Opinion

Extending The Lifespan Of PR Coverage

In digital PR in particular, you can be working on campaigns that get 100+ pieces of coverage. Though these numbers are impressive, the industry is also often criticised for generating PR exposure that doesn’t actually hold much value (think brainteasers, for example – we’ve all done them).

What’s really valuable though, is PR coverage that has a longer lifespan and one that really goes the extra mile for your brands. (I guess these kinds of views is why I was born to be a traditional PR and why I made the move last year to focus more on this).

I think this is why we’re seeing more and more, the success of agencies who focus on this kind of coverage with all of their campaigns. Crafting your content around traffic generation is key. Because backlinks are great, but when they’re able to send readers through to your website with the intent of finding out more, or perhaps even to make a purchase, that’s even better.

Link building campaigns can also sometimes come under fire for having very short life spans. In some settings, it can very much be “here’s 30 links from national coverage, now it’s time to move on to the next campaign”. Though I can’t argue against a good, consistent strategy of building backlinks for clients, I do see an opportunity to focus on coverage with a much longer life expectancy.

Much like a piece I acquired last year which, to my surprise, I came face to face with again last week.

Creating Content That’s Worth Talking About

Back in 2019 (when things were normal, remember that?) I was desperate to work on a dream job campaign, so I decided to help out the company that my boyfriend works for as part of a recruitment campaign for 18-19 year olds. Without going into it too much, the company recruits auditors that act like mystery shoppers, with tasks ranging from checking stores are following ID protocols, to rating customer service. One of the types of visits they offer, is for employees aged 18-19 to head into pubs, order a pint and simply make sure they’re being ID’ed at point of purchase. Not only are they paid for their time, but they’re often reimbursed for their order value too.

Immediately I knew there was an angle there, without even needing the budget to do anything extra. To me, “you can get paid to drink pints”, was a perfect angle, and it turns out it worked for the press too. The piece got picked up in the likes of LadBible and The Mirror, and was syndicated through to other big titles too. Save The Student was one such publication that covered my story, with a really hearty and well-thought out piece.

It was this piece that I noticed resurfaced recently, as my boyfriend found that the company was seeing an increase of job applications with TikTok as the referrer. Upon digging, an account named @freshersfestival had done a video on how to get paid to be a pub tester (I should note this was completely organic and wasn’t arranged by the company at all).

In the video, she brings up my coverage.

The value of TikTok marketing is something I could talk about at length. This video once again reinforces the benefits. Entirely organically, the content has racked up over 100k views and furthermore, the results can be seen in real time – with the business getting an increase in auditor applications that directly reference TikTok as their reason for signing up. It doesn’t get more clear cut than that.

Plus, this isn’t at all a bad perk to a recruitment campaign launched over a year and a half ago, especially seeing as the jobs are ongoing and the company’s always on the look out for new people.

This example just goes to show the importance on working with coverage that gives genuine value to the reader and that relates back to the brand, it can garner the same results that it did when initially launched, so so many months later. The key 🔑 to nailing this for your brand is to focus on what readers will always find interesting, and that isn’t necessarily just a trending topic of now. Think the royal caravan stunt that was pulled off by Rise At Seven for Parkdean Resorts, for example. There’ll always be someone that wants to stay there, and also this is a story that can be dug up again and again every time there’s significant news from Buckingham Palace.

Coverage That Ranks ✅

Another way of extending the life of your PR coverage, is working on and with pieces that are likely to rank in Google. If you think a keyword is too competitive for your website, but is totally relevant, then it’s worth trying to work with websites that have a better chance of ranking and that can still send referral traffic to your site. Using the same company and actually, the same publication too (Save The Student), you can see what I mean here…

Mystery shopping jobs is an ideal keyword, but it is quite competitive, especially with job boards such as Indeed and Reed snapping up the top spots. Save The Student, however, rank #2 for this term, and in the article they reference the company my partner works for, with a clickable link. This takes the idea of focusing on coverage that causes clicks to a whole new level – as when ranking in a top spot on Google, the article is pretty much evergreen and is therefore sending consistent and relevant traffic through to the website.

Here’s another example with a piece I did with The Telegraph recently (before the English lockdown was announced, just FYI). Already, the article ranks for a rather vague keyword that people are probably searching for – and will likely be searching for even more so come 2nd December too. Though it’d be hard to get a client’s website to rank for terms like this, getting them included on the pages that will rank is another way of getting more value out of your coverage, and extending its lifespan too.

To conclude, getting 50 links from a campaign is great but I’d go so far as to argue that 1 link, on content that will remain relevant for years to come and that will send traffic of users with genuine conversion intent is much better. That’s the traditional PR in me talking, but I’ve always been that girl at heart.

What do you think? And do you have any more tips for prolonging the lifespan of your PR coverage? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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