, and the calculator will show you a variety of different ways to express that percentage.