By James Fitzgerald, Onlinefire
Consumers and media alike share information online by writing or talking about something and linking to a point of reference. Whether they want to illustrate a point, cite a source or point their readers to more information, they pass on hyperlinks to other sites. In terms of online PR, you want to get as many people linking to you or your clients as possible.
The concept is simple enough: By creating intriguing news angles or points of interest for your client’s brand, other online media sites will hopefully want to write about the story and naturally link through.
The challenge is in developing a campaign which will resonate with your desired target media and inspire them to write positively or discuss your campaign and then link back, stimulating both conversation and editorial.
Produce a campaign that is too ‘sales-y’ or self-serving and no one will want to write about it. Even worse, you run the risk of people writing about it negatively. The old adage of ‘any PR is good PR’ may work offline, but online is inherently different in this respect. The web is essentially a living catalogue, and no one wants a negative review to be floating around for consumers to find until the end of time!
So, how to excite them? Typically you want to get under the skin of the interests and wants of your target media, particularly the format with which they want their content, and then develop a campaign to suit. The length and breadth of your target media is likely to vary from the very niche to the very general. The key is in creating an overarching concept within which you can tailor it to be relevant for each of your target online media sectors.
onlinefire recently executed a creative online PR campaign to promote the launch of the new Ramada Encore hotel chain for the Wyndham Hotel Group. Ramada Encore is targeted at a business traveller audience, and was looking to drive editorial/ buzz/ discussion/ links from relevant media sites that covered this area. The task was to find an angle that was interesting and relevant for all of Ramada Encore’s stakeholders.
We devised a creative concept called ‘Buffling’ – or Business Waffling. Buffling is a term used to describe all those silly clichéd work speak phrases like ‘think outside the box’ and ‘getting your ducks in a row’. We conducted a survey to find the UK’s Top 20 Most Hated Buffling phrases and which ones are more frequently used inside and outside the workplace.
We then produced a series of humorous short films that shows Buffling in baffling situations, like in the changing rooms before a football game or at Christmas lunch.
The campaign was packaged and developed to appeal to our target online media outlets. The campaign generated 78 pieces of online media coverage, including 12 pieces of online national media coverage, on the Telegraph, Independent and The Sun. It received over 20 million impressions, and the majority of the 78 sites who talked about buffling linked back to the Ramada-Encore.com.
You can be sure there are simpler methods for generating inbound links, such as spamming or listing in directories, but the benefits of online PR are much more far reaching. Online PR not only generates high quality inbound links, but it also creates a high volume of positive buzz and coverage online and in search returns for brands, which means you’re getting online media and consumers talking. It also has the unique ability to positively influencing consumers’ thoughts and opinions. This is why more and more brands are waking up to online PR to using it to take their online marketing activity to the next level.
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