Digital PR

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.

    1024 682 Rebecca Moss

    The Only Digital PR Campaign Launch List You’ll Ever Need

    Ready to launch your next digital PR campaign but worried you might have forgotten something? Don’t worry, we got you…

    The moments just before you launch a digital PR campaign can be thrilling, exciting and terrifying in equal measures. 

    We know there’s a lot riding on campaign launch. The client wants super-fast results, your manager constantly wants good news and of course, you want your hard work to pay off against whatever bottom-line goals you’ve been set. 

    Please don’t let this pressure rush you into launching a campaign.   

    The pre-launch period is (arguably) THE most important part of your campaign timeline, so it is vital that you take time to check every element before you release it into the wild. 

    However, this can feel like you’re spinning plates.

    In fact, here at JBH, we usually begin our ‘launch process’ the second that we’ve briefed our design studio, so we’ve put together our essential campaign launch check-list in the hope that it can make everything feel a bit more manageable. 


    Check any campaign data

    Is the data used within your campaign water-tight, backed up by a thorough methodology? 

    • If there are multiple people working on the launch and outreach of a campaign, brief them on the data. Run through any anomalies or interesting stats and how to explain them. 
    • Check the results, thoroughly. Double-check sections of the data to be more thorough. 
    • Prepare answers to those questions ahead of launch so you are ready to respond at a moments notice.

    ask your colleagues to think like a journalist

    Prepare an internal briefing sheet

    If you have a team working on promotion, a briefing sheet could be the answer to a cohesive and seamless launch. We always follow this up with a verbal run-through ahead of launch to allow for any questions and queries from the wider team. 

    • Include all of the headline stats and important points
    • Include links to all assets, data, press releases etc
    • Include KPIs, deadlines and any other important ‘bottom line’ goals
    • Include how the client can be contacted here too

    predict what a journalist might say

    Prepare your ‘Headlines and Angles’ sheet

    A great campaign will always consist of multiple angles and headlines. Decide on these ahead of time and produce a shared ‘Headlines and Angles’ sheet. 

    • We have a separate section for each angle with the associated headlines underneath.
    • Include the information or stats for each angle so you don’t have to hunt through the raw data each time. This could lead to mistakes, especially if the journalist or publication has a tight deadline. 

    Media/prospecting list

    Begin compiling your target media list as soon as you know what the main angle of your campaign is going to be. This can be refined and drilled down as the launch plan develops and will be different for every campaign.  


    Case studies/Comments/Quote/Opinion

    Top-tier publications often require exclusive case studies from an external source or insightful comment from your client or company. Preparing this ahead of launch will save you time and energy which can be channelled into your outreach.

    Additional tips and advice

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘moment’ when preparing for the launch of a big data-led digital PR campaign, but don’t forget about the valuable insight from your client or brand. 

    Putting together a list of advice to complement your campaign can be done well ahead of time and could be the deciding factor for a journalist looking to turn your campaign into a feature.

    Golden rules of the linkable asset

    We’ve all been there, the journalist has used your carefully crafted data/imagery in a feature but they haven’t credited your client with a link, leading to a whole world of link reclamation pain. 

    We’ve realised that this is usually because we’ve not actually given them a reason to link which is what our linkable asset golden rules cover, during the campaign launch process. 

    • Always offer something extra on the website, making sure it is only lightly referenced in the pitch. 
    • Ensure any graphics in the pitch are different to what is on the website. 
    • Provide some element of interactivity within the asset on the website, the journalist has to point the user to the website to experience it.

    Pitch examples

    This is the fun bit! Figuring out how you’re going to pitch your campaign to make it as enticing as possible.

    Whilst personalisation is key for pitching, it’s a great timesaver to have at least the pitch subject lines and key data points altogether in one place for your team to access and use throughout their outreach cycles.   

    Kick-off meeting

    There’s literally nothing better than the excitement of showing your campaign to a client or to your team for the first time. 

    A launch (or kick-off) meeting is a great idea as it allows for any final questions on the outreach and for you to agree on the launch date with other parts of the business.

    1024 682 Rebecca Moss

    100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns

    There are a number of reasons why we place such a big emphasis on data when it comes to content marketing and digital PR campaigns. We’ve even explored how journalists use data as a way to craft compelling stories, and how digital PR teams can look to implement these techniques into their campaigns.

    Data has the power to:

    • Measure your online standing – Website traffic, social media followers and online ratings.
    • Analyse the effectiveness of your work – Open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and cost per conversion.
    • Discover your return on investment – Calculate your cost per lead or quantity of leads generated.

    However, it can also be a game-changer in terms of content creation – there’s a wealth of data available online just waiting to be curated, which can provide your audience with intriguing insights or indisputable information that encourages movement down the funnel towards those all-important conversions.

    Best of all…

    …several data sources (the following 100 to be precise) are absolutely free and ready to be used in your digital PR campaigns.

    1. Statista

    “The #1 business data platform in the world with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries.”

    1. UNData

    Specialised databases, popular statistical tables and country profiles..

    1. Wikipedia

    If you’re worried about accuracy, only use data that comes with a reference or external link for further reading.

    1. DBpedia

    DBpedia gathers structured content from valuable information over at Wikipedia.

    1. Amazon Public Data Sets

    A registry featuring datasets that are available from Amazon Web Services resources.

    1. Google Public Data Explorer

    Public-interest datasets that feature graphs and tables for a better understanding of information.

    1. Pew Research

    Pew Research Centre claims it generates “a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.”

    1. Datasets Subreddit

    A great place to share, find and discuss datasets, but finding your niche could be tricky.

    1. Enigma Public 

    The “world’s broadest collection of public data” to “empower people to improve the world around them.”

     

    1. Data.gov

    The home of the US Government’s open data, covering everything from agriculture and finance to manufacturing and public safety.

    1. Data.gov.uk

    The home of the UK government’s open data, featuring an equally extensive range of useful information.

    1. YouGov

    An overview of what the UK’s opinion is on things like politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle and more.

    1. WhatDoTheyKnow

    WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the government and public sector.

    1. UK Data Service

    A collection of UK government-sponsored surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, business data and more.

    1. European Union Open Data Portal

    The single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.

    1. U.S. Census Bureau

    Government-informed statistics about the lives of US citizens including population, economy, education, geography, and more.

    1. Socrata

    A mission-driven software company that enables you to explore government-related data via built-in visualisation tools. 

    1. Canada Open Data

    Pilot project that wants to create greater transparency and accountability with government and geospatial datasets

    1. Datacatalogs.org

    Open government data from the US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more.

    1. Gapminder

    European ‘fact tank’ that fights misconceptions about global development using a wide range of data sources.

    1. UNDP’s Human Development Index

    A ranking of country progress under the lens of human development.

    1. OECD Aid Database

    Visualisation of data showing aid collected from governments.

    1. Qlik Data Market

     Free package provides access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators and weather.

     

    1. World Bank Open Data

    Featuring 3000 datasets and 14000 indicators encompassing microdata, time series statistics, and geospatial data.

    1. IMF Economic Data

    Including but not limited to global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates and directions of trade.

    1. UN Comtrade Database

    A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.

    1. Google Finance

    Real-time stock market information, financial news, currency conversions, and tracked portfolios.

    1. Global Financial Data

    A source to analyse the twists and turns of the global economy with data on over 60,000 companies covering 300 years.

    1. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

    Mainly reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States but also information about income, corporate profits and government spending.

    1. National Bureau of Economic Research

    Data concerning industry, productivity, trade, international finance, industry and more.

    1. Financial Times

    More than a news site, the FT also publishes a broad range of business data and information.

    1. OpenCorporates

    The largest open database of companies in the world.

    1. The Atlas of Economic Complexity

    Research and data visualisation tool used to explore global trade dynamics,

    1. World Bank Doing Business Database

    Resource that evaluates business environment indicators, such as capabilities and costs, around the world.

    1. Visualizing Economics

    A self-explanatory site featuring data visualisations about the economy.

    1. Federal Reserve Economic Database

    Download and track 567,000 US and international time series from 87 sources.

    1. Buzz Data

    Resource that provides UK businesses with targeted business address data.

    1. Financial Data Finder at OSU

    Large catalogue of financial data sets.

    1. TripAdvisor

    A wealth of free information about destinations to help support your travel or lifestyle campaign. 

    1. EU-Startups

    Directory listing the number of start-up businesses in the EU, alongside their industry and sector. Perfect if your campaign is targeting new businesses publications in and around Europe.  

    advertising social media data

    1. Buffer

    Data insights, survey findings and regular reports about digital marketing can be found on the Buffer blog.

    1. Moz

    Along with how-to articles and whiteboard walkthroughs, the Moz Blog also publishes data-driven insight pieces.

    1. HubSpot

    Large repository of marketing statistics and trends along with tools for social media, SEO and web analytics.

    1. Content Marketing Institute

    Articles, resources and research all about the world of content marketing.

    1. Facebook API

    Using the Graph API, you can retrieve data all sorts of data from Facebook.

    1. Twitter API

    Stay up to date with worldwide conversations by connecting your website or application to the Twitter Platform.

    1. Instagram API

    You can use the Instagram API to build non-automated, high-quality apps and services.

    1. Complete Public Reddit Comments Corpus

    Here you’ll find over one billion public comments posted on Reddit between 2007 and 2015 for training language algorithms.

     

    1. data.police.uk

    Open data about crime and policing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    1. FBI Crime Statistics

    Statistical reports and publications detailing specific offences and outlining crime trends.

     

    1. UNICEF Dataset

    UNICEF has compiled relevant data about education, child labour, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, antenatal care and much more.

    1. NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre

    The NHS produces more than 260 official and national statistical publications every year, which includes national comparative data for secondary uses.

    1. Healthdata.gov

    125 years of US healthcare data including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology and population statistics.

    1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration

    A compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database, which is updated once a week.

    1. MedicinePlus

    Resource for health statistics such as the rate at which people are catching the flu and the average cost of a medical procedure.

    1. America’s Health Rankings

    An analysis of US national health on a state-by-state basis using historical data.

    1. The Broad Institute — Cancer Program Data

    Access the cancer-related datasets of the Broad Institute’s scientists.

    1. Human Rights Data Analysis Group

    The non-profit, nonpartisan group applying rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world.

    1. Harvard Law School

    Everything from international relations to human rights data courtesy of political institution databases.

    1. The Armed Conflict Database by Uppsala University

    Data that dives into minor and major violent conflicts around the world.

    1. Amnesty International

    Human rights information, run independently of any political ideology, economic interest, or religion.

     

    1. FiveThirtyEigh

    Primarily a news and opinion website, but its content is supported by in-depth data and statistical models.

    1. Google Scholar

    Another Alphabet-owned resource but with a more academic slant – articles, theses, books, whitepapers etc.

    1. The Upshot

    A section of the New York Times that examines politics, policy and everyday life, primarily using data.

    1. The New York Times Developer Network

    Search articles, retrieve headlines and discover media dating back to 1851.

    1. Associated Press API

    Search and download content using your own tools without having to visit AP portals.

    1. Million Song Dataset

    A collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million music tracks.

    1. BFI Film Forever

    Research data and market intelligence about the UK film industry and culture.

    1. IFPI

    Key statistical highlights of the global recording industry.

    1. Academic Rights Press

    The world’s leading aggregator of global music industry data.

    1. OpenLibrary Data Dumps

    Datasets on books including catalogues from libraries around the world.

    1. One Million Audio Cover Images 

    Dataset hosted at archive.org covering music released around the world, for use in image processing research.

    1. SkiftStats

    The latest statistics, research and data about the travel industry.

    1. Search the World

    Population, weather and travel information for millions of locations worldwide.

    1. U.S. Travel Association

    Covers a wide variety of travel-related topics, primarily relating to the economy.

     

    1. Labelled Faces in the Wild

    13,000 collated and labelled images of human faces, for use in developing applications involving facial recognition.

    1. Microsoft Marco

    Microsoft’s open machine learning datasets for training systems in reading comprehension and question answering.

    1. Machine Learning Dataset Repository

    Collection of open datasets contributed by data scientists involved in machine learning projects.

    1. UCI Machine Learning Repository

    Dataset specifically pre-processed for machine learning.

    1. CERN Open Data 

    More than one petabyte of data from particle physics experiments carried out by CERN.

    1. Natural History Museum Data Portal

    Information on nearly four million historical specimens in the London museum’s collection, as well as scientific sound recordings of the natural world.

    1. Microsoft Azure Data Markets Free Datasets

    Freely available datasets covering everything from agriculture to weather.

    1. NASA Exoplanet Archive

    Public datasets covering planets and stars gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.

    1. LondonAir 

    Pollution and air quality data from across London.

    1. National Centers for Environmental Information

    Quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products and various resources.

    1. National Climatic Data Center

    Huge collection of environmental, meteorological and climate data sets from the US National Climatic Data Center.

     

    1. Yelp Open Datasets

    There are 5,996,996 reviews, 188,593 businesses, 280,991 pictures and 10 metropolitan areas included in Yelp Open Datasets.

    1. Capterra

    Directory covering business software and reviews.

    1. Monster

    In-depth data source for job market and career opportunities.

    1. Glassdoor

    Directory where you can research companies, compare salaries and read employee reviews.

    1. eBay Market Data Insights 

    Data on millions of online sales and auctions from eBay.

    1. Junar

     Data scraping service that also includes data feeds.

     

    Need help delving the depths of data? We thrive on turning facts and figures into compelling content and campaigns – contact us to find out how.

    gaming creativity: how tot fake it till you create it
    1024 682 Carl Eden

    Gaming Creativity: How to Fake it till you Create it

    One of the hardest parts of digital PR is coming up with creative ideas on tap. But there are various steps you can undertake to make the process a little bit easier. Here’s some handy starting tips on improving your creative process:

    1. Break Ideation Down

    When it comes to generating ideas, it can be hard to know where to begin. So try and find ways to make your initial ideation into more of a mechanical process. 

    A few years ago now, Mark Johnstone in a talk ‘How to Produce Better Content Ideas’ shared a television advert for BT broadband. In the advert, a boy asks his father ‘why did they build the Great Wall of China?’ The dad, flustered because he doesn’t know, panics and tells his son they built it to keep the rabbits out. Cut to – the boy in school, about to deliver a presentation to his class on why China built the great wall:

    So, how did Mark break the advert down to examine its success?

    • Customer Insight
    • Product Truth
    • Competitor Insight

    BT knew that its customers wanted information for their children. They knew their broadband speed was faster and could provide information quicker. They knew competitors were entirely focused on price. They found success by combining Customer Insight, Product Truth, and Competitor Insight.

    Top Tip: Take inspiration from this advert and try and generate ideas through manageable sections. 

    Instead of trying to create ideas from the air, which is daunting, find a way to mechanically break ideation down to explore different sections at a time. 

    • Customer Insight – Look at your customers. What kinds of people are they? What kinds of sites do they frequent? Look at problems they face or stories of interest to them. If you sell footwear to older women, don’t look at shoes, look at the issues faced by older women. 
    • Product Truth – What do these products do? Who would buy this? What need does it address? You might be able to tie into a more interesting topic.
    • Competitor Insight – Research blog posts and marketing campaigns of similar brands. What stands out? What do you do differently? 

    Whilst this approach may not necessarily work for you, try to find ways to make your ideation sessions less daunting from the start – look at target sites, demographics, products, and brainstorm any connections you might find. 

    2. Remember to Tell a Good Story

    Why would a journalist cover my content marketing campaign? Often, the answer is simple, and it’s one which hasn’t changed a great deal in a fair few decades. For the journalist, the story is everything. 

    One of my favourite books on ideation is Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick. In their book, the Heath brothers examine adverts and urban legends to dissect story success – what makes a good story stick? They break down stories into a SUCCESS principle, some of which can be easily applied to ideation:

    • Simplicity – Often you’ll often provide journalists with a wealth of data and they’ll pick out one element and just run with that. Ideas which stick are often simple and to the point. Can you chisel your idea into its one core element? Think in terms of movie pitches. ‘Speed is Die Hard on a bus!’ ‘Alien is Jaws in space!’ What’s your hook?
    • Unexpectedness – Our brain notices things that are different. Surprising data often has more value. For example – did you know that deer kill more people than sharks every year? Playing against stereotypes or audience expectations can help an idea land. Look at stories journalists are covering in your industry and try to add your own unexpected twist. 
    • Emotions – Notice how the press will do human interest stories which will have more impact than simply listing figures? People are more likely to share stories that make them feel something – happiness, anger, surprise. Can you provide a human element to make your ideas more successful?

    Always ask – who cares? Why would a journalist want this? What makes it stand out?

    3. Site Survey to Reverse Engineer Content 

    One last fast tip to get started. Use an advanced Google Search Operator to perform a site search with a relevant keyword and ‘survey.’ This works especially well with tabloids. So for example, if you sell wedding rings and want wedding topics to inspire you, try this in Google:

    Weddings survey site:dailymail.co.uk


    This will pull up all combinations of all stories built around weddings and surveys. Doing this will provide an overview of the flavour of stories the press has covered around your keyword. And you might notice a few patterns. Weddings, for example, will bring up:

    • Cost of weddings
    • Wedding habits
    • Wedding locations 
    • Wedding stress

    If most of the stories are on the costs of weddings, it makes sense to start there as it’s clearly a subject the press are keen to explore. Can you look to do an unexpected twist on this?

    Again – this isn’t a definitive list, but starting ideation can be daunting and hopefully, these tips are useful. Find more inspiration here. And if you’d like to leave ideation in our hands, feel free to contact us to find out more! 

    Syndicated Content & SEO - can they be friends?
    1024 682 Jane Hunt

    Syndicated Content & SEO – Can They be Friends?

    What’s the current state of your content marketing?

    For some brands, publishing one blog per week on the company website is enough, while others take a multichannel approach that encompasses infographics, videos and podcasts. 

    No matter how much you scale your efforts, one of the biggest challenges associated with content marketing will always remain…getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. 

    Common tactics for increasing content exposure such as influencer marketing and digital PR are incredibly effective. However, it can take time to deliver meaningful results. 

    Enter syndicated content – a top technique for widening your brand’s reach and making new audiences aware of your offering. 

    But here’s the kicker:

    Some brands are reluctant to adopt syndicated content because they believe it will negatively impact their SEO. Here’s why you don’t necessarily need to worry about the relationship between syndicated content and SEO. 

    In fact, they can be friends…

    What is content syndication?

    Content syndication is the practice of giving websites permission to republish content that originally appeared elsewhere. 

    To give an example, you let one of your vendors or suppliers republish a blog that mentions how you benefited from their product or service.

    Your content might be edited down or not published in its entirety, but you should still be credited as the author with a link back to your website or the original article.

    The other side of the content syndication coin is republishing the work of others on your own website, which can still provide value depending on your marketing goals.

    syndicated content example on Fox News

    After featuring on Entrepreneur, a site that receives over 18 million visits per month, this article was published as syndicated content on Fox News, which boasts an audience over 19 times the size of Entrepreneur’s.

    Is syndicated content duplicate content

    Technically, yes, which is bound to cause a wave of panic among content marketers everywhere. 

    However, Google doesn’t actually have a duplicate content penalty – it only penalises websites that scrape content or spam the web using duplicate content. 

    If Google does find multiple URLs with the same content, its search bots will decide which one to rank and omit the other results. For some, this is as good as a penalty. 

    In order to ensure original pieces of work always rank on Google, many authors and publishers ask that syndicated content comes with a canonical link. This tells search engine bots that all SEO equity relating to the content should be attributed to the original version.

    Canonical tag on the Moz homepage

    The moz.com homepage has a self-referential canonical tag.

    What are the pros and cons of content syndication? 

    When other websites syndicate your content:

    Pros:

    • Form of promotion and driver of traffic to your website
    • Great way to build authority
    • Possibility of gaining quality backlinks

    Cons:

    • The third-party website might want to get paid for the privilege of republishing your content
    • You won’t make any revenue for advertising
    • You won’t be able to build a list of subscribers

    When you syndicate other websites’ content

    Pros:

    • You don’t have to write content yourself
    • You get variety in the content you publish
    • You could establish yourself as a source of excellent information

    Cons:

    • The original author might ask for a canonical link, meaning you won’t drive traffic from Google
    • If you don’t ask for permission from the original author, you could run into copyright issues
    • Google might think you’re scraping content or spamming the web

    When should you consider content syndication?

    The main reason for choosing content syndication is to get your ideas, messaging and brand in front of a wider, bigger audience. So, content syndication could prove beneficial if your marketing objectives include:

    • Increasing brand awareness
    • Establishing yourself as a thought leader
    • Boosting social media shares and followers

    This is especially true if you don’t have a large user base and want to make more people aware of your offering. 

    Can syndicated content and SEO be friends?

    If syndicate content and SEO were friends on Facebook, their relationship status would probably be “It’s Complicated.” They won’t exactly be spending eternity together, but are on good terms and understand each other’s role in the relationship. 

    To ensure SEO and syndicated content don’t have an ugly breakup, abide by the following best practices:

    • Publish your content first – Always publish your content first to drive traffic and help Google understand you’re the original.
    • Ask for a link – Require any syndicated content published elsewhere on the web to link back to the original article on your site. 
    • Check canonical tags – Double check that the canonical tag in the head section of the code points to the article on your site. 
    • Absolute URLs – Make sure that links in any content being syndicated are absolute (full URL) not relative (partial URL).

    If you want your content to be seen and heard by more people, utilise the digital PR and outreach of an award-winning content marketing agency. Get in touch with us today