Digital PR

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:

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

25 Annual Reports and Their Release Dates

What thoughts or feelings come to mind when you see or hear the words ‘annual report’? Chances are fear and dread will be more prominent than anticipation and excitement. 

But annual reports come in many shapes and sizes and aren’t limited to financial statements or investor sentiment. In fact, they’re often bursting at the seams with verified data and actionable insights, which could take your digital PR campaigns to the next level. 

Here are 25 annual reports (in no particular order) to keep an eye out for, as well as their release dates.

1. The Autumn Budget

Release date: Wednesday 6 November 2019

uk-budget

From raising taxes to reducing spending, decisions in the UK government’s Autumn Budget affect everyone. After announcing this year’s Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid said: “This will be the first Budget after leaving the EU. I will be setting out our plan to shape the economy for the future and triggering the start of our infrastructure revolution.”

2. Unilever Annual Report

Release date: March 2020

unilever consumer report

With a presence in over 190 countries, Unilever’s products reach 2.5 billion consumers a day. Along with financial statements and a governance report, its Annual Report also contains information about strategy, including environment and sustainability wins. 

3. Expedia Group’s Travel Pricing Outlook

Release date: February 2020

expedia travel price report

This year, Expedia Group’s Travel Pricing Outlook found that travellers could save 20% or more of flight costs by booking on a weekend. It uses sophisticated analysis of Airlines Reporting Corporation’s (ARC) global air- and Expedia Group’s lodging-trend data. 

4. Aviva Family Finances Report

Release date: February 2020

Even though Aviva’s Family Finances Report is primarily meant for its clients, the range of data about monthly income, savings, investments and expenditures will add fuel to any financial-based campaign.

5. Nike Annual Report

Release date: July 2020

nike annual report

FY19 was a big one for Nike – its “Dream Crazy” campaign invited millions across the globe to honour the trailblazers of women’s sport. Its Annual Report looks at financial gains, strategic goals and future plans. 

6. Vodafone – Various

Release Date: May 2020

vodafone slogan

In addition to its Annual Report, which explores financial performance and sustainability initiatives, Vodafone also publishes reports about digital and technology trends. In 2019,  Digital, Ready? was released to help businesses conquer digital transformation,  while Harnessing technology to tackle loneliness looked at how the over 50s could stay independent for longer. 

 

7. Global Energy Perspective

Release date: February 2020

Every year, Mckinsey publishes its Global Energy Perspective to help clients understand the implications of the energy transition. This year’s report said that global energy demand would plateau around 2030 after a century of rapid growth.

 

8. Bank of England Annual Report

Release date: June 202

BoE report

Seeing as the Bank of England is responsible for maintaining monetary and financial stability, its Annual Report makes for essential reading. In 2019, it also published the Future of Finance report, which gathered insights from over 300 entrepreneurs, financiers, tech firms, global investors, consumer groups, charities, policymakers and business leaders across the United Kingdom and overseas

 

9. Brand Footprint report

Release date: May 2020

brand footprint report

Every year, Brand Footprint reveals which FMCG brands have been chosen by consumers over 1 billion times. According to the 2019 edition, there were 17 companies that made the list, and 14 local brands that made the exclusive ‘billionaire club’.

 

10. Global FMCG Market Business Confidence Report 

Release date: May 2020

Yet another insight into the FMCG industry, the Global FMCG Industry Business Confidence 

Report offers a current state of the global economy, company growth outlook, supplier price projections and significant investment activities. 

 

11. World Health Statistics

Release date: April 2020

The World Health Organisation’s Global Health Observatory issues numerous analytical reports on the current situation and trends for priority health issues. Its annual World Health Statistics report presents the most recent health statistics for the WHO Member States.

 

12. UN Climate Change Annual Report

Release date: June 2020

UN climate report

Commenting on this year’s report, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “Alongside new scientific evidence and the increasingly observable signs of climate change – from melting glaciers to massive storms – 2018 showed that the world is now ready and determined to act. As this annual report illustrates, the UNFCCC secretariat continued to support tirelessly the global climate platform that supports and encourages this progress.”

 

13. Media Nations report

Release date: August 2020

media nations report

Ofcom’s Media Nations report reviews key trends in the television and video sector as well as the radio and audio sector. There’s data and analysis on traditional broadcast television and radio services, as well as the impact of other types of video and audio.

 

14. World Insurance Report 

Release date: May 2020

world insurance report

“Emerging risk trends and rising customer expectations are dramatically changing the landscape for insurance, and providers must be agile in how they respond,” says Anirban Bose, CEO of Financial Services at Capgemini, who publish the World Insurance Report

 

15. UK Online Retailing Market Report

Release date: July 2020

UK retail report

Mintel claims that this report provides “the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Online Retailing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.” 

 

16. Global Childhood Report and End of Childhood Index

Release date: May 2020

global childhood report

For the past three years, Save the Children has published the statistics, the stories and the factors that are helping more children survive and thrive. This year, it was revealed that at least 280 million children – or 1 child in 8 – are dramatically better off today than at any time in the past two decades.

 

17. Accenture Technology Vision

Release date: February 2020

Every year, Technology Vision and Accenture Research professionals identify five technology trends that will shape business over the next three years. In 2019, it said that the post-digital era was upon us, raising the question of how leaders could set themselves apart. 

 

18. Charity Commission Annual Report

Release date: July 2020

Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of charities, the Charity Commission’s Annual Report provides detailed statistics about income, trustees, inquiries and incidents. The commission’s recent shift in strategic priorities reflect its changing role in representing the public interest to charities and are based on learning about how people value charity.

 

19. United Nations Annual Report

Release date: September 2020

“Global challenges require global solutions. It is not enough to proclaim the virtue of multilateralism; we must prove its added value,” said Secretary-General António Guterres upon the release of the UN’s Annual Report. In 2019, the UN helped mobilise and coordinate international assistance worth $15B for 133 million people in need.

 

20. TUC General Council Report

Release date: August 2020

TUC

The TUC brings together over five and a half million working people who belong to 48 member unions. Its General Council Report for 2019 covered the economy, Brexit and having a voice at work.

 

21. UK Automotive Sustainability Report

Release date: July 2020

2019 marked the 20th year of SMMT’s UK Automotive Sustainability Report, highlighting the importance industry places on balancing profitability and output with social and environmental responsibilities. Since the publication of the first Sustainability Report in 1999, average CO2 emissions per vehicle produced has fallen -31.2%.

 

22. The Global Liveability Index

Release date: September 2020

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and Environment, Education and Infrastructure.

 

23. World Happiness Report

Release date: March 2020

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. Last year’s report focused on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.

 

24. Homelessness in Great Britain

Release date: November 2019

“It’s unforgivable that 320,000 people in Britain have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home,” said Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter in 2018’s report. “These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country.”

 

25. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet

Release date: May 2020

This NHS report presents information on obesity, physical activity and diet drawn together from a variety of sources for England. In 2019, 29% of adults classified as obese, which led to 10,660 hospital admissions.

1024 682 Rebekah Massey

How to Write a Cracking Headline For Your Digital PR Campaign

The key to writing a cracking headline isn’t just down to having a knack for it. There are so many factors that come into the mix and help you decide what will grab that person’s attention. 

Sometimes, you will look at a campaign and headlines will ping into your mind left-right-and-center, but other times, writer’s block can hit. Whether it is for your digital campaign or an article, here is a straightforward guide to eye-catching headlines, every time.

How to Research Headlines

Search for your hook on Google to spark ideas. Once you see what journalists are using, you can get a better idea of what you need to focus on in your headlines. 

For example, if your campaign is about Instagram’s most popular food, you can search “Instagrammable food news” to see what magazines and top tier news websites are using for their headlines.

Top Tip: Take a look at the top headlines featured on the homepage of your favourite newspapers and try to copy the wording, phrasing and commonly used words.  

Digital PR’s Get Writer’s Block Too…

There are lots of avenues that you can go down when your mind can’t process an eye-catching angle. When writer’s block hits, you should read articles about your subject matter, which may help to spark some interesting headlines. 

Also, Twitter can be useful for battling writer’s block (even if common misconceptions say otherwise). Finding out what is trending around your subject matter allows you to see your subject in a different light. More importantly, it shows you what your audience is discussing, so you can mould your headlines to what they want to see.

Look Back at Your Campaign and Data

Repeatedly, read through your data points to gain some perspective on what you are trying to say. What is the campaign accomplishing and what questions could it be answering. Do you have any main data points that could be worked into headlines? Consider what sums up your campaign or narrative in one sentence.

Use your Statistics as Headlines

If you have any interesting or shocking statistics, use them as a headline. Although some may consider this to be ‘click-bait’, it is the perfect strategy for developing an intriguing headline, as long as you have the evidence to back up your claim. This can be helpful when promoting or outreaching your campaign, too.

Top Tip: If your statistic can be expressed in different ways, try it. For example, 30% can be expressed as ‘a third’ or ‘one in three’. Try it and see what has the most impact. 

When You Feel Like You’ve Used Every Possible Headline…

Get a fresh outlook from a colleague or anyone for that matter. Sometimes when you have been so involved in a campaign, it can be difficult to see any other possible angles. Ask them what they think stands out instantly as the most interesting piece of information in your campaign or narrative. This fresh outlook could put you onto a whole new angle completely, meaning lots of new headlines. 

If in Doubt – here is your failsafe guide to writing a cracking headline:

  • Ask a rhetorical question (only if your campaign can answer that question)
  • Practice writing headlines in the style of your favourite publications
  • Use your data as headlines
  • A cheeky pun is useful for any off the cuff magazines/ newspapers. 
  • Aim for shock factor but not click-baity (only if you have the facts to back it up)
  • 1024 682 Rebecca Moss

    What Do We Make of Google’s Latest Link Evolution?

    As Google announces new guidelines for sites to identify and correctly label their links, we explore how journalists may treat and link to varying digital PR campaigns

    A full 14 years (!) after its introduction, the nofollow link attribute has been given a refresh; causing much conversation and speculation between those working across SEO, Content Marketing and Digital PR.   

    Google dropped the unexpected announcement yesterday evening, revealing the new kids on the block, rel=”UGC” and rel=”sponsored”

    In short, these two new attributes have been put in place to help Google’s link graph understand the content that they are assigning value to. 

    Google's Brand New Link Attribution Guidelines

    Whilst these new attributes can be used instantly, It’s worth putting March 1st 2020 in your diary… 

    OK Google, what does this mean when we’re asking journalists and publishers to link to our campaigns?

    Don’t get it twisted, nofollow isn’t going anywhere. 

    Publications and journalists will still be free to use rel=nofollow for all paid, sponsored and untrusted links. 

    So, let’s take a look at some coverage we achieved here at JBH which was linked using the nofollow attribute. 

     

    Our Nofollow Checklist

    So, why are publications using nofollow links in their editorial content?

    My ‘hot take’ here is that the nofollow attribute has been seriously overused by publishers looking to protect themselves from penalisation, whilst still enjoying the benefits of the traffic driven by articles containing PR led content.  

    Don’t get me wrong, coverage including a nofollow link on Yahoo! is a great win, but the content is in fact: 

    • Editorial (the journalist created this story based on research provided by our client)
    • Not sponsored or paid for in any way    
    • Was not written by us or our client   

    So, according to the announcement, there’s no reason for Yahoo! to use the nofollow attribute in this case. 


    Do you see UGC?

    Here’s an example of some coverage we achieved for our client which (we believe) would fall under the User Generated Content (UGC) umbrella. 

    Our UGC Checklist

    Our UGC checklist

    When our client was asked to produce this content by the publisher, it seemed like a no-brainer to us due to the relevance and obvious quality associated with the site. 

    The branded link to our client within this content is followed, will the publisher take the time to audit their historical links and edit them to feature UGC attribution for any content created by external sources?  

     

    What’s the incentive for publishers to help Google out?

    It’s taken us a good couple of hours to unpack and digest the information in Google’s announcement and relay it across the Digital PR team here at JBH, so what about low-tech journalists or even bloggers who just write for fun? 

    We can see a lot of publications not bothering with the UGC tag as it won’t make a real difference to the way their own site is crawled and ranked. 

    #Spon but for Link Building

    Advertorial and sponsored content isn’t our bag, so it’s a bit tricky to show an example of some linked content that should, in theory, be attributed as sponsored. 

    But, for argument’s sake;

    Let’s just say a journalist accidentally added rel=”sponsored” to one of their completely unpaid, unsponsored columns. 

    Depending on the specific journalist, our existing relationship with them and our knowledge of the publication’s linking policy, we might not want to approach them and ask for the link to be changed and thus risking future coverage from them. 

    Journalists = busy. 

    But, if the link within that article is marked as sponsored (when it isn’t) then this is a massive problem when reporting to our clients on our earned link KPIs.  

    We can’t guarantee that this would be rectified to reflect the truth, so where does that leave us?


    Should we care if our links are followed or not?

    Before your digital PR team start doing cartwheels down the corridor on March 1st, it’s worth taking a step back and looking closely at the language used:

    These link attributes will be treated as hints across the board, meaning:

    • In some cases, they may be used for crawling and indexing
    • In some cases, they may be used for ranking

    Ultimately, we want the time we spend building and creating campaigns to have as much impact on bottom-line metrics as possible (rankings, traffic, organic visibility). A followed link will continue to be the aim, but it’s a great ‘hint’ from Google that a nofollow or UGC style link will hold water if and when a publication chooses to link in this way. 

    It is early days and as always, only time (and results) will tell. 

    800 533 Jane Hunt

    What do our clients value most – quantity or relevance?

    RELEVANCE VS QUANTITY

    What do our clients value most – quantity or relevance?

    There is a lot of debate in the digital PR and SEO world right now, about whether relevance is more important than the quality of links. And it’s a fair question…

    When I was thinking about this post, I had a look to see what expert opinion I could find on the topic and there are more articles that lean towards relevancy over quantity (if you had to pick one without the other).

    But is there one right answer??

    ‘No.’

    However, when we deliver campaigns for the brands we work with, the links and coverage that are celebrated the most loudly are, in fact, most closely aligned with their brand values.

    Combine the above with an end of campaign report packed full of consistently high quality links then usually, we have a happy client on our hands. If we can achieve all three, then we’re winning.

    Who gets to decide what’s right when it comes to the relevance vs quantity debate?

    It’s not up to the agency to decide what it right for the client. We can advise, suggest and recommend.

    Ultimately, we work with some fantastic technical SEO managers who know their brand inside out. We feel that they are in the best place to decide on the type of links they believe will have the most impact when included in their backlink profile. And we deliver campaigns to answer that brief.

    No two clients/brands are the same

    We have the pleasure of working with brands of all shapes, sizes and sectors – and the one thing they all have in common is that they place value on very different elements of digital PR.

    For example, brands who are starting out may want high quantities of backlinks to their homepage to kick-start their journey to increased visibility in search.

    Other brands will have thousands of backlinks from random referring domains, but lack the quality and relevance to support their product or category pages. These are the clients that will request topically relevant backlinks from sites that align closely with their brand.

    And that’s fine – because every brands keyword objectives, content strategy, products and budgets are different.

    So how do we handle that?

    At JBH (rightly or wrongly), we let the client decide where to place the emphasis. Sometimes a brand will be looking for top-tier coverage and backlinks (the holy-grail) to impress the CEO and in turn inspire more budget for digital PR campaigns.

    There is nothing wrong with this – because it helps generate buy-in for an often unknown and under-represented service that can have a huge impact on traffic (over time) and therefore a positive impact on the bottom line.

    Others will want highly relevant coverage on industry or niche sites where their audiences are – and this is ok too.

    But the different objectives, require a different approach and flexibility. As all brands are different, so are the campaigns we deliver. Over the last year, we’ve discovered that campaigns we produce which are data-led (using unique data either supplied by the client or sourced by us), do significantly better than other campaigns.

    And it’s not to do with the format of the content.

    It’s down to the data giving us the option to produce highly relevant content for very specific sites AND our ability to pitch to less obvious but still highly relevant sites. Here are a few examples of how we achieved this for our food box client Gousto against a relevance-led brief from their technical SEO manager:

    GoodFood.com.au – DA 69

    Thenational.ae – DA 87

    And why were Gousto pleased with how this campaign answered their brief?

    • The first time Gousto was featured on each domain
    • High authority domains
    • Respected and credible sources
    • Relevant coverage within the food vertical / within the food section

    So whilst the debate about quantity and relevancy rages on between agencies and within teams, what’s clear is there isn’t one answer (that everyone is happy with).

    We believe it is not up to us as an agency to decide either way. 

    The client knows their brand, audience and objectives best and are therefore best placed to tell us whether they choose relevancy over over quantity.

    And you might think this stance is a cop-out – my resistance to get off the fence. And if I had to, I would pick relevant quality links every day – because it means the content we created for these sites has landed and is appreciated for its relevance and thought leadership, but this doesn’t mean relevance is right for every client.

    So where do you sit in this debate? 

    I would love to hear how other agencies manage this conundrum and cater for their client’s differing digital PR objectives.