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PR that drives performance by Beth Nunnington


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In our data-driven world, the value of PR is often questioned ⁠— and quite rightly so.

Some see it only as a channel for occasional bursts of activity, while others get bogged down chasing links.

Underpinning all this tends to be slow reporting focused on meaningless metrics like AVE (advertising value equivalent).

The good news?

There's a better way!


As presented at Search Leeds, June 2019.

Published in: Marketing
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PR that drives performance by Beth Nunnington

  1. 1. PR that drives performance
  2. 2. -PR that drives performance Hello 2 Introduction 8 years’ experience working on national consumer brands including ScS, Ann Summers, Maryland Cookies, Aunt Bessie’s & Leeds Building Society. Beth Nunnington PR Director at Journey Further @BethNunnington Performance marketing agency delivering clarity at speed.
  3. 3. -PR that drives performance Challenges 3 • To be data-driven and prove ROI • When PR is used as a stand-alone channel • When PR is an afterthought or just used for ad-hoc bursts of activity • Being too focused on links and losing sight of other key performance benefits of PR Introduction
  4. 4. -PR that drives performance What you’ll learn 4 5 steps to creating a performance-led PR strategy 1. Considering the power of PR as a channel, not just for links 2. Use SEO & programmatic insight to create media lists 3. Devise a data-led, relevant content strategy 4. Avoid big expensive campaigns 5. Implement a newsroom mentality Introduction
  5. 5. PR is PR
  6. 6. -PR that drives performance 6 PRisPR Great PR Reach & awareness Advocacy Purchase intent Quality links
  7. 7. -PR that drives performance We’re NOT link builders 7 • Link building isn’t a process, it’s the outcome of great PR • Google algorithm is more than just links - citations, user behaviour metrics and brand awareness can also affect performance • Linking content that is irrelevant and not on brand can do more harm than good PRisPR We are storytellers and brand guardians…
  8. 8. The right media list…
  9. 9. -PR that drives performance A data-led approach 9 Targeting
  10. 10. Data-led content strategy
  11. 11. -PR that drives performance And your target media need! Create content that your audience wants to read… 11 Content • Don’t just guess – use the same data to inform your content strategy • Brainstorm around these key themes • Sense check everything with the media
  12. 12. -PR that drives performance Use tools to analyse the relevancy of your link profile 12 Content
  13. 13. -PR that drives performance Validating coverage & proving relevancy 13 Content Entities Keywords Concepts
  14. 14. -PR that drives performance Building your own script to do this en masse 14 Content
  15. 15. Avoid big expensive campaigns
  16. 16. -PR that drives performance Keeping it simple 16 • No need for big expensive campaigns or onsite tools • Monitor the type of content the media do cover again and again – and get in there first • Test and learn everything Simplicity 16
  17. 17. Form a newsroom mentality
  18. 18. -PR that drives performance Know what your journalists want 18 • Invest serious hours getting to know your key media – meet them face to face • Know the days to avoid contacting them, find out if they prefer to be pitched via text, Twitter, email or phone Newsroommentality
  19. 19. -PR that drives performance Reacting to the news agenda 19 • Daily 9am newsroom meetings to quickly review all media • Create a dashboard that evaluates activity • No third party cost– you just need to be able to turn things around FAST Newsroommentality
  20. 20. We know this works!
  21. 21. -PR that drives performance SEO-led PR Airtasker 21 The brief Secure high quality, linking pieces of coverage to drive sign ups in Leeds and Manchester through a low budget campaign Our approach • Teaming up with the Head Chef at The Botanist in Leeds, and the Oast House in Manchester • Created a job advert for a ‘Yorkshire Pudding Taste Tester’ and ‘Pigs in Blankets Taste Tester’ to drum up excitement and create a buzz around the Airtasker launch Casestudy
  22. 22. -PR that drives performance
  23. 23. -PR that drives performance CaseStudy
  24. 24. -PR that drives performance
  25. 25. -PR that drives performance Combined… The results 25 • 77 pieces of PR coverage achieved • Over 21m people reached through PR coverage • Thousands of social media shares and engagements • 59 links – average DR of 64 • Campaign featured nationally by Metro, Daily Mirror, UniLad, Lad Bible, Red, Prima, Good Housekeeping, The Tab, OK magazine and more • Broadcast mentions on Heart, BBC Radio and Gogglebox • Won most effective use of PR for SEO at the Drum Awards • Average keyword rank increased by 20 places Casestudy
  26. 26. -PR that drives performance 26
  27. 27. -PR that drives performance Actionable takeaways 27 • Ensure PR campaigns and tactics deliver more than just links • Use existing data and insight to validate your outreach lists, content strategy and therefore coverage • Maintain an always on press office to secure regular, useful coverage and links at a lower cost
  28. 28. Thank you!
  29. 29. Get in touch +44 (0) 113 827 0163