Brighton SEO: The Pivot Game - a Digital PR talk by Eva Cheng

27/09/2021Eva Cheng
A digital PR insight article by Eva Cheng

What to do when someone launches the same campaign as you.

It’s probably safe to assume that the reason you’re reading this blog is that you’re about to launch a campaign, but someone else has beaten you to it and now there are two of the same campaign knocking about. 

Nightmare – or is it?

In fact, I recently found out that this has actually happened to 86% of content marketing and digital PRs out there. RIP to all the sweet campaigns that have been robbed of their links and citations. 

Image shows tweet from Digital PR Consultant - Eva Cheng

Following this, I thought it would be interesting to find out how everyone felt about someone launching the same campaign as them.

Out of 45 participants, 26% responded that they felt sad that someone launched the same campaign as them. 20% were annoyed, 22% were up for the challenge and 31% thought “it is what it is”. 

So instead of feeling like this …

… I’ve pulled together some tips on how to pivot your campaign.

But firstly, the main thing to remember is that your idea is brilliant. After all, there wouldn’t be more than one of the same campaign out there if it wasn’t a good quality idea, so don’t feel too disheartened.

It’s time to play the pivot game!

Where to start

Review your campaign

  • What do you want to achieve?: When you were creating this campaign you had a goal in mind. Remember that goal, whether your goal is coverage or links – you need to keep this in your mind when pivoting a campaign. 
  • Where do you want to gain coverage?: This is your chance to really show your client how you can boost their SEO, delve into your backlink gap analysis and build a list of publications your really want to see coverage from. 
  • Recognise what publications are talking about: Buzzsumo is a brilliant tool to keep track of and analyse content. The web content section on the site shows you the top engaging posts based on social media, this covers Facebook, Twitter, pinterest and reddit.
    This tool is a great way to find out what people are talking and interacting with the most. Search for a topic relating to your campaign to help build out your media list. 
  • Dissect your campaign: Go through your campaign and pull out at least four key angles you can use to pivot your campaign, based on the publications and journalists you are looking to target.

When pulling out these angles, I always draft up around four to five headlines for each angle and then an outreach email. After this is all drafted up, I get a fresh set of eyes from our PR or content teams to check over my headlines to pick out the one they thought appealed to them most. 

After you’ve been through these steps and created four angles from your campaign, there’s no harm in outreaching it! 

What next?

Newsjacking:

Newsjacking is where you follow the press to identify new opportunities for outreach, this can take you down a number of different avenues such as targeting journalists based on national days (more on that in a second!), or something that’s trending in the media.

Top tip: Keeping an eye on social media can be a great way of finding out what’s trending right now. E.g. through Twitter’s “what’s trending now” section.

National Days:

Consider using national days to tie into your campaign, this can be as simple as mentioning the national day in your outreach email.

Top tip: Add any significant national day relating to your campaign or client into your calendar and set up reminders, so when the days are approaching you know when to get ready for outreach. 

Monitor News Headlines:

Check the daily news headlines when looking for new opportunities, these are a great way to monitor what’s going on at the moment. My favourite place to check these out is via the BBC. This is a great way of jumping on a news hook that can relate to or support your campaign when outreaching

Top tip: Sign up to the publications you are wanting to target emailing list, this way you can keep on top of what sort of content they are looking for and it can give you new names of journalists you could target. 

Local Events:

Looking up local events is a bit more niche, depending on your campaign whether it has regional or celebrity data featured within it. Checking local events can be a great hook in outreach emails.

Top tip: Use Google to show you any local events, e.g. simply search ‘London events’ if your campaign can be tied to this term. 

World Events:

If one of your main goals for your campaign is global coverage, then consider targeting world days or international events like the Olympics.

Top tip: Remember when outreaching in certain countries, bear in mind the different time zones. Outreaching at 7am UK time may great, but if you outreach at 7am targeting journalists in Australia, it’s 4pm over there! 

Build out your media list

After considering these newsjacking opportunities, consider building out your media list. Base your media list expansion on the new angles you have created, whether it’s national days or local events – this can really help you boost your outreach.

Top tip: If you haven’t done this already, set up Google Alerts for one of your client’s main competitors or an alert for a topic area of your campaign. This will then set you up with a list of journalists and sites you can contact. 

Reactive Campaigns

This is where you respond quickly to news stories with pre-existing content to try and get coverage for related topics using a similar angle.  How?

  • Create a mini campaign stemming from your original campaign
  • Create a reactive campaign from a key bit of data from your original campaign
  • Include a relevant news story in your outreach email 

Expert commentary

When it comes to expert commentary, you need to position yourself as a genuine expert in the field. Try to ensure journalists know that you are working in that sector so they know to contact you directly for expert advice.

If you haven’t included expert commentary in your campaign because your client isn’t suited for it e.g. a finance client can’t comment on mental health. Find an expert to work with, pop out a tweet including the hashtags #journorequest and #PRrequest and an expert will reach out to you.

If no one has reached out, do some digging, search for one and reach out to them. After all, as we say up here in the North East: shy bairns get nowt.

Case Studies

Consider adding case studies to your campaign, see if you can bring real-life stories into your campaign. Here are a few things to consider when building your case study: 

  • Is it relatable?
    Try to use the everyday person when building a case study, this makes it more relateable to readers
  • Is it different?

Find something about the case study that makes it a bit unique and different from other case studies already out there. 

  • What value does it bring to a journalist?
    Add in personal quotes from the case study, this adds value to your piece and makes it more relatable to its readers. It can also help bring a story to life. 
  • Expert Commentary

Always add expert commentary about the case study. Whether it’s tips or advice, expert commentary can give a journalist and their readers that extra value. 

Micro-Influencers

It’s only recently since I joined Evolved Search that I’ve started to learn the real value of working on micro-influencers. In fact, my colleague Ellie Morgan, Digital PR Consultant here at Evolved Search, was the one who brought this to my attention and showed me how effective they can be! So THANK YOU, Ellie!

Similar to case studies they are a great way to bring real-life stories into your campaign. Here are a few things to consider when adding a micro-influencer into your campaign: 

  • Add before and after imagery: Journalists love this as it gives them and their readers something to look at and it makes the story more relatable

An example of a recent Digital PR campaign

  • Add quotes: Just like a case study, adding in quotes from your micro influencer can reall add in that extra value to your story
  • Add monetary value: Including monetary value is also a great hook for journalists especially if it is a relatable expenditure. 

Measuring Success

When it comes to measuring the success of your campaign, this was already established at the start.

Whether your goal was links, coverage or engagement, refer back to the goals you set back then. One other benefit is that pivoting your approach and using other angles for one single piece of content or research can actually save time in the long run, enabling you and your team to come up with fresh new ideas while existing campaigns keep on performing.

Summary

I hope you no longer feel like someone launching a similar campaign to you is the worst thing ever to happen. In my view, it can create even stronger campaigns and it provides the necessity for critical thinking that can get you out of your comfort zone and striving harder to get results.

Where to start: 

  • Review your campaign
  • What do you want to achieve
  • Where do you want to gain coverage
  • Build four key angles and outreach it! 

What next: 

  • Newsjacking
  • Reactive Campaigns
  • Case studies and influencer campaigns
  • Expert commentary

If you’re keen to find out more about our approach to Digital PR and how it fits in with our overall strategic Search offering, check out our Services page for more information.

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