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Abi Bennetts - Brighton SEO 2021 - Psychology principles to power digital PR success

Brighton SEO - March 2021.

Psychology principles to help you run a successful digital PR team in 2021.

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Abi Bennetts - Brighton SEO 2021 - Psychology principles to power digital PR success

  1. 1. Mental health-related workplace absenteeism costs soared to £14bn in 2020.
  2. 2. team challenges kindness flexible working mental health support care packages social events longer lunch breaks WFH allowances
  3. 3. The neuroscience and psychology of helping digital PR teams love what they do
  4. 4. What is digital PR?
  5. 5. Create & promote contagiously creative content which gets people talking.
  6. 6. Data-driven assets + PR tactics.
  7. 7. Relevant, quality links increase a site’s authority which leads to higher rankings.
  8. 8. These tactics deliver more than just links. Brand awareness. Trust. Referral traffic. Social engagement. Authority building.
  9. 9. The neuroscience and psychology of helping digital PR teams love what they do
  10. 10. Many organisations are deactivating part of their employees’ brains called the seeking system.
  11. 11. A neural network that runs between the prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum
  12. 12. Our seeking systems create the natural impulse to explore our worlds, learn about our environments and extract meaning from situations we’re in.
  13. 13. In 2021 digital PRs need to be more creative and quick-thinking than ever - which requires the need for a more active seeking system.
  14. 14. There are three triggers that activate the seeking system…
  15. 15. There are three triggers that activate the seeking system… 1. Self expression.
  16. 16. There are three triggers that activate the seeking system… 1. Self expression. 2. Experimentation.
  17. 17. There are three triggers that activate the seeking system… 1. Self expression. 2. Experimentation. 3. Purpose.
  18. 18. Cable (2018)
  19. 19. How can digital PR managers activate these three triggers to be happier, achieve success and build better links?
  20. 20. 1. Self expression.
  21. 21. When our colleagues know who we are when we’re at our best, the more likely we can feel like ourselves at work and express ourselves more authentically.
  22. 22. So, what does this mean for me as a manager?
  23. 23. Identify the strengths of every member of your team - communicate what you perceive to be your team member’s biggest strengths, as well as encouraging them to share what they think are theirs too.
  24. 24. Ideas genius Media relations mastermind Product PR superstar Writing queen Reactive PR whizz Links sensation Queen of niches Entertainment insider
  25. 25. Consider using personality or psychometric tests to help gain better insight into each of your team member’s strengths may lie.
  26. 26. In 121 meetings with team members, feedback on each person’s strengths and check in on how they’d like to develop their existing strengths further. “What would you like to do more of?”
  27. 27. “Who are you when you’re at your best?”
  28. 28. Create opportunities for team members to run with their ideas and shine with their strengths.
  29. 29. 2. Experimentation.
  30. 30. Affective neuroscientists Jason Wright and Jaak Panksepp explain that one way to activate seeking system is to create an experimental “safe zone” that includes play and supportive bonding.
  31. 31. “When work is not framed as an opportunity to ‘get it right’ on the first try, workers may be able to learn in the process and ultimately get it right more than when work is framed as an opportunity to perform, shine or execute perfectly.” Edmonson (1999)
  32. 32. So much of digital PR is trial and error.
  33. 33. When people frame a task as a performance situation, it can trigger anxiety, leading individuals to become more risk-averse and less willing to persist than people who frame the same task as a learning situation and trigger curiosity...
  34. 34. …because curiosity is what drives the best digital PR campaigns and processes.
  35. 35. How can I create environments of psychological safety?
  36. 36. 1. No bad ideas. Ideation sessions are not a chance to “perform” they’re a chance to explore curiosity and learn more about the client.
  37. 37. 2. Encourage experimentation without fear of failure - whether it be a new angle or headline on a pitch, or a new type of idea, enable your team to experiment and learn through what works.
  38. 38. 3. Make time for play - spend time before an ideation session going through your favourite points of inspiration, playing around with what could work.
  39. 39. 4. Go big and validate down. Encourage ideas to be as big as possible.
  40. 40. ● What’s the main story we’re trying to tell? ● What could journalist’s headlines look like? ● Is this idea relevant to the business’ key areas of topical authority? ● Can we get the data needed? ● Has anything similar been done before? ● Does it resonate with a wide enough audience? ● Which journalists could we see covering this? ● Who gives a s**t? An 8 step idea validation process for better campaign concepts...
  41. 41. 3. Purpose.
  42. 42. It is much more powerful, more comprehensive and less expensive to motivate people intrinsically (with purpose) rather than extrinsically (with incentives).
  43. 43. Grant et al (2007)
  44. 44. Good digital PR and link building strategies have the ability to drive real growth for businesses of all sizes - and that is meaningful.
  45. 45. +960 Linking Domains
  46. 46. How can I create a sense of purpose for my employees?
  47. 47. 1. Get inventive about how you can show your team the impact of the work they’re doing.
  48. 48. 2. Work with different teams (SEO, paid media and more) to share the impact links and coverage are having.
  49. 49. 3. Regularly have transparent sessions and catch ups with the team to communicate wins, growth and the impact everyone’s work is having on the business.
  50. 50. In summary...
  51. 51. The seeking system is a neural network that powers curiosity.
  52. 52. In order to be more creative and quick thinking than ever, we need to be harnessing the seeking system in our teams.
  53. 53. If we can promote the three triggers of self expression, experimentation and purpose in our digital PR teams we can help members feel...
  54. 54. … happier …more fulfilled …more successful
  55. 55. i