“Are we a slave to keywords, and landing pages, or is there room for creativity?”

That’s how Carrie Rose started her webinar on How to build press coverage and get links. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Rise at Seven, a search-first creative agency based in Sheffield, Carrie has a track record of landing top tier media coverage and getting the links. 

In a recent Digital Surgery webinar, she revealed all, and in this blog post, we roundup all the important points.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: You can watch the full webinar (originally broadcast 20th April 2021) by clicking here, or scrolling to the bottom of this post.

Digital PR is NOT solely PR that builds links

Carrie has built her agency on the premise of proving the value of PR professionals across all industries. That’s because for too long there’s been a misconception that Digital PR is simply PR that builds links.

But in Carrie’s eyes, that’s not the case. For example, take the John Lewis 2018 Christmas Advert, featuring Elton John. The advert tells the story of Elton’s first piano, and so you would think John Lewis would capitalise on keywords for piano products. Low and behold, they never ranked for any keywords relating to pianos whatsoever.

Instead, it’s important to think about Digital PR as a three-step process:

  1. What are we wanting to achieve?
  2. What can we do to earn the coverage and engagement?
  3. What can we do to turn that coverage into links and search impact?

The 4 pillars of awesome PR stories

Carrie shared a number of digital strategies, including product PR, newsjacking, creative campaigns, data led reports and thought leadership.

With all of these, they had 4 commonalities:

  1. They’re relevant to now (i.e. trends)
  2. They engage a mass audience
  3. You’d talk about it in the pub
  4. It evokes an emotion

Carrie argues that if your PR campaign doesn’t hit all four of these, then you need to go back to the drawing board and look at it again. Let’s look at each of those in more detail.

1. They’re relevant to now

The best campaigns respond to current trends. For example, Carrie’s team created a fake IKEA advert promoting the folding chair Bernie Sanders sat on at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. But the success was they were able to prove how relevance to a trending topic helps brands get media attention.

Finding what’s trending can be done with various tools, and Carrie kindly shared a few:

2. They engage a mass audience

Press covering is about talking to a bigger audience than your customer, which Carrie describes with a three-pronged approach:

  1. Talking to everyone
  2. Talking to your customer and their circle of influence (done through marketing)
  3. Talking to your direct customer (done through SEO)

3. You’d talk about it in the pub

Carrie gave us the following tip: “Just ask yourself, would you give a f*** about this? If “no”, start again!”

4. It evokes an emotion

The best campaigns are the ones that we remember, because they made us feel something. That could be laughter, shock, disgust, fear, love or something else entirely.

How to get links

The second half of our webinar with Carrie showcased various strategies for getting links. There’s a misconception in the industry that links is about targeting by domain authority. But instead, Carrie argues that we need to think by engagement, traffic and brand awareness.

When thinking about link building, a good approach is to make sure you have something which ticks at least one of these boxes:

  1. It adds value
  2. It positions you as an expert
  3. It acts as a resource
  4. It is engaging

It’s important to create content on-site that people care about and want or have to click on, because it’s this content that can drive sales and engagement to your business.

Think about: Where is your audience? What publications are they reading?

Are you winning at press coverage?

We thoroughly enjoyed hosting Carrie Rose, and her webinar had lots of useful information on digital PR that everyone can benefit from. You can watch the webinar below.

Alternatively, if you need support with your Digital PR strategy, then get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help.