Conferences & Events
And That’s A Wrap! A Summary Of Kaizen’s 2022 Digital PR Linkup
And that’s a wrap!
Kaizen’s 2022 Digital PR Linkup is done and dusted, and what a day it was! The event was a roaring success, with every seat in the venue filled up by eager Digital PRs from up and down the country (some coming from as far as Sheffield!), jotting down notes and asking questions for our lineup of speakers.
Our first speaker was Kaizen’s own Charlotte Crowther, a Digital PR Manager who made her start in traditional PR. She delivered a talk on the importance of looking back at the traditional PR format for your Digital PR production. Here are the key takeaways:
Find your spokespeople and create a quote bank and press pack
Like traditional PR, it is important to find the right people for your campaigns. Source good commentary that is appropriate for the campaign topic and format, and from this create a quote bank and press pack. This is particularly handy for reactive content, as you can pre-empt breaking news by preparing a pre-approved quote bank and send expert commentary out as soon as news breaks. As part of this prepare a press pack with head shots and bios, making the process nice and speedy!
Prospecting is key
We’ve all seen the tweets from journalists sharing their inboxes with hundreds of unopened press releases, which means that every email you send must stand out and must be relevant to the journalist. When you sign a new client, build a list of key journalists who are hyper-relevant to your brand. Drop them an email explaining about the brand, and spokespeople and relevant topics they will be willing to talk about. This is a great way to start a relationship, and hopefully means journalists will be able to come to you if they need anything – the dream!
Know your products & research product guides
It’s important to know your client’s products and what they’re willing to push. If you’ve been asked to focus on certain keywords and target pages, are there any products that link perfectly into these? Once you know what you’re targeting, do some research and see if there are already guides out there. Follow up with the journalist who wrote it and see if they’re planning on updating it in the future – it’s surprising how many people do this!
The ideas should fit the format
Traditional PRs have always had to think about format. Would this news be better suited to tv, radio or print. Is there a way we can adapt the story slightly to each medium? As Digital PRs we also need to think this way. Would it be better as a quick reactive quote, a listicle, or does it have the strength to be built out into a full blog piece along with designs and data cards?
Next up, we invited Rejoice Ojiaku to the stage. Rejoice is a Content Strategist at Rise at Seven, as well as the Co-Founder of B-DigitalUK. In her talk, she covered all things personal branding, but the key points to remember are the following.
Break down the start of your personal branding journey into these steps
- Know yourself and your strengths
- Understand what value you bring to the industry
- Determine your niche
- Optimize your personal site and social profiles
- Add value to your audience
- Build a community
Now you’ve nailed your personal branding online, how do you make the most of this for in-person opportunities? The best way to find new opportunities is to simply put yourself out there and make yourself available for them. It’s essential to network in person and make your personal brand known. Subscribe to Niche-specific newsletters, put yourself forward for podcast features, write guest blogs, and sign up to event speaker slots and mentoring.
Kaizen’s Influencer Marketing Manager, Amanda Easter, took to the stage next to talk about the power of influencers.
Amanda revealed that 40% of consumers are Gen Z, and 61% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions on products, indicating the importance of adapting your marketing strategy to include influencer. But how do we go about doing this?
- Locate where the conversation is happening
- Implement a dedicated organic social and influencer strategy
- Look to Tiktok for niche content – it’s the place to be!
Charity Swales from Connective3 took to the stage next to warn us about the dangers of greenwashing.
She informed us that greenwashing invites brand scrutiny, as it puts a magnifying glass to any discrepancies in a brand’s marketing versus its action. In fact, greenwashing activity can actually have a negative correlation with brand sentiment and affect consumer trust. In the social media era, we as consumers have more access to information than ever before – sustainability reports, exposés and statistics are at our fingertips with a few clicks of a button. This is particularly resonant with Gen Z. In 2021, 75,481 articles were published about greenwashing worldwide, increasing by over 11 times the number of articles in two years, and this has had an effect with 87 million views under the hashtag on TikTok.
So why does this matter in Digital PR?
If the intention seems inauthentic and journalists or audiences read your story and discover greenwashing, this could lower their trust in your brand’s future communications. When aiming for KPIs it might be tempting to jump on relevant days such as Earth Day or World Recycling Day, but remember these publications have an intelligent readership (who also have access to the internet).
Digital PR is about more than securing backlinks. We want to foster a positive and consistent personality for our clients, one that connects with their audience’s interests and values. As Digital PRs, we should always make sure we are fully aware of your client’s internal sustainability efforts.
When planning a campaign around sustainability, ask yourself:
- What are your target audience’s ethics and values?
- Are your audience or publication’s audience likely to scrutinise any disingenuous green marketing efforts?
- Does the campaign align with the brand values and corporate activity?
- Are the claims you are making in the campaign valid?
At agency level it is OKAY to push back if we think an approach will be damaging to our client’s brand!
Our Head of Design, Margaret MacArthur, stepped in last minute to fill a speaker slot, and delivered a stellar talk on how to declutter your design in your Digital PR campaigns using white space.
White space is the areas on a page without text or pictures. It leaves room for the eye to focus and creates opportunities to highlight and communicate important details. In Digital PR, this mostly related to the design and presentation of data. Your designs should highly the key data in a way that journalists understand immediately!
Our day of talks was concluded with the brilliant Laura Wilson from THG Ingenuity, who spoke about getting creative by refreshing your ideation process.
Her advice is to take in inspiration at all times, not just in the time period you want to come up with ideas. Do this by taking time away from your screen when brainstorming, and break up your brainstorming over a period of time, don’t just do it all in one sitting. So where should we go for inspiration?
- The news
- Your client’s content
- Your coworkers
And lastly, these are the key questions you should ask yourself before you start ideating for your campaigns:
- What is the purpose of the campaign?
- Has it been done before?
- What is the methodology – can we get the data?
- Is there more than one angle?
- Does it appeal to a wider scope of publications?
- How is it relevant to the client?
The event concluded with a Q&A with a panel of incredible journalists from a huge range of backgrounds and publications. The audience got their fill of insight and even had the chance to ask their own burning questions on link policies, PR-journo relationships and how to stand out in a crowded inbox.
Following all our talks, we had a prosecco reception with the chance to network with other great PRs from various agencies! Thank you to everyone who came and made the day so special