Digital PR

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Trending Digital PR Campaign Formats (and how to get more out of them)

If you work in digital PR, then it’s likely that you spend a lot of time looking at campaigns and dissecting how they were put together (hands up if you head straight to the methodology section for every campaign you click on…) 

From the ubiquitous ‘dream job’ campaign to market research surveys, there is such a wide variety of digital PR campaign formats for us to choose from. The beauty of the digital PR industry is that campaign trends develop, evolve and change all of the time – but one thing remains constant…

The need to have measurable commercial benefits tied into any campaign that we run – beyond links. 

With this post, I’d like to discuss a wide range of popular digital PR campaign formats and what we can put in place to ensure that we’re getting the most out of them from a performance standpoint.  

‘Dream Job’ Campaigns

This is a PR campaign format that’s been around for a few years – where a brand will offer one lucky person a ‘job’ where they will be asked to test or review a product or a service. 

The ‘dream job’ is usually aspirational in nature – roller coaster testers or espresso martini testers are just some of the most successful ones I have seen, but they all have a few things in common.  

  • Generating coverage often with links to the application form to apply
  • Social shares for the brand and for the news publications that cover them
  • Heightened brand awareness as potential candidates apply for the job

What you can do to get more from a dream job campaign

  • Adding an opt-in to the company newsletter on the application form
  • Using internal links to product pages to spread link equity from the campaign page
  • Create social media posts to boost campaign awareness
  • Including internal links to relevant products in the page copy

How to measure a dream job campaign to prove commercial impact

  • Referral traffic – how many new people landed on your site as a result of the campaign?
  • How many people engaged with the campaign by submitting an application
  • Newsletter / opt-ins – how many more people subscribed to your newsletter or marketing communications? 
  • Social media shares – how many did you get? 
  • Sales – did anyone buy the product you linked to from the campaign page?

Onpage listicle content

We all love the humble listicle, but in the digital PR world, they are usually reserved for off page reactive content or to support a larger campaign. But what about onpage content? How can we harness the power of the listicle to help funnel link equity through to priority product service and landing pages?

Here we are stealing a trick from the content strategists and content marketers amongst us, by creating listicle content on a blog, with internal links through to prioritised landing pages (the pages your clients want to rank) – and then building links to it with digital PR techniques. 

What you can do to get more from an onpage listicle

  • Ensure you link to priority pages from within your listicle content
  • Ensure you have a meta title, meta description and headings that truly describes what the page is about 
  • Use exact match keywords for your internal links – so Google knows what’s going on 
  • Build relevant links to the listicle content using your digital PR skills
  • Use statistics on these pages so that journalists can find and use the content for themselves in future 
  • Try and think of the question a user would be searching for to find your content – and answer it to be in with a chance of securing a featured snippet*

How to measure the effectiveness

  • Results will take longer to see so monitoring and reporting will be required
  • Monitor the priority page as well as the listicle content and report on ranking improvements for that keyword group
  • As more links get built to the page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally 

*What is a featured snippet and why do I want one?

Featured Snippets are short boxes of text that show up at the top of the search engine results pages. Google pulls these automatically and assesses if they are useful based on a range of factors. We want featured snippets from our content as they can increase clicks by 8%

Hero campaigns

Large-scale creative campaigns seem to have fallen out of fashion in the digital PR world – in favour of quick to launch reactive and proactive content – but the hero campaign still has its place! 

Hero campaigns are great for brand awareness and for a large number of high quality links – they are brilliant for closing (and creating) competitor link gaps. 

What is a link gap? And why would I want to create one?

A link gap is an analysis or comparison between the backlinks your website has pointing at it – compared to the ones your competitors have. Usually, in digital PR we’re tasked with closing these link gaps – but there’s a need to create link gaps too! There’s nothing better than earning a link that your competitor doesn’t have! 

What you can do to get more from a hero campaign

  • Ensure you have internal links to priority pages from your hero content
  • Ensure your hero campaign sits in a relevant area in the site hierarchy* so it’s easy for link equity to pass to the most important pages
  • Ensure your hero campaign is topically relevant to the products and services your brand is trying to promote
  • Creating social media posts to boost campaign awareness

 

 

How to measure the effectiveness of a hero campaign

  • As more links get built to the hero campaign page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally
  • Monitor the impact for up to three months as this can be the time it takes to see the impacts of your work
  • Check increases in Domain Authority and Domain Rating (but take with a pinch of salt as they are not always a true reflection of commercial success) 

*What is site hierarchy and why is it important for digital PR?

Website structure helps both Google and users navigate through the pages, and to understand what pages are the most important and where to rank them. If your hero campaign page is hosted in a relevant section of the website – then it’s easier for Google to assign and give credit to the links you’re building to the content. 

Market Research Surveys

There’s no need to be sniffy about surveys! They can have real impact for brands, as long as the on-site content is optimised for performance. 

What you can do to get more from a survey

  • Publish the results of your survey on a well-optimised landing page and drive links to it
  • Your survey page might generate links passively after a time
  • If possible, publish the most relevant survey results directly on your commercial page to encourage deep links to that page
  • If the content of the survey is relevant to a particular product or service – aim to point your links to those pages
  • Create social media posts to boost awareness of your survey results
  • Set up Google Alerts for the topic of your survey and re-push the results for up to 12 months – the survey results are still relevant

How to measure the effectiveness of a survey

  • As more links get built to the survey page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally
  • If you were able to get coverage through a brand mention – use a tool like CoverageBook to determine the impact from a traditional PR perspective.

Newsjacking, expert commentary and thought leadership

Newsjacking is a great way to get links and coverage for brands – especially when done well but how can we get more value out of our speedy pitching? 

What you can do to increase the commercial impact of newsjacking

  • For a successful newsjack, the content needs to be hyper-relevant to the brand behind the comment. So, it’s likely you’ll be able to link to a commercial page – try it and see! 
  • Create an author page for your experts – sometimes you won’t be able to get a link due to editorial policy – but you might be able to get them to link to an author bio citing attribution as the reason for the link. 
  • If you create an author page – ensure it sits in the site hierarchy AND contains links to commercial / priority landing pages

How to measure the effectiveness of newsjacking

  • If you’re able to get links to your commercial pages – keep an eye out for traffic and ranking increases for those pages since you built the first link. 
  • If you were able to get coverage through a brand mention – use a tool like CoverageBook to determine the impact from a traditional PR perspective. 

Key takeaways for more impactful digital PR campaigns

For more impactful and measurable digital PR campaigns: 

  • Think about the structure and optimisation of the content you’re building links to – a well optimised piece of onsite content will perform much better against commercial metrics than a standalone microsite or orphan page.
  • Remember to include internal links into your on-page content to allow that link equity to pass easily between pages
  • Try and be strategic with where you point links to for the largest commercial impact
  • Don’t forget about other channels – social shares and newsletter sign ups hold plenty of value for brands outside of links
  • Remember to check your old campaigns – you might find links and coverage that you didn’t know you had.  
1024 682 Sophie Clinton

Link Reclamation: How to convert brand mentions into links

I think all of us in the digital PR industry experienced the pain of an unlinked brand mention on countless occasions. 

Yes, your client has been mentioned, and yes, the content was credited back to your client — but sadly, your precious, juicy link is nowhere to be found.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to these unlinked brand mentions — just ask for the link!

Having already mentioned your brand or client, it’s clear that the journalist finds value in your content — and wants to share that value with their audience. This puts you in a great position to ask for the cherry on top.

To help with this process, I also have a chaser email formula — backed by a Creative Commons (CC) licence — that can sometimes be more persuasive to get journalists to convert that mention into the desired link. But before we get to that, let’s start with the basics. 

First, the low down…What are unlinked brand mentions?

Unlinked brand mentions are online mentions (citations) of your brand, or anything directly related to your brand, that do not link back to your site.

Once identified, you can contact the website or journalist, and request that the mention of your brand is referenced with a backlink supplied back to your website.

Here’s an example for JBH:

 

You can see that despite the article citing JBH, there’s no link back to our website.  

Earning a brand mention on a news site is the halfway point to earning a linked piece of coverage for your client or brand. 

You know that the author has covered your content/research, so they’re familiar with your client or brand — giving you the perfect excuse to reach out and, hopefully, convince them to convert that mention into a link.

Here’s an example with the link included:

My step-by-step approach to reclaiming unlinked brand mentions

If you find that you’re creating valuable content but not getting credit where it’s due, here’s my step-by-step process for turning unlinked client mentions into links.

Step 1: Scan the web for unlinked mentions of your brand/client

The first step is to scan the web for any unlinked mentions of your brand or client. My personal favourite tools for this are AHREFS, SEMRUSH, Talkwalker Alerts, and Google alerts. 

Once you’ve compiled a list of unlinked mentions, next, you must prioritise based on the highest SEO or PR value.

If you have a well-established brand or client, you might find tons of unlinked mentions.

Though you can manually attempt to capture a link on all of these websites, the best tactic is to prioritise the most authoritative websites that are going to add the most value to your client and their target demographic.  

Step 2: Find the journalists contact information 

The ideal person to contact is the original author of the article — this can be found on the site’s contact page, or by searching for them on software databases such as Vuelio, Buzzstream, Roxhill, and Prowly. 

Tip: You can also use LinkedIn to search for the article’s author, or someone in a related position.

If you’re unable to find the author’s email address, or the contact details for someone in their team, use the general information email or standard contact form.

Step 3: The Pitch

Find a reason it would benefit the journalist to take the time and effort to insert a link. Word your request in a way that they can clearly see that linking to your client’s website will not only benefit your client, but also provide value to them and their audience as well.

Sometimes, internal pages are easier to link to than your client’s homepage. For example, if there’s a report, campaign, or case study page that covers the topic of discussion that you’re trying to acquire a backlink on, it might make more sense to request a link to that specific page instead.

When asking for the link, be cordial and thank them for their time — avoid coming across as pushy.

If it’s an article, compliment it in a unique and genuine way. Also, be sure to thank them for including your client in the article.

Top tips for getting a positive response to a link reclamation email:

  • Don’t be (too) pushy
  • Use your common sense, and don’t pursue every opportunity you come across. Pick your battles wisely and try not to annoy journalists. Remember to build relationships, not destroy them

Writing your chaser email: 

When writing your email, make sure to:

  • Use the title of the article in the subject line, so the journalist knows what the email is about
  • Say thanks — the journalist wasn’t obligated to share your content. However, they have done, so don’t forget this when asking them for a link
  • Be clear about where you want them to link
  • If possible, it might help to show an example of a publisher linking out correctly. This makes it clear what you mean by your link request email 

Chaser email example: 

Hi [journalist name], 

I am contacting you as I noticed that you have included a study by my client [insert client name/brand] here: [insert article url]

That’s amazing — thank you so much for including the content.

However, in my original email, I kindly asked that if the content was going to be used, a hyperlink would be needed to credit the original source of the content, that being [insert campaign report page/homepage] 

We are happy for you to have used the study, but we do require the information to be attributed back to the source with a link. 

I really appreciate your help with this.

Many thanks, 

The untapped magic of a Creative Commons link reclamation email:

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the chaser email formula that I’ve found to maximise my link reclamation rate includes a Creative Commons (CC) license.

A CC license helps you to retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of your content — all the time ensuring that you’ll be credited appropriately. 

Most journalists will quickly recognise a CC license when they come across one, which makes CCs truly invaluable for successful link reclamation.

Wikipedia has a great step-by-step process on how to mark your content with a CC license here

Here’s an example of the CC license being added to the footer of a clients landing page: 

There are multiple CC licenses to pick from, depending on what it is that you want to allow others to do with your content. The one we use here at JBH is Creative Commons License 4.0 International — which states that publishers can share and/or adapt the material, as long as they credit the creator with a link back to the material.

A CC is a great resource to have up your sleeve — personally, I’ve found that my link reclamation conversion rate has been around 70% when CC license rules are included in my chaser emails. 

Creative Commons chaser email example: 

Hi [insert journalist name]

I am contacting you as I noticed that you have included a study by my client [insert client name/brand] here [insert article url] 

That’s amazing, thank you so much for including the content.

However, in my original email, I kindly asked that if the content was going to be used, a hyperlink would be needed to credit the original source of the content, that being [insert campaign report page/homepage] 

We are happy for you to have used the study, but we do require the information to be attributed back to the source with a link. 

The work is covered by Creative Commons 4.0 International attribution guidelines, which includes not only mentioning the source but including a link to the source material too.

I really appreciate your help with this.

Many thanks, 

What to do if the answer is still ‘no’?

At any point throughout this process, you might receive a negative response to your request.

Sadly, there is no foolproof magic email template that’ll change company policy or journalist/editor preference when it comes to linking out to external sites. 

Therefore, in these cases, you need to take ‘No’ for an answer. Otherwise, you risk damaging your relationship with the journalist, and as any experienced digital PR knows, a friendly rapport between journalist and publication can be equally important as a link

Key takeaways for link reclamation:

  • Outline a reason that it would benefit the journalist to take the time and effort out of their day to insert a link on your behalf
  • Use the title of the article in the subject line, so the journalist immediately knows that the email is regarding
  • Don’t be (too) pushy
  • Use your common sense, and don’t pursue every opportunity you come across
  • Pick your battles wisely — try not to annoy journalists. The goal is to build relationships, not destroy them
  • Be clear about the page you want them to link to — it might help to show an example of a publisher linking out correctly to demonstrate what you mean
  • Include a Creative Commons (CC) licence within chaser pitch emails to improve link reclamation success rate 
  • Say thanks — remember, the journalist didn’t need to share your content. Hopefully you’ll create a longstanding relationship!

Do you need help reclaiming your unlinked brand mentions, or building awareness for your brand in the first place? Get in touch with us here. 

1024 682 Laura Burns

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching to US Journalists

No matter the tightness of your data or the uniqueness of your angle, if you haven’t finessed your digital PR outreach strategy, you may as well be screaming into the void. And across the Atlantic, US digital PR can be a whole different ballgame. So, what’s the best method for creating an outreach email that a US journalist just can’t resist? 

Here in the UK, we may speak the same language as our transatlantic counterparts — but you’d be surprised at just how many subtle differences there are. For instance, if you order ‘chips’ across the pond, you’ll receive a packet of crisps; milk is sold by the gallon rather than in pints; and ‘Craig’ and ‘Creg’ are in fact the same person.

That’s enough nuance just purchasing your meal deal — so what about pitching your US digital PR campaign to US journalist? In the same way UK and US culture diverge from one another in general, as do UK and US journalists’ preferences — and in digital PR, we all know a watertight outreach strategy proves just as important as the campaign itself.

I’ve done the hard work for you, investigating the likes and loathes of journalists across the pond. Read on for some top tips on targeting US journalists…


Anonymous, a financial writer at a national business and finance publication

In US digital PR, what is the key thing a journalist/editor looks out for in an email pitch? E.g. New data, exclusivity, short and snappy with a press release — or long and detailed?

New data is always welcome. Exclusivity is nice — but it’s not necessary or expected — relevance to my beat is more important than anything else, and shorter releases are always better than longer releases.

One good way to get a client quoted is to send along expert commentary, ready for publication. For example, a subject line that says ‘Expert commentary on [stocks, cryptocurrency, inflation] from ABC Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Officer’. The body of the email could read, ‘In case you’re interested, here are some quick thoughts on today’s market action from Jane Smith, CIO at ABC Wealth Management.’ Then, include a paragraph or two of commentary that can be quoted directly from the CIO — preferably clear and jargon free, ready for publication. Lastly, a line: ‘If you’d like to follow up with Jane, please contact NAME at CONTACT INFO.’

What is the best time to receive a pitch email from a digital PR in the US?
Depends. For general pitches, mornings are probably best. But if you’re pitching a markets reporter, they are probably most hungry for commentary around an hour before the market closes. If you’re pitching commentary on corporate earnings, then either the day before or soon after the earnings release comes out.

For US digital PRs pitching new content/data, what type of headline would get your attention?
Highlight what it is, regarding what, and from whom, I suppose — for example, ‘New Data on the Housing Market Available from CLIENT TK.’

Would you be more likely to cover exclusive content?
The most important thing is that it’s relevant to my beat. In my line of work, exclusivity is rare and even irrelevant. If I got my hands on something first, yes, it would be welcome — but that doesn’t happen much when you’re writing about investing. If I were offered something exclusive, sure, that would be great — but it’s hard to imagine what that would be (I write about asset prices). Also, generally speaking, readers don’t care which outfit broke the news; it’s a feather in the cap for the reporter and news organisation, but readers don’t look at bylines and news sources. Plus, they usually get breaking news through social anyway, after it’s been picked up by some other news outfit.

When pitching simple stories like business tips, what key elements are needed to make content worthy of publishing?
Hmm… I don’t know. I don’t typically handle these sorts of stories. I suppose, having some sort of hard data or empirical evidence to back it up.

Would you typically use a business expert’s commentary on the back of a current story in the news?
Yes.

When forming a relationship with a business journalist, what is the best approach a US digital PR can take?
Know what they write about — not just their beats, but the stories they like to cover on their beats — and pitch material that aligns with their coverage. That’s really the key. Let’s say I write sort of dry stories about stocks for long-term investors, I don’t want a pitch about ‘Millennials and stocks’ — that’s really more of a mushy lifestyle piece.

When writing about advanced technology news, would you keep language simplistic for readers, or be more flamboyant with word choice?
Editors usually tell their reporters to avoid jargon. An expert who can explain complex topics in plain language that, say, their grandparents can understand tends to be valuable to their reporters.

Anonymous, a Travel Contributor at a Global Media Publication

When receiving US digital PR stories, do you prefer US-focused, or a broader appeal?
US or global appeal — but almost always with a US element. UK-only stories won’t make the cut with me as Forbes’ travel readership is two thirds (ish) American. The secret is that it has to be appealing — full stop!

What makes an email pitch stand out in your inbox?
It’s got to have a hook that makes people instantly interested — not too focused on a specific niche subject (like, say, Dorset holiday homes for half-term), or too time-sensitive. Otherwise, audience appeal and shelf-life are limited. Also, get to the point quickly!

For your travel column, what are the most important elements for each story you write?

Good pictures… good information… global appeal. Fun, interesting, and click-worthy titles — look at the most-read articles and they’re often stuff like lists, rankings, etc. (which is, admittedly, depressing). That, or really exceptional or extraordinary destinations, attractions, events, etc. that make those browsing think, ‘Oh, I’d like to read more about that’ — whether it’s out of appeal, curiosity, or sheer ‘what the hell’-ness. A hotel refurbishment won’t make the cut, for example.

How do you prefer PR’s to approach you?

Email.

Is there a particular format that your publication likes to receive its data/designs in?

Nope — but all images need to have a credit, as that’s mandatory for my publication.

As a journalist, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a US digital PR?

Provide all information relevant to the story up-front, so we don’t have to chase for info — including images, but via a link, and not attached to the email.

Don’t email requests for follow-ups and responses within hours or a day of the first email — this happens way too often. Don’t contact outside of work hours — you wouldn’t believe how many emails I get on a Sunday evening, asking for a reply.

Spell and sense-check comms!


Shirley Gomez, Senior Writer at HOLA USA

What makes an email pitch stand out in your inbox?
A subject that describes a potential story. A story that’s relevant, or breaking news.

What is the key thing a celeb/showbiz journalist looks for in an email pitch?
A pitch that is evergreen. A story that is relevant, or breaking news.

What type of stories do you pick up most from PRs?
I don’t discriminate. Exclusive or not — if the pitch is good, I will publish.

Are you more likely to pick up exclusive stories?
Based on my experience, since I write a lot every day — between 5-6 stories — I can’t spend too much time answering emails. I like when PRs follow up multiple times; please don’t take it personally if I don’t reply immediately.

As a journalist, what is one piece of advice you would give to a US digital PR?
A “Thank you” is very important to me — so if I publish a pitch, I expect an email or text with a thank you. Gratitude adds a special layer to the work.

In terms of my personal experience securing links for clients looking for US-specific links, when I embarked on my career in digital PR, it wasn’t long before I began to notice the challenges posed by pitching to US journalists in comparison to pitching to UK journalists. 

I couldn’t pinpoint why US journalists weren’t picking up my pitches. I wonder whether it was because my story wasn’t relevant enough to the publication that I was pitching to, or maybe because I hadn’t built any relationships with US journalists.

Essentially, the point of this exercise was to pick their brains and gain a clear understanding of what US journalists want from a digital PR — both in terms of the types of stories, and the way they are pitched. 

One of the keywords that stood out to me throughout my research was relevance. While this can be applied to journalists worldwide, I found that US journalists were particularly adamant that the relevance of a story, along with supporting expertise, is key to their interest. 

I also realised how busy US journalists are — with this in mind, providing them with everything they need from you eliminates the need for them to chase you for extra elements, ultimately improving your chances of gaining coverage.

Ultimately, I’ve learnt that US journalists are speedy, consistent, and accurate with their stories — so if a digital PR is looking to successfully pitch stories to US publications, they must also meet these standards. I hope you’ve also taken away some valuable pointers from my research!

1024 682 Meg Granville

My experience moving from traditional PR to digital PR, and why it doesn’t have to be scary

There’s a lot to be said about the differences between digital and traditional PR, but what if you’re thinking of making the switch to digital after a long stint at the other end? The truth is, there isn’t a whole lot to worry about.

When I finished university, I fell in love with PR after being given the opportunity to attend a graduate day at one of Manchester’s biggest firms. The idea of getting to work at events and write content that could end up printed in UK national newspapers excited me, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

After landing my first job in traditional PR, I soon learnt all the ins and outs of what my new job role meant and how to achieve the best coverage for clients. I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to take my career — without ever really thinking about what working in digital PR could mean. 

When the pandemic hit, I started to consider some new options, and what aspects of PR I was really interested in, by taking part in online courses like Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. I soon came to realise that something was missing for me when it came to traditional PR. 

Fast forward to November 2020 — when I was offered a job at JBH. The idea of going from being someone who understood the traditional PR industry very well to traversing entirely new terrain in digital PR was quite a daunting prospect. Would I fit in with the digital PR world? What if this was a massive career mistake?

Truthfully — there was absolutely no reason to worry. I had plenty of skills built up from my university degree and experience from working in traditional PR — which made the process of transitioning to digital a lot smoother than I originally anticipated.

 

How I used my skills from traditional PR in my current role

I started out as a Junior Digital PR Executive at JBH, learning new skills as I went along. Nonetheless, the more I asked questions, the quicker I realised I already had valuable experience that would help me excel in my new role.


Writing Copy
Having done a degree in sociology, I was already familiar with writing long pieces of content in tight deadlines, while paying strict attention to detail. This meant that when faced with large amounts of copy and landing pages, I was able to quickly adapt my skills to new challenges.

A hugely valuable skill I’d already learned from working in traditional PR was knowing how to pitch email to journalists in a way that makes them want to cover your story. This is a tactic that can constantly be improved upon, but knowing the right buzzwords and angles to employ works just the same in digital PR.


Building relationships with journalists
Whether you’ve been working in PR for years, or you’re completely new to the field, we all know that a core aspect of PR is building relationships with journalists so you can get coverage for your clients. Time and again since working in the industry, I’ve proved to myself just how crucial this is.

In terms of how to build these connections, the playing field may have changed somewhat over the past few years — but nurturing these relationships remains just as important. When I began my career, creating connections often involved calling the publication or journalist to speak with them directly, and pitching over the phone. But a few years and a global pandemic down the line, journalists now prefer to be contacted via email — which can make developing a rapport that little bit more tricky.

I’ve found that the best way to tackle this issue is to be as direct as possible and take the plunge. Put simply — in the PR world, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Telling a journalist what clients you work on, and asking if they’re interested in that type of content, will often go a long way — and might even lead to them coming to you directly next time they need a comment on a specific topic.


Perseverance and determination
If working in PR has taught me anything, it’s that not all of your ideas and campaigns will land the way you want them to. Try not to get disheartened by this fact, because there’ll always be a new idea you can try, and the one thing that has produced the most results for me across both traditional and digital media is perseverance.

I actually experienced this fairly recently with our study that looked at the ‘broadband issues we find the most annoying’ — a campaign we did for UK-based price comparison platform, Uswitch. A design-led campaign, we pitched this around Halloween in the hope that the graphics would lead the coverage — but despite Vuelio (a commonly used digital PR media database) showing over 25% email open rates when pitching, the lack of data to back up the designs made it hard to tell a story.

This is where determination and a little perseverance came into play. When Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp had a 24-hour outage, I saw a great way to drive some links to our campaign. Using data from Down Detector, we quickly calculated how many times some of the world’s biggest sites had experienced outages, and pitched it out to journalists — linking back to our campaign. Within days, we managed to achieve coverage in publications like ZDNET, The Register, and B&T magazine. 


What are the challenges of moving to digital PR?

While my previous job in traditional PR did help facilitate a much smoother transition into digital PR, making the switch wasn’t without its challenges, and I found that I still had a lot to learn to truly settle into my role.

Understanding SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps increase your company’s exposure on search engines — and it’s one of the main ways digital PR differs from traditional PR when it comes to strategy.

Traditional PR operates a more direct approach when generating brand awareness — by getting the customer to buy into the brand with things like promotional products and events.

In digital PR, the approach is a lot more subtle — and often, it doesn’t matter if you don’t reach the customer base. Instead, SEO works by impressing Google with high-ranking keywords and follow links that go back to the brand you’re representing.

When I moved to digital PR, the SEO aspect was something I had to quickly get my head around in order to understand the point of the campaigns we were executing and why they mattered. That’s just a small part of the power of SEO, too — there’s plenty more that I’m looking forward to learning as I progress my career in digital PR.


Working with big datasets
One major challenge as I transitioned from traditional to digital PR was working with the large data sets that often form the basis of our campaigns. While digital campaigns take on many forms, using data to create a story works really well, and can generate some amazing results for your clients.

Although I had managed large datasets before — having worked for a short time in admin — using numbers to generate coverage for journalists was an entirely new concept for me, and to begin with, I found it quite overwhelming.

However, the more I spent time working on and processing my own sets of data, the easier it became for me to see where the stories were, along with the angles I wanted to pursue and could achieve. If, like me, you’re better with words when it comes to your career, I really recommend spending time with the data specialists on your team, so you can pick their brains about anything you might be unsure about. 


Having confidence
Whether you’re great at your job, or have recently made a big career change, there comes a point in everyone’s careers where they lack confidence in their own abilities — whether it comes from a place of self-doubt, or criticism you may have received in the past.

Making the switch to digital PR is not without its challenges — but while these may make you doubt your own abilities, there are plenty of ways to find your feet and self belief again.

One of the biggest factors that helped reignite my confidence while working in digital PR was seeing the results of my hard work. There’s nothing better than the excitement you feel when the ‘ping!’ from a high domain authority link for your client comes through. There are plenty of other ways to gain a little bit  more confidence while adapting to the digital PR industry, too — including social media, books, and more.

 

The benefits of working in digital PR

While I enjoyed my time in traditional PR, there are plenty of benefits that come with working in digital that make the day-to-day just that little bit more exciting. 

It’s easier to see the results of hard work
One of the biggest benefits of working in digital PR is seeing the results of your hard work paying off — whether that’s reaching a KPI link target, or scoring high domain authority links.

Traditional PR is a bit more tricky when it comes to tracking the success of your campaign and what effect it’s had on your client’s brand. For example — 100,000 listeners might have tuned in to a news broadcast or radio segment for your brand, but it’s difficult to know how many of those people were paying attention, and whether they will want to buy into your client’s products.

You can reach audiences on a global scale
One part of my role that I love is being able to outreach my campaigns on a global scale, and access audiences I never have before.

In traditional PR, it can be harder to have the same kind of impact on global audiences, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t hit the right demographics. In fact, when it comes to strategy, depending on who you want to target might influence whether you opt for a traditional or digital PR strategy. For example, if you wanted to target older generations, you might opt for worldwide print coverage, as this is a demographic that tends to be less tech-savvy.

More breathing room for creativity
A big reason I fell in love with digital PR was the fact that it gave me the opportunity to tap into my creativity on a completely new level. Every day, brands produce similar content depending on the news cycle, so cutting through the noise can be challenging at times. This has meant that I’ve had to think outside of the box a little bit more — allowing me to develop stories or campaigns that are unique to our clients, so journalists will want to write about them.

 


While making the switch to digital PR is never easy, there are plenty of benefits that will push you further in your career if you’re looking for a new challenge. 


What our team had to say about making the switch:

Tom O’Rourke, Senior Digital PR Executive at JBH:
“Coming from a traditional PR background meant that when I made the switch into digital PR, I already had the outreaching skills needed for link building. I also had relationships with journalists from national titles which was a huge benefit.

“One of the biggest challenges was creating content specifically for online media and data-driven stories. SEO was something completely new to me, and at first, it was a little overwhelming. However, I quickly realised that my skills make me better suited for a role in digital PR rather than traditional.”

Kal Withana, Digital PR Executive at JBH:

“Both traditional and digital PR are quite similar in the sense that the end goal is to build great media relations and secure top-notch coverage for clients. Because of this, I found the transition quite easy. However, there were aspects such as data extraction and hero campaign generation that were all new to me when I began to immerse myself in the digital PR world.

“On the whole, I definitely find working in digital PR more rewarding. This is because you have so much freedom when it comes to campaign ideation and content creation. Also, from newsjacking to proactive content planning, I find that digital PR tactics are a more effective way of getting your client on the media landscape.”

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

200 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns

Behind every great data-led digital PR campaign is a set of impenetrable stats. But where do we find the FREE public data sources that bring our award-winning campaigns to life?

Data… it can be a dirty word — primarily because many people believe that collecting big data is really tricky. However, the JBH team has found the opposite to be true! In fact, there are actually hundreds of FREE public datasets online — ready and waiting for you to uncover the stories behind the spreadsheets. 

In 2019, I wrote a blog post detailing  100 free public data sources which — as of today — has had more than 5,000 page views. For 2022, I’ve doubled my list in size, adding a further 100 data sources — or should I say, 100 additional secret weapons — to your digital PR arsenal.

Whether you’re looking to hone in on the latest crime stats, or for something with a bit more of an edge — this updated list is a guaranteed way to tickle your (statistical) pickle. My aim is to make this resource the best place to find free data sources for digital PR campaigns — so you best believe I’ve left no stone unturned throughout my search.

Enjoy! And be sure to let me know if you use any of them — I’d love to see what you do with them!

1.Statista
The No. 1 business data platform in the world — with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries.

2.UNData
Specialised databases, popular statistical tables, and country profiles.

3.Wikipedia
The world’s free encyclopedia — if you’re worried about accuracy, only use data that comes with a reference or external link for further reading.

4. DBpedia
DBpedia gathers structured content from valuable information over at Wikipedia.

5. Amazon Public Datasets 
A registry featuring datasets that are available from the Amazon Web Services resources.

6. Google Public Data Explorer
Public-interest datasets that supplement information with helpful graphs and tables.

7. Google Dataset Search
A search engine from Google that allows you to locate online data for research.

8. Pew Research
“A foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.”

9. Datasets Subreddit
A great place to share, find, and discuss datasets — but be warned, unearthing your niche could prove tricky.

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

11. Data.gov
The home of the US government’s open data — covering everything from agriculture and finance, to manufacturing and public safety.

12. Data.gov.uk
The home of the UK government’s open data — featuring an equally extensive range of useful information as its US counterpart.

13. Data.gov.sg
Singapore’s open data portal — with datasets available from 70 public agencies.

15. YouGov
An overview of UK public opinion regarding politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle, and more.

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

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

18. 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.

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

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

21. Canada Open Data
A pilot project designed to generate greater transparency and accountability within government and geospatial datasets.

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

23. US Bureau of Labor Statistics 
A highly topical source in the wake of The Great Resignation, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has tons of data on US occupations, industries, business costs, and more.

24. The US Environmental Protection Agency
If you’ve seen The Simpsons Movie, you may be familiar with this one already. The EPA’s data collections cover everything from bedbugs and brownfields, to climate change and environmental justice.

26. Gapminder
A European fact tank that fights misconceptions about global development — using a wide range of data sources.

27. UNDP’s Human Development Index
A ranking of country progress under the lens of human development.

28. OECD Aid Database
A visualisation of data showing aid collected from governments.

29. Qlik Data Market
A free package providing access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators, and weather.

30. National Weather Service
A US federal government agency that provides weather forecasts, hazardous weather warnings, and other weather-related news to organisations and the public.

31. World Bank Open Data
Features 3,000 datasets and 14,000 indicators encompassing microdata, time series statistics, and geospatial data.

32. IMF Economic Data 
Includes global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates, directions of trade, and more.

33. UN Comtrade Database
A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.

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

35. Global Financial Data
A source analysing the ins and outs of the global economy — with data on over 60,000 companies, covering 300 years.

36. US Bureau of Economic Analysis 
Mainly reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States — but also valuable information about income, corporate profits, and government spending.

37. National Bureau of Economic Research
Data concerning industry, productivity, trade, international finance, industry, and more.

38. Financial Times
More than just a news site, the Financial Times also publishes a broad range of business data and information.

39. OpenCorporates 
The largest open database of companies in the world.

40. The Atlas of Economic Complexity
A research and data visualisation tool used to explore global trade dynamics.

41. World Bank Doing Business Database
A resource that evaluates business environment indicators — such as capabilities and costs — around the world.

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

43. Buzz Data
A resource that provides UK businesses with targeted business address data.

44. Federal Reserve Economic Database
A database that allows you to download and track 567,000 US and international time series from 87 sources.

45. Financial Data Finder at OSU 
A large catalogue of financial datasets.

46. EU Startups
A 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.

47. International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund data is made up of a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates, and other economic and financial indicators. Here, you can also find various materials on statistical practices in member countries.

48. US Securities & Exchange Commission
The SEC’s open data program provides data on US businesses and capital.

49. Crunchbase
The self-titled ‘leader in private data’, Crunchbase gives you access to information about private and public companies — including investments and funding information, founding members and individuals in leadership positions, mergers and acquisitions, news, and industry trends.

50. Sifted Rich List
Powered by The Financial Times, Sifted allows you to delve into in-depth intelligence reports on wealthtech, embedded finance, fintech, tech innovation, scaleups, the future of work, food delivery, and so much more.

51. Bloomberg Billionaires Index
Business and markets news source, Bloomberg, displays profiles of the world’s 500 richest people — with its ranking updated as regularly as the close of each financial trading day (in New York).

52. Forbes
Head to Forbes for data on the businesses, entrepreneurship, wealth, investments, and leadership that shape our world.

53. World Trade Organization
The WTO provides quantitative information on economic and trade policy issues — including trade flows, tariffs, non-tariff measures, and trade in value added.

54. UN Comtrade Database
A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.

55. Land Matrix
An independent land monitoring operation that captures and shares details regarding land transactions — supported by a range of visual tools.

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

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

58. HubSpot
A large repository of marketing statistics and trends – along with tools for social media, SEO, and web analytics.

59. Content Marketing Institute
A vast selection of articles, resources, and research all about the world of content marketing.

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

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

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

63. 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.

64. Social Buzz
Want to contribute to the modern conversation? Social Buzz is a real-time social media search service — enabling you to quickly and easily pull all recent mentions from the major Social Networks and Web into a single dashboard.

65. Social Mention
Similar to the abovementioned Social Buzz, Social Mention is a real-time social media search and analysis platform.

66. Pinterest Trends
They say the Pinterest board is the window to the soul (in 2022, anyway) — and with Pinterest Trends, you can explore surging trends on one of the world’s most popular image sharing and social media platforms. Even better, stay one step ahead with Pinterest Predicts.

67. Social Blade
Social Blade describe their work as “analytics made easy”. Music to your ears? You’ll love this simplified platform for social media stats.

68. Hype Auditor
For key statistics for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and influencer marketing, use Hype Auditor.

69. TikTok
You’d be surprised at just how much data you can mine from TikTok — and once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Apologies in advance!


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

72. FBI Crime Statistics
Statistical reports and publications detailing specific offences and outlining crime trends.

73. United Nations on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations on Drugs and Crime works to make the world safer from drugs, organised crime, corruption, and terrorism – collating research, trend analysis, and forensics in an annual report.

74. National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)
A US national record to facilitate research in criminal justice and criminology — using computerised data, new research based on archived data, and through specialised training workshops covering quantitative analysis of crime and justice data.

75. Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics
“The Uniform Crime Reporting Program compiles official data on crime in the United States — published by the FBI.”

76. Bureau of Justice Statistics
“The United States’ principal federal agency responsible for measuring crime, criminal victimisation, criminal offenders, victims of crime, correlates of crime, and the operation of criminal and civil justice systems at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels.”

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

79. 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.

81. Healthdata.gov
A platform containing 125 years of US healthcare data — including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology, and population statistics.

82. US Food & Drug Administration
A compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database — which is updated weekly.

83. MedicinePlus
A resource for health statistics such as the rate at which people are catching the flu, and the average cost of a medical procedure.

84. America’s Health Rankings
An analysis of US national health on a state-by-state basis, using historical data.

85. The Broad Institute — Cancer Program Data
Access the cancer-related datasets of the Broad Institute’s scientists.

86. Human Rights Data Analysis Group
The non-profit, nonpartisan group applying rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world.

87. Harvard Law School
This Ivy League school provides information on everything from international relations, to human rights data — courtesy of political institution databases.

88. The Armed Conflict Database by Uppsala University
Data that dives into minor and major violent conflicts around the world.

89. Amnesty International
Human rights information — run independently of any political ideology, economic interest, or religion.

90. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
PCFSN is a US federal advisory committee dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle for American citizens.

91. America’s Health Rankings
Built on 31 years of data, America’s Health Rankings provides an analysis of national health in the US on a state-by-state basis.

92. FiveThirtyEight
Primarily a news and opinion website — however, its content is supported by in-depth data and statistical models.

93. Google Scholar
Another Alphabet-owned resource but with a more academic slant — consisting of articles, theses, books, whitepapers, etc.

94. The Upshot
A section of The New York Times that examines politics, policy, and everyday life — primarily using data.

95. The New York Times Developer Network
A platform through which you can search articles, retrieve headlines, and discover media dating back to 1851.

96. Associated Press API
Here, you can search and download content using your own tools — without having to visit AP portals.

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

99. BFI Film Forever
Research data and market intelligence about the UK film industry and culture.

100. IFPI
Key statistical highlights of the global recording industry.

101. Academic Rights Press
The world’s leading aggregator of global music industry data.

103. OpenLibrary Data Dumps
Datasets on books — including catalogues from libraries around the world.

104. One Million Audio Cover Images
Dataset hosted at archive.org — covering music released around the world, for use in image processing research.

105. Metacritic
Another one for pop culture pundits, Metacritic aggregates music, game, TV, and movie reviews from leading critics — with ‘Metascores’ indicating your must-listens, must-plays, and must-sees.

106. Box Office Mojo
Powered by IMDb Pro, Box Office Mojo is the No. 1 online destination for box office news and analysis — tracking revenue in a systematic, algorithmic way.

107. https://howlongtobeat.com 
Want to know how long your favourite game takes to complete? Look it up, and see how you compare to the average.

108. Steam
This is where things get really nerdy — Valve’s leading video game distribution service shares Steam and game stats to improve their service… and your campaigns!

109. Spotify
Every year, Spotify Wrapped has the world in a chokehold. Whether your playlists earned you the hipster-approval rating, or you listened to Red (Taylor’s Version) a few too many times last year, Spotify always knows.

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

111. Search the World
Population, weather, and travel information for millions of locations worldwide.

113. US Travel Association
This resource covers a wide variety of travel-related topics — primarily relating to the economy.

114. TripAdvisor
A wealth of free information about various destinations to support your travel or lifestyle campaign.

115. Transport for London (TfL)
TfL grants public access to all open data on their website — encouraging users to present customer travel information in new and exciting ways (providing all transport data terms and conditions are adhered to).117. Global Petrol Prices

116. Public Electric Vehicle Charge Points
Want to see which cities have the most electric vehicle charge points? Look no further than ZapMap, which has the most up-to-date stats.

117. Transport, Energy, and Environment
Details the impact of transport on energy consumption and the environment — including electric vehicle charging, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.

119. Air BnB
It’s one of the first places you visit to book the perfect getaway — but did you know it’s also one of the best places for tourism data, too? Look at it through this new lens and see what wonders come away with.

120. Campsites in the UK
2021 was the year of the staycation — with many people booking UK holidays as an alternative to far-flung trips across the globe — for obvious reasons. Use Campsites.co.uk to discover locations with the most campsites, the average nightly cost, and even how dog-friendly they are.

121. Labelled Faces in the Wild
13,000 collated and labelled images of human faces — for use in developing applications involving facial recognition.

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

123. UCI Machine Learning Dataset Repository
A collection of open datasets contributed by data scientists involved in machine learning projects.

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

125. 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.

126. Microsoft Azure Data Markets Free Datasets
Freely available datasets — covering everything from agriculture to weather.

127. NASA
All of the latest news, images, and videos from America’s space agency — all in one place.

128. NASA Exoplanet Archive
Public datasets covering planets and stars — gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.

129. Earth Data from NASA
The eagle has landed… on a brilliant open dataset for your campaigns. Take a look around and see what’s available.

130. LondonAir
Pollution and air quality data from across London.

131. National Center for Environment Information
Quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various resources.

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

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

134. Capterra
A directory covering business software and reviews.

135. Monster
An in-depth data source for job market and career opportunities.

136. Glassdoor
A vast directory where you can research companies, compare salaries and read employee reviews.

137. eBay Market Data Insights
Data on millions of online sales and auctions from eBay.

138. Junar
A data scraping service that also includes data feeds.

139. Dangerous Animals Map of the UK
Have you ever wondered where the most dangerous animals live in the UK? From snakes in Surrey, to Camels in Cannock — you can find them all in this dataset by Born Free.

140. The California Forest Observatory
This is a data-driven forest monitoring system which maps wildfire hazards across the state of California.

141. Craft.co
This website tracks various metrics for the world’s biggest companies — such as Amazon, Kroeger, and Alibaba. Create an account and set the companies you want to follow to see how quickly they’re growing their social media following, engagement, employee reviews, and much more.

143. Environmental Information Data Centre
Search the EIDC for data on climate change, biodiversity, and even invasive species — that’s got ‘campaign’ written all over it!

144. European Food Information Council (EFIC)
Can you get Strawberries in Sweden in December? There’s a dataset for that… on the EUFIC! Their goal is to make the science behind food and health more accessible and easier to understand.

145. Family Capital Ranking of Family Businesses
Filter, download, and explore the most successful family businesses around the world.

146. The Green Space Index
The Green Space Index explores the publicly accessible park and green space provision across the UK.

147. Buzzfeed’s Github Repository
Open-source data, analysis, libraries, tools, and guides from BuzzFeed’s newsroom — the data behind the cycling gender gap story is really interesting, and there’s tons more where that came from.

148. The GDELT Project
The GDELT Project monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country, and compiles that data into mineable formats.

149. Google Ngram Viewer
Use Google’s Ngram viewer to see how many times a word has been featured in print. The tool uses the back catalogue from Google Books to reveal the trends behind some of the most — and least — words used in print.

150. The Infidelity Index
A fun dataset which allows you to search and see how many people are potentially having an affair in your postcode area, using data from Illicit Encounters.

151. Kaggle’s Climate Data
The tool allows you to explore temperatures from around the world — dating back as far as 1750.

152. Kaggle’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Data
Dating back to 1990, this dataset records the greenhouse gas emissions per country from the United Nations. Note: this dataset was last updated in 2017.

153. Map of Life
The Map of Life explores biodiversity — mapping species and conservation efforts all across the globe.

154. MeasuringWorth.com
Covering the UK, US, and AUS, Measuring Worth strives to provide “the highest quality and most reliable historical data on important economic aggregates — with particular emphasis on current-price measures, as well as constant-price measures.”

155. Met Office DataPoint
Provides access to Met Office data feeds in an application developer-friendly format — including radar and cloud cover for the UK; temperature, wind speed, and direction; and regularly updated text forecasts for mountain weather, national parks, and UK regions.

156. NYC Open Data
A catalogue of public data distributed by New York City agencies and other partners — you can narrow datasets by agency, category, new datasets, and popular datasets.

157. Ofsted
Find government reports for UK childminders and care providers, schools, colleges and further education providers, children and families services, and residential holiday schemes for disabled children.

159. Tech Nation: Jobs and Skills Report 2021
Another amazing resource from Tech Nation, the annual Jobs and Skills Report explores tech jobs and transformation throughout the UK — supported by Adzuna and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

160. Tech Nation: Scale Ratio 2021
Once again, Tech Nation is doing the most — if you’re looking for technology data, anyway. This report examines the various growth stages of scaling tech companies — from seed to late stage — across UK cities and sectors.

161. Teleport
Whether you’re looking for the backbone of your creative campaign — or somewhere to start over, Teleport compares cities on quality of life, cost of living, salaries, and more.

162. UCLA
Explore research developed by The University of California, Los Angeles — narrowed down by discipline.

163. UNESCO
A wealth of information on countries of the United Nations’ Education and Literacy; Science, Technology, and Innovation, Culture, and Communication and Information — with the option to narrow down by country, of course.

164. The Yellow Pages
Millennials will remember this one as a physical big fat yellow book they tripped over as a child. Luckily, it’s all digital now — find people, local businesses, restaurants, dentists, and legal professionals throughout the US in just a few clicks.

165. Zoopla UK Property Value
British real estate company, Zoopla provides property value data graphs for the UK — including the average values in the UK, current asking prices, current asking rents, and more. There’s even a ‘fun facts’ section to give your campaign a jumpstart.

166. Open Street Map
Open Street Map describes themselves as “a map of the world — created by people like you, and free to use under an open licence”. Happy mapping!

167. eCommerceDB
ecommerceDB provides detailed information for over 20,000 stories in 50 countries — including detailed revenue analytics, competitor analysis, market development, marketing budget, and interesting KPIs like traffic, shipping providers, payment options, social media activity, and many more.

169. Data is Plural
Described by users as “a treasure trove of interesting datasets”, “consistently fascinating”, “the best pointers to interesting public data”, this newsletter isn’t one to miss! Get it in your inbox today.

170. Business of Apps
For app industry news, analysis, insights, data, and statistics, turn to Business of Apps — and if you want to dive deeper, you can listen to their podcast, too.

171. Google Trends
What if you could tap into what the world was searching? Well, with Google Trends, you can. A truly innovative tool — made even better by its ‘Year in Search’ report, Google Trends gets you involved in the global conversation.

172. Influencer Marketing Hub
Say hello to the leading social media resource for brands — Influencer Marketing Hub. Analyse influencer marketing, ecommerce, creator economy, social media, and email marketing — all in one place.

173. App Annie
For all the latest app statistics and insights driving the ever-evolving growth of mobile technology, App Annie’s your gal!

174. Ofcom
Consult The Office of Communications for government-approved data regarding the broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal industries of the United Kingdom.

175. ASA
The Advertising Standards Agency collates research, reports, and surveys to check the advertising industry — and you can access them all here.

176. Indeed
Indeed offers a worldwide database for jobs, company reviews, salary searches and more.

178. Open Data Network
In their own words, the Open Data Network “greatly expands access to the world’s information, and lights the way to the civic, business, social, and scientific discoveries that will shape the future.

179. Wordometer
Formerly ‘Wordometers’, Wordometer providers counters and real-time statistics for a complete range of different topics.

180. Ordnance Survey
The Ordnance Survey data hub gives you access to a comprehensive and up-to-date set of authoritative data — with over 20,000 updates to their databases every day.

182. London Fire Brigade
Did you know that the London Fire Brigade is one of the largest firefighting and rescue organisations in the world? You can find information on their policies, budget, accounts, organisational structure charts, and performance on their website — plus Fire Facts.

183. Happy Planet Index
Just how happy is the planet? The Happy Planet Index will tell you — helping you learn about the world and lead a more sustainable life.

184. Rightmove
Rightmove is the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website — where you can search both commercial and domestic properties for sale and rent, property prices, and much more.

185. International Telecommunications Union
A specialised agency of the United Nations, the ITU collates statistics concerning all matters related to information and communication technologies.

186. Chartr
Where there’s a chart, there’s a campaign — and you’ll find thousands at Chartr. Discover how Apple makes its money, the economics of coffee, pandemic winners and losers, and tons more — all in colourful formats.

187. National Institute on Drug Abuse
A US federal-government research body, the National Institute on Drug Abuse collates trends and statistics regarding various drug-related issues — such as drug use, emergency room data, prevention and treatment programs, and more.

188. Crypto Data Downloads
Here we have all your cryptocurrency data — and it’s historical, too. Better yet, there’s no registration required!

189. GitHub
GitHub describes itself as “where the world builds software” — but it’s more than that, it’s where you build campaign ideas. Access information from over 73 million developers, 4 million organisations, and 200 million repositories.

190. IQAir
Looking for a ranking of the world’s air quality? It exists. IQAir looks at exactly that, plus pollution city rankings.

191. IAE Atlas of Energy
A collection of energy profiles for countries around the world — allowing you to look at the evolution of a single indicator for one nation, or to make comparisons between several.

192. Open Secrets
From presidential campaigns… to your digital PR campaign — Open Secrets is a database following the money in US politics, tracking campaign finance and lobbying.

193. Gumtree
Sell your cat, car, or caravan — and find tons of advertisements for properties, jobs, and more on the UK’s first site for free classified ads.

194. Drug Policy Facts
Formerly known as ‘Drug War Facts’, Drug Policy Facts is brought to you by Real Reporting Foundation — a US organisation committed to improving harm reduction and informing the debate over public policy regarding public health, healthcare, justice, and human and civil rights.

195. Altmetric
A data science resource that indicates where published research is mentioned online, with ‘altmetric’ tools.

196. Group Lens Research
Led by the University of Minnesota, GroupLens is a human-computer interaction laboratory that specialises in recommender systems and online communities.

197. LODUM
Your source for open data from The University of Münster, in Germany.

198. Gallup
For detailed information on US and world public opinion polls, turn to American analytics and advisory company, Gallup.

199. Crowdpac
Crowdpac indicates US political candidates’ general political positions — in addition to where they stand on specific issues.

200. Influenster
56,764,784 product reviews from the everyman — all in one place. Influenster also gives users access to trending products and new arrivals — allowing you to browse by category. The possibilities are endless!

If you’ve made it to the end of that long list — congratulations! Don’t stop there, head over to the JBH PR Percentage Calculator to discover the myriad ways you can present your percentages.

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How important will data be in digital PR in 2022?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JBH’s Best Digital PR Examples of 2021

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

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

The best digital PR examples we didn’t do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The digital PR campaigns we did do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Sync up your New Years countdown with these iconic movie moments

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


What NYE Scenes Are the Most Watched?

1. The Godfather Part II

Views: 2,270,933

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

2. Iron Man 3 - 1.1m views

Views: 1,109,547

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

3. Ghostbusters II - 967,000 views

Views: 967,863

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

4. The Holiday - 509,998

Views: 509,998

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

5. When Harry Met Sally -  159,154

Views: 159,154

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


Sources and Methodology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram.com/p/CWqoH1cvbtL

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

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

What is digital PR?

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

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

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

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

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

What is traditional PR?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Digital PR Met Traditional PR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first ever press release, in its original format.

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


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


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

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

What can we learn from both approaches?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1024 682 Sophie Howarth

10 Things We Hate About Digital PR

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

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

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

 

1. Rebecca Moss @Bexmoss

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

 

 

2.Lauren Wilden @Laurenwilden

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

 

 

3. Sam Levene @SamLevenePR

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

 

 

4. Meg Granville @MegGranvillePR 

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

 

 

5. James Renhard @JamesRenhard

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

 

 

6. Lauren Wilden @Laurenwilden

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

 

 

7. Sophie Campbell @SophieeCampbell

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

 

 

8. Kal Withana @KalWithana

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

 

 

9. Rebecca Moss @Bexmoss

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

 

 

10. James Renhard @JamesRenhard

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

 

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

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