Identifying your PR angle – where to find a PR hook for SEO

Matt Foster | 26th January 2018 | Digital PR

The term ‘digital PR’ is now synonymous with SEO companies and digital marketing agencies alike. Essentially taking the principles of traditional PR and applying them to the online space – with a focus on providing brand awareness on top of gaining SEO value to the brand website – the sector is now well established in the industry.

How do you identify a digital PR story to promote? There are a number of different avenues and approaches that can be taken when you are looking to create a story that is newsworthy. We’ve looked into some key considerations with examples to investigate while you are mapping out your client’s next PR campaign. Take a look and see whether they get your brain working!

Utilising company data

Using company data, the hotel chain Travelodge identified an easy way to create a story from ‘data’ based on the strangest items guests had left behind after a stay in one of the chain’s hotels – from property deeds to a mother in law!

While a data set is usually at the centre of a digital PR story, being able to utilise company information such as items found in their UK hotel lost property is invaluable as it doesn’t cost the company a penny.

Away from company data, collecting insights into qualitative data can be difficult and time consuming. Looking at numerical data sets and percentage comparisons, surveys that utilise quantitative data can be expensive. The minimum number of respondents that a major publication would usually take is 1,000, though some require 2,000 in order to ensure the credibility of a story.  

Defining your target audience or brand purpose

Speaking with your contacts at a company can open up natural stories through conversations, as you are able to get to know:

  1. The values of the owners
  2. The company’s motivations
  3. Whether they are involved in any outside projects such as work with charities, foundations or sponsorships

Team building and activities company Wildgoose have a core aim in what they do as a company, which is to create a constructive and enjoyable programme that enables learning, team building and ultimately company growth through a happy workforce. So how can this feed into PR activity?

Due to the company’s aims, it was natural to research and conduct a study with the aim of gauging the importance of friends in the workplace. This not only answers questions in the niche in which Wildgoose operates, but also positions the company as experts with regards to topical news events and features. 

Current events

Headlines – know what’s in the news that you can jump on the back of. Donald Trump was able to make his way into the headlines (again) recently by cancelling his visit to the UK on the grounds that he was unhappy with the construction of the new US Embassy in Nine Elms. Madame Tussauds were quick to recognise an opportunity to gain some coverage and placed their waxwork of Donald Trump outside the new embassy:

PR calendar and awareness days – it’s not just the headlines that should be looked at critically. Keep up to date with what is happening in the calendar – including awareness days and anniversaries – when you are planning your upcoming digital PR strategy and stories.

PR angles from media and conversation points – know what is happening in the media and popular culture. For example, the issue of plastic in the sea recently gained a wave (pun intended!) of interest due to BBC’s Blue Planet II with David Attenborough highlighting the severity of the issue on nature and sea life. If a client is involved in anything around waste, water, health or the environment, your angle for the story is clear to see.

Look at the ‘have nots’ in your data

Sometimes the PR story can be found in the negative space of a survey and this can make for a more interesting angle. Unfortunately, more often than not negative news sells, as those that have the money and are comfortable paying bills would make for a dull story, but those who lack resources in whatever area focus you choose might just be the better story.

Look away from the obvious when you are searching for your data.  

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