From this season’s paint shades to must-have furniture and accessories, home and garden brands are no strangers to trends. Yet, all too often, these brands are limiting their PR potential by shying away from the broader trends that emerge and dominate the news cycle.
There’s nothing wrong with creating campaigns within the interior niche; after all, it’s what your brand is best known for. However, tapping into a trending subject offers huge scope for success, both in terms of links and coverage.
Whether it’s the latest Netflix drop, a major sporting event or even the ever-changing British weather, there are so many wider talking points that you can harness to make your brand a part of the conversation.
Of course, we’re not saying that your campaign should be so far removed from your brand that your audience will struggle to see the connection between the two.
The secret is to find a way of joining the conversation in a way that is relevant and adds value.
How? Let’s see how others have done it:
Tap Warehouse: The Netflix Effect
Period drama Bridgerton was a huge hit when it was added to Netflix. In fact, we were all so engrossed in the show that it triggered a whole range of regency-related searches for everything from corsets to orangery extensions.
For our client Tap Warehouse, we looked at the latest spring kitchen trends and uncovered a 4,800% increase in Google searches for ‘regency interiors’ in the wake of the show. Paired with a 200% increase in searches for antique brass taps on the site, we knew that these snippets of data would feed nicely into interior stories around the show.
The result? Linking coverage on interiors site Real Homes. Not only is the site a DA 74, but it’s also exactly where the brand’s audience is. Overall, the trends campaign secured 12 links and two citations.
IKEA: Scoring Coverage With Euros 2020
Speaking of IKEA, they’re also masters of reactive PR. During the Euros 2020 competition, IKEA was able to net a double-whammy of online coverage purely from keeping their finger on the pulse and reacting quickly.
The first came after Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coke from view during a press conference, making headlines as he opted for water instead. Jumping on the news, IKEA mocked up a ‘Cristiano’ reusable bottle for water only. Not only did the stunt land coverage on The Sun and Marca, but it also attracted much praise on social media.
And they weren’t finished there! Ahead of the final, the company added a two-handled ‘trophy’ glass to the website, cleverly titled ‘Kommonengland’. The spoof product was listed as priceless and was only available in Wembley.
Both instances are great examples of successfully using reactive product PR to place a brand front and centre during a major sporting event.
Utility Bidder: Let’s Talk Weather
If there’s one ongoing conversation we Brits love, it’s the weather! Come rain or shine, sleet or snow, it’s always topical, and so presents a great opportunity for some reactive PR.
We loved the campaign by Utility Bidder, which answered the age-old question: when should you turn your heating off? Apparently, it’s 14th March!
Likely a response to conversations spotted on social media, this clever campaign is perfectly aligned with the brand and landed coverage on Ideal Home as well as numerous regional publications.
Cath Kidston: Virtual Reality
At the beginning of the pandemic last year, many PR campaigns were paused or scrapped completely as life as we knew it flipped upside down. Marketers shifted towards reactive campaigns that would resonate with an audience spending more time at home in lockdown.
Enter Cath Kidston; recognising more of their audience were spending their day gaming, the brand created a campaign that would help them connect virtually via game-of-the-moment, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The brand made some of their most iconic prints available in the Animal Crossing gameplay, which players could use to decorate their virtual properties. Not only was this great exposure for the brand across a popular platform, it helped gain coverage across news sites like Daily Mail, as well as reaching a more niche audience on specific gaming sites.
The verdict: Reactive PR works
As you can see from the above examples, reactive PR works especially well for home and interior brands. From product mock-ups to snippets of data, there are a number of ways you can join the conversation and secure links and coverage across top tier sites – both in and outside of your niche.
Below, we’ve rounded up our Top 5 tips for making a success out of your next reactive PR campaign:
- Stay Up To Date
It goes without saying that you can’t react to a trend if you don’t know what it is! Pay close attention to the news and monitor trending topics on social media sites like Twitter and TikTok. Journalist requests are also a good way of assessing what topics outlets are concentrating on.
- Be Selective
You won’t be able to jump on every single trend; some stories simply may not be suitable for your brand. Don’t try and force a link between the topic and your brand or audience. The best newsjacking is simple.
- Act Quickly
Speed is key for successful reactive PR. Once a trend starts to spread, you’ll face competition from other brands who want to join the conversation too. Get in there early, gather any content or assets quickly and provide all of the information a journalist would need in your initial email.
- Time it Right
If a trend is in decline, assess your chances of coverage before you commit to a reactive campaign. Going too late or offering something that another brand has already covered in detail could be a waste of your time and resources.
For campaigns around a specific date or event (such as a heatwave, for example), make sure you’re launching ahead of time, so you have scope for email follow-ups closer to the date.
- Repurpose Existing Campaigns & Content
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Whether it’s a blog post or your own internal data, you could have a reactive campaign at your fingertips – you just need to wait for the right hook.
Take our reactive Valentine’s Day campaign, for example. We spotted that searches for shower sex positions had increased by 36% in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. This stat made Drench’s previous content marketing campaign around shower sex habits newsworthy again. We were able to relaunch the campaign, which secured coverage on the Daily Star.
Repurposing previous content helps to speed up the reactive campaign process, which will work in your favour in the race for coverage.
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