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Marketing Innovations: Creative PR, Content, and SEO Strategies34:08 with Lexi Mills
Lexi shows you how to apply strategies used in emerging markets to grow the success of your PR, SEO, and content work from bathrooms to rock bands.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Now today I'm gonna walk you through three core elements. 0:06 I want to talk to you about how the industry is different this year compared 0:10 to last year. 0:14 I also want to talk to you about what tactics you should be employing. 0:14 But most importantly, I want to walk you through some real life case studies. 0:19 I want you to see what it looks like when you apply industry knowledge and 0:23 tactics simultaneously. 0:27 Because if you can see it and visualize it and communicate it to your teams 0:29 in this way, you'll be significantly more likely to be able to achieve it. 0:33 Now over the last few years I've worked in SEO and 0:38 PR agencies, as well as in house and on the most bizarre range of clients. 0:42 Anything from pet insurance through to music, I've done some travel, 0:47 I've done ticketing. 0:52 And what I was thinking about when I was prepping for MozCon, 0:54 is what is that one key factor that is common no matter what position you hold, 0:57 no matter what industry you're in? 1:03 What is that one factor that's common in content marketing today? 1:06 Unfortunately, it's that the game is getting harder. 1:11 There is no other way to say it. 1:14 And it's quite largely because everyone is trying to keep people on their property. 1:15 And Google's no different, they've been doing it for ages. 1:20 Just the other day I Googled this band, 311. 1:22 And I was scanning through all the rich content. 1:25 And I was like, wow how much search has changed. 1:28 And then I got this eerie feeling. 1:31 It's like what's missing? 1:33 What's wrong? 1:35 And then it hit me when I got to the bottom of the first page. 1:36 When I saw the first e-commerce result and it was for Amazon. 1:41 And I just thought, oh my goodness, not only are people trying to trap you onto 1:44 their properties but if you want to get any space you have to compete with Amazon? 1:48 Yeah, this game's really getting tough. 1:53 And what's more, publishers are trying to keep you at their pages too. 1:56 And it's understandable. 1:59 Look what happened with the latest mobile update. 2:01 Some of the biggest publications in the world lost over 20% of their traffic. 2:04 And let's not forget that the last three years are littered 2:10 with publishers that just didn't make it, through Panda and all the other updates. 2:14 So how are they responding? 2:20 Well, every year, in my agency, 2:22 we have SEO PR campaigns, and we have traditional PR campaigns. 2:25 And what I try and do is look at the traditional PR campaigns and 2:30 just work out how many natural links do you build? 2:33 You know when you're doing normal PR, 2:36 how many links if you get 100 pieces of coverage, do you naturally get? 2:38 Well the hard and fast truth is that we're getting 30% less outbound links naturally, 2:43 and further to that, we're getting 20% reduction in referencing and citations. 2:49 And this is even happening in the technology and business media, 2:54 who have always been my go to. 2:58 They've been so good at linking out and referencing. 2:59 But it's the publisher's way of coping with the environment that's changing 3:03 around them. 3:06 Furthermore, when I'm speaking to some of the biggest editors, 3:08 they're striking some big deals with the ad agencies. 3:11 Ad agencies are buying up space, collaborating with the publications, 3:14 to make and create content. 3:18 And what this means is that it's harder for us to sell our content. 3:20 It's harder for us to place bylines because why would a publication give you 3:24 space for something when somebody else is willing to pay for it? 3:29 And then finally, one of the biggest challenges that I'm seeing as 3:35 a PR person is that there's a reduction in the impact of media. 3:40 At Dynamo, we do loads of PR to fund Kickstarter campaigns which is really fun. 3:45 You know, you can get press coverage and you see the total go up instantaneously. 3:50 It's a really fun way to do PR and see the impact of it. 3:54 But a year ago, we'd get one or two articles on Tech Crunch or 3:58 Engadget and you would just see the funding type would soar. 4:02 And now? We're having to line up eight or 4:07 nine articles to go live sequentially to have the same impact that one or 4:09 two articles had a year ago. 4:13 This is a drastically different landscape. 4:16 So what's really important now is focusing on how we get better. 4:19 Well I would argue that in this day and age, tools are no longer a luxury. 4:22 You have to have the best tool box you can get and you need to invest time doing it. 4:28 But beware, it is a rabbit hole. 4:33 You have to test every single one. 4:35 And I do this regularly. 4:37 So I've worked with my team to find the best media database. 4:40 And the best ones that I've found is Gorkana and mymediainfo. 4:44 Mymediainfo focuses on the US data, Gorkana will give you all the details, 4:48 phone numbers, email addresses for UK media, but none of these are perfect. 4:53 And you need to be aware of that,. 4:59 You look at these systems and you will see flaws. 5:00 What you are looking for is the least flawed system. 5:03 Secondly, you want to get some kind of paid for Harrow. 5:06 Cuz Harrow is oversubscribed, and I use ResponseSource. 5:09 It's pretty cheap, but it's very UK focused. 5:12 But let's remember that most publications are now global. 5:16 And if they're not global, they have a global influence, so 5:19 getting coverage through using a UK-based Harrow-type system is gonna be beneficial. 5:22 But there's a side benefit here. 5:29 When you're getting all these inquiries through, 5:31 you'll get a very good idea what it is media are looking for. 5:34 For example, if you were signed up to Consumer Tech right now on ResponseSource, 5:38 your inbox would be flooded with Christmas content requests. 5:43 But how many of you have got your Christmas content sorted? 5:47 How many of you are selling your Christmas content right now? 5:50 Well, I'm telling you if you haven't done it by the end of August 5:53 it's pretty much over and done with. 5:55 Finally, you need to have a good CRM. 5:58 We use BuzzStream. 6:01 Pick whichever way you wanna use it. 6:03 I've got people using Salesforce as well. 6:04 And last, but not least I wanna tell you about my new favorite friend, Yesware. 6:07 Because when you put a team who are on the phone all day, every day, sending 30, 6:12 40 emails within a couple of hours, and then 6:16 they're not seeing coverage straight away, cuz media are moving slower, what happens? 6:19 They take their foot off the gas. 6:24 They're getting demotivated. 6:26 If you've got Yesware on your email system, what you will see, is how they're 6:28 opening, when your emails are getting opened, when people are looking at it. 6:32 And it's incredibly motivating. 6:35 And you will see, if you compare the email and phone metrics of your team in 6:37 the morning to the evening when they're using Yesware and when they're not, 6:40 that they will keep the pace up better than ever before. 6:44 And pace is important cuz you have to hit these things with velocity. 6:47 Now there's been this trend over the last sort of maybe 10, 6:52 12 years to segment your PR efforts regionally. 6:56 And this makes sense. 6:59 Don't spend too much time trying to get everyone to collaborate. 7:02 And I'm not saying that you won't always have to have some 7:04 element of your campaigns that are regionally focused. 7:08 But if you're trying to compete in a really competitive landscape, 7:11 doesn't it make sense to be pushing something from every corner of the globe 7:15 with every single team you have? 7:19 Wherever possible, try and make your campaigns global ones. 7:22 Make content that all your teams can get value out of promoting. 7:25 Because then you're getting more people pushing it. 7:29 But beyond that you need to make some new friends. 7:34 Journalists, they hop everywhere. 7:37 You know I've got loads of friends who have gone from technology into business, 7:38 and then from business into different areas of consumer. 7:42 But where people stay is at your news agencies. 7:45 And what you're seeing here, are a list of the news agencies I use. 7:50 Now, what they do is they function a lot like a news desk. 7:54 So essentially they'll generate news, they'll write copy, 7:59 they'll put images, and they'll send it out on their wires. 8:01 Then the big media agents, the big publications 8:05 will pick what of that content they want to use and pay to publish it. 8:09 So if you ever look at something like the LA Times and you see LA Times Journalist 8:13 or Daily Mail Journalist, actually, it's come from a news agency. 8:18 And people at news agencies inherently tend to stay longer. 8:24 So, if you wanna make friends with anyone, make friends with your news agencies. 8:28 Because A, they wanna be friendlier to you, because they make money out of 8:31 publishing your stories and thirdly, because you're getting a wider spread. 8:33 I guarantee you, if you get something on the Solent news agency wire or 8:40 the Southwest news agency wire, you will get four, five, six, 8:44 seven, eight pieces of big coverage instantly, 8:48 which means you're getting the power of their selling and their authority. 8:51 But there has never been a time 8:54 where storytelling hasn't been important in content marketing or PR. 8:58 And now that is no less true. 9:02 In fact, no story exists unless someone wants to listen. 9:07 But trying to find the right story is hard. 9:12 So one of my favorite things to do is just look at existing stories. 9:15 This is an image of the Tower of London, 9:18 and they did this incredible poppy exhibition last year. 9:20 And everyone just wanted to talk about it, everyone. 9:24 So why would I spend time thinking of a brand new story when there was already 9:28 a story out there that everyone wanted to talk about? 9:31 And I had a client that sold tickets specifically to this attraction, 9:33 which I thought was kind of exciting. 9:38 So I thought right, okay, what are we gonna do? 9:40 We need the client to be the center of the story, because if they're not, 9:42 they're gonna be cut out. 9:44 So in order to put the client at the center of this story, 9:47 what we did was we did some research that nobody else had done. 9:49 We looked through our data and we just came up with something really simple, 9:52 one of the top ten global attractions. 9:56 Cuz we're pretty sure that the Poppy Exhibition was gonna make sure that 9:58 the Tower of London was at the top. 10:01 And it was, and then we got some fantastic coverage. 10:02 Now, I have a principle, 10:07 if something's worked once there's a likelihood it's gonna work twice, right? 10:09 So, I knew that selfies were still a really big subject, that the media were 10:14 always writing about, they were getting loads of search traffic from it. 10:17 So, I thought, okay, all right let's look at that, let's mix it with Instagram. 10:20 And let's find out which attractions people are taking the most selfies at, 10:24 cause they tag them, right? 10:27 It's not that hard. 10:29 So, we got the top ten global selfie locations. 10:30 By the way, quite a few are in the US. 10:33 And we went out and we've got loads of coverage again, with a very similar tactic 10:36 it was doing data based work within a particular industry. 10:40 Now, the reason I'm telling you to test this, 10:44 is that not all industries are lacking data. 10:46 Not all industry journalists will be favorable towards it. 10:49 So, don't think that data's gonna work for you every single time, but if it works for 10:53 you once, definitely check if it's gonna work twice. 10:56 And if it works twice, certainly look at doing it a third time. 10:58 And that's exactly what we did. 11:01 We went onto YouTube and 11:03 we thought right, okay, how are we gonna do get data out of YouTube? 11:04 So, we've had people fill in their proposals. 11:09 So, we went onto YouTube, and 11:13 we found the top global locations that people get proposed at. 11:14 Disneyland is at the very top of the list. 11:18 We took this out to the media, and we got some fantastic results again. 11:20 But, all of this was based on our manual research, and I appreciate that trying to 11:26 workout what you should be researching, how to profit a story, is kinda tough. 11:30 So, what I would recommend you to do is learn from your research companies. 11:35 Work with them. 11:40 Their doing research every single day. 11:41 They know what works. 11:43 They know what fails. 11:45 They've seen what has sank and what has flown. 11:46 Ask them, it's to their advantage, 11:49 cause they're gonna be able to tell you exactly what will work. 11:51 So, one of my biggest lessons this year was when I was working with Yelp. 11:57 I was watching the team, 12:01 and they were starting to do all these Buzzfeed type articles. 12:02 Every time there was a big TV show, something like the Great British Bake-off, 12:06 they'd come out with the top bakeries in Britain that you could go visit. 12:10 Or if it was fireworks evening one of the top ten places that you 12:14 can go watch fireworks. 12:16 But, that wasn't when I got my greatest insight. 12:19 And it wasn't we had the big comic display at, comic book displays and 12:22 we put out content about that. 12:26 In fact, there wasn't one we made less about anything for 12:28 the first couple of months. 12:32 But, there was finally a couple of months down the line, 12:33 I noticed that the phone was ringing. 12:37 People were ringing us and saying, have you got content for x and y event? 12:40 How much easier would your life be if you were getting inbounding inquiries? 12:47 Well we thought, a hell of a lot easier. 12:51 So, we went and built the Yelp calendar. 12:53 It was a printed calendar, we sent it out to all the journalists, and 12:55 it showed them all the dates that they should be aware of. 12:59 Furthermore, it reminded them that we can give them content for it. 13:02 Now, the Yelp calendar, I'm not gonna lie, is pretty good. 13:05 But, you don't need that to know what dates are gonna be exciting what plans 13:09 are gonna be happening I would actually argue that some of the best trans can be 13:13 identified by looking at print media because if you go into a hair dressers or 13:16 doctor's surgery and if you got those sort of four or five months worth of the same 13:21 magazines and you flip through them you will very quickly identify there 13:24 are certain themes that aren't going away there are certain structures. 13:28 That they cover every month. 13:32 In fact, there's a bit of a running joke in the science community that the new 13:34 scientist only has one set of headlines and they rotate them all every year. 13:38 Keep an eye out for it. 13:43 The other thing I've been focusing on is Netflix. 13:46 I never had a subscription until recently, but 13:48 it shows you all the top trending shows. 13:52 Things trend for quite a while in Netflix. 13:55 That's a really good idea of what you should be making content about, and 13:57 if you combine that with when you know a new show is gonna launch, or a show with 14:01 similar actors, suddenly you've got the basis for some really great content. 14:05 Now all of these things are gonna help you, undoubtedly they're gonna help you. 14:11 But, you wanna know the tactic that's gonna trump all tactics and 14:16 i guarantee you'll be the differentiate between those that win and 14:19 those that lose categorically from now on for the next two years. 14:22 It's gonna be speed. 14:25 Let me show you what I mean. 14:28 Do you remember that dress? 14:31 You do. 14:35 It doesn't matter if it was blue and black or white and gold. 14:36 What you remember is what an incredible success it was, right? 14:39 Everyone wanted to be part of that story. 14:43 Well, when we saw this we had a client called Depop. 14:45 Depop are a really cool app that allow you to sell and 14:48 buy cool stuff well, this was a cool dress. 14:51 They should be selling it. 14:55 So, we got up. 14:57 We're like right. 14:58 Okay, let's divide the team up. 14:59 Part of the team you need to go and look for where this dress is, 15:01 you need to go and find it, double check that it's there. 15:04 We sent one staff member off to get that dress. 15:07 And then we sent the rest of the team courting through all the media 15:10 houses saying we're gonna have that dress by this evening. 15:13 We'll bring it around, you can do a photoshoot. 15:15 This was executed with absolute and utter precision and 15:18 we got some absolutely brilliant coverage out of it. 15:21 But, the thing that made completely and utterly possible is that nobody was asked 15:24 to do more than one thing if you want to execute well with speed, 15:28 you need to divide your team up, and they need one focus, and 15:31 it is really tempting to give people more than one, but don't do it. 15:34 You will not succeed. 15:41 Now, I hear this a lot. 15:45 People say to me, is it all about a good idea? 15:47 Yeah, good ideas help. 15:52 But, you know what's even harder than getting a good idea? 15:54 Selling a good idea. 15:57 Now, in February, my team came up with a really naughty and a really risky idea. 16:00 And I really wanted to do something dangerous. 16:06 So, I thought, right. 16:09 I'm gonna have to really sell this to the client. 16:11 So, I'm gonna sell it to you the same way I sold it to them. 16:13 Sat them down and said right remember last year we made that fake baby bath? 16:17 It was a little miniature baby bath and it was all to celebrate the royal baby birth. 16:22 You know how we made a product page and we put it up and we PR-edit and 16:27 remember how great it was cause we got some really awesome coverage? 16:30 Okay, keep that thought in mind, remember that feeling. 16:35 I've been speaking to these guys, Butlers in the Buff. 16:37 They run a business where they have naked butlers. 16:43 Bear with me here. 16:48 You know how your website looks like this? 16:49 Well, I quite like it to look like this on Valentine's Day. 16:53 Do you think we could sell naked butlers running you baths for on your website? 16:57 Now this is a mock up, what you're seeing here. 17:01 But, what's really important is that I mocked it up so 17:04 that you could see exactly what it is I was thinking. 17:06 He understood the framework within which we were going to promote and 17:08 create this, and I linked it to something that had already been successful. 17:11 And that meant he said yes, excellent. 17:15 And we created the butler in the bath package. 17:18 And this is what the website looked like on Valentine's Day. 17:21 But I appreciate, this isn't for everyone. 17:24 We did get some really awesome coverage. 17:28 But, I had to pre-prepare the client. 17:31 Not everybody is gonna think it's such a brilliant idea. 17:33 And there was this journalist at the Metro who was one of them and 17:36 she wrote a rather scaving article. 17:40 But, you know what was really interesting? 17:43 Because I pre-prepared the client that we might get some bad press, 17:46 he had already made his peace with it. 17:52 So, do you know what he saw when this article got published? 17:55 He saw that he got a link from the Metro and he couldn't see past that. 17:59 [LAUGHTER] Now what's really important here is that this was quick, cheap, 18:02 and easy because we got all the images we needed from butler's in the buff and 18:08 those images were great. 18:13 And, that's also what made this story fly, was that the images were really strong. 18:15 And, you don't have to spend much time on Twitter, looking at different journalist 18:18 conversations with PR's to see that every single time they will ask for images. 18:22 And, when you look at this horrible story on the BBC, you can see why. 18:26 Does anyone want to read that? 18:31 No! 18:33 It looks boring. 18:34 If you get good images you will significantly increase the success rate of 18:38 your campaigns. 18:42 And they don't have to be high quality, 18:44 they don't have to be taken by a professional. 18:47 You can take images on your iPhone and that will be sufficient for media. 18:49 In fact, HTC did that this year. 18:55 They launched one of their new phones. 18:59 And they took a whole lot of product images. 19:01 Can anybody spot what's wrong with this image? 19:03 Let me help you. 19:10 You know how I said you can take any media image with an iPhone? 19:11 While you can, unless you're taking a photo of a reflective surface that 19:17 happens to be an Android device. 19:20 >> [LAUGH] >> Images are easy to do, but 19:23 get a completely separate person to double check them for you. 19:26 Because otherwise you'll miss stuff like this and you'll end up like HTC, 19:30 with several pages of coverage not about your new device, but 19:33 about the fact that you're using iPhones to take your own product images. 19:36 >> [LAUGH] >> Now, it's one thing to do a really 19:39 great PR campaign, or content campaign, or whatever we call them these days. 19:44 But, if you don't sell it back, you are not gonna get repeated budget. 19:48 And I have to say, having worked cross industries, and worked both agency and 19:52 in house, this has been the greatest insight. 19:56 So, I'm gonna show you how I do my quarterly reporting. 19:59 Because I think it's really important, cuz it gets people to trust you. 20:02 It gets people to remember what you've done, and to reinvest in you. 20:06 So I always start with a really big, visually overwhelming sweep, 20:11 with logos and cuttings of everything we've done. 20:14 And then I pull out really cool sections. 20:18 I wanna pull out the text that the client read that made them feel something, 20:20 that made them feel proud, that made them feel like they had done a good job, 20:24 made them feel like their boss was gonna read it and 20:28 think yeah, I did the right thing hiring this person. 20:29 And then I pull our very core social bits. 20:32 But, this is where I see too many people go wrong. 20:38 It's really easy to get big big numbers with social right? 20:41 Now unless you are being specifically targeted on social, 20:45 don't put reams of social information into your reports. 20:48 Nobody will look past them. 20:52 A couple of key highlights is more than enough. 20:53 But there are some people who are led on social popularity, 20:57 some people who are led on ego, some people 21:02 who like the association with brands, and there some people who are volume led. 21:05 And on every report if you have a way of listing out absolutely everything you 21:08 have done, you will target those volume-based people, too. 21:12 But finally think about how you actually order the report. 21:17 What are you gonna put first? 21:21 Well, in this day and age, you might be doing PR, but 21:24 your budget is coming from SEO. 21:26 If your budget is coming from SEO, 21:27 then your SEO metrics are at the very top of the report. 21:29 And even if they're not the best metrics, even if you've done better in 21:32 PR metrics than SEO metrics, those SEO metrics come first, 21:35 because that's the person that's gonna be signing off your next budget. 21:38 Now I want to talk to you about building on success. 21:45 Once you've had one thing go well, 21:49 you just want to make sure that you can get the most out of it. 21:50 And in fact, you feel safer with that idea. 21:54 And this is something that happened this year as well. 21:57 I was speaking to my client, and they said they were really struggling 21:59 to hire German-speaking customer service staff. 22:03 I was like, really? 22:06 That's interesting. 22:08 Maybe there's a business story there. 22:09 I said, what's the name of your other German-speaking staff? 22:12 And he said, Hans. 22:15 It's like Hans as in Hans and Gretel? 22:18 Brilliant. 22:21 Okay, we're gonna go out with the story Hans seeks Gretel. 22:22 And we're gonna put that job spec up on the website and 22:25 I'm gonna get you some coverage. 22:27 And we did. And what was the client's response? 22:28 Oh, and I'm sure you've had this in-house as well. 22:32 That's brilliant but I want three times the amount of coverage and links. 22:36 Great, okay fine. 22:39 I can do this cuz the way I was thinking about it was right, 22:41 we got several bits of coverage from doing one launch. 22:45 Okay, well what happens if we do two launches and what if we mix it with ducks? 22:48 >> [LAUGH] >> Great so 22:52 we built a couple of extra pages on the website and 22:54 we said that we are looking for the best duckling to test our baths. 22:57 And we put up the job spec and we put up some fun facts about ducks. 23:01 And we put out a national media advert. 23:05 And we got some great coverage. 23:07 And that was Phase 1. 23:10 16 pieces of coverage, a piece of print press, 9 links. 23:12 Okay, we've already competed what we did with the last project. 23:16 Well then I called up Solent News. 23:20 Remember I told you about the news agencies? 23:22 If they come on down, 23:24 come watch us adjudicate which ducklings are the best bath testers. 23:26 Come get some photos, you can put them out on your wire, you can write a story, and 23:30 you'll make money out of it. 23:34 So they did. 23:36 We put all the images into a Dropbox as well to make it super easy 23:38 for journalists. 23:41 And we got a whole load more coverage. 23:42 In fact we got nine pieces. 23:43 And we got another ten links. 23:47 Because you know what was quite interesting? 23:49 Is that there were people that didn't cover it the first time, but 23:50 when you keep hammering at a door, it often opens. 23:54 Finally, meet Gilbert. 23:57 Yes, Gilbert is the ugly duckling and he did win the competition. 24:01 Gilbert is owned by Gemma. 24:06 And we announced this to the press in the final phase of our project. 24:08 And what was the consequences? 24:11 Well, ultimately we ended up with 18 high links. 24:13 That's in that's links above a DA of 30. 24:15 25 bits of coverage. 24:19 Pretty impressive circulation figures for whatever they mean. 24:22 But what occurred to me was that these were still a lower 24:28 link ratio than I would expect. 24:30 We had great on-site content. 24:33 We had loads of places you could link to. 24:34 And what I really wanted to do was build a campaign 24:36 Where it was really really difficult for you to not link to us. 24:41 And I thought about it, and I was like, you know what, 24:47 it's product-based campaigns. 24:48 Product-based campaigns are the main campaigns that it is always 24:50 completely impossible to write about without linking to the product. 24:53 So in another conversation with the client, 24:58 we got chatting about the color white. 25:01 You know how hard it is to photograph white things? 25:04 It's really hard. 25:07 And that's why most e-commerce people that work with a lot of 25:08 white products build everything in CGI. 25:11 Everything. 25:15 So if it's already built in CGI, then it's probably quite cheap to reskin it, right? 25:17 So if I want to make new products, I can make the blue or green or bumpy or 25:24 soft or big or small. 25:27 Because you've already paid the money to have those files built. 25:29 Interesting. 25:33 Now when you start to think that a lot of people in this world don't know how to 25:35 spell bathroom suites, and you combine that with CGI bathrooms. 25:38 So, CGI bathrooms, bathroom suites, what do you get? 25:45 Chocolate bathroom, clearly. 25:50 Three went out with this story. 25:53 We decided that we'd build a micro-site that said, okay. 25:55 People don't know how to spell bathroom suites. 25:59 This is then the problem. 26:01 We contacted the literacy society. 26:02 We got them to comment on it. 26:04 We got an incredible bathroom sweet built. 26:06 We worked with a chocolatier to tell us how many calories were in it, 26:09 how long it would last. 26:13 So we had all of these incredible chocolate facts, so 26:15 it became a food story. 26:16 And then we wrote a letter from the CEO saying, 26:19 why as a business are we doing this? 26:22 So we had a business story. 26:24 And then we launched it. 26:25 We went out with Phase 1, we did a whole load of embargo briefings. 26:27 Because you remember I said at the beginning, 26:31 media isn't having the same level of impact as it used to have? 26:32 So you have to tee things up. 26:36 So we got a whole load of journalists lined up to cover it. 26:38 We did embargo briefings. 26:41 We did a launch even at an awesome chocolate restaurant. 26:42 And then we went out with Phase 2, and we took it out to the wider media. 26:45 And then after phase two we took it out to trade and 26:49 luxury because they're interested in it too. 26:52 And then after we did trade and luxury we took it internationally. 26:54 In fact you probably saw it on the TV in the States a couple of times. 26:58 After that, I was kind of annoyed. 27:02 Because the Daily Mail and 27:05 the Mirror and the Independent had told me that it wasn't cool enough for them. 27:06 It wasn't really their story. 27:10 So I rang them up again. 27:12 I was like, you realize the rest of the world has covered this. 27:14 Are you really not going to cover it? 27:17 Of course not. 27:18 Phase 6, why not get some social and blogger outreach, right? 27:22 You've got great visual content. 27:25 So we did a couple competitions. 27:28 And finally, we were in Phase 7. 27:29 At the moment the team is currently selling it in for Christmas gift guides. 27:32 Every time there's a how to spend it, or chocolate related story, 27:37 we go out with it. 27:40 We've been looking at marketing and business case studies. 27:41 And every time there's an article related to literacy, 27:44 do you know how boring those images are for the journalists to print. 27:47 Not if you have a chocolate bathroom they're not. 27:50 So we're going out with it, every opportunity we get. 27:54 And there's a psychology behind this. 27:56 Because if you get a whole load of links and coverage coming into one story, 27:59 and then it goes dead, what do you think that tells Google? 28:02 That it was relevant, and it now isn't. 28:07 But if you create a strategy where you are consistently building links into one 28:09 of your assets, 28:13 you're telling Google that all those other links are also probably still relevant. 28:13 But it wasn't just the multiple phases that made the story work. 28:20 We had multiple stories. 28:24 If you look at the press release, it was the world's most indulgent bathroom. 28:26 We had how much it cost. 28:30 That's cool, that's a big stat. 28:31 We had how many calories. 28:33 We had the fact that there was a literacy story in there. 28:34 And we had the fact that somebody had launched a product. 28:37 We even had extra content around literacy. 28:41 So that meant, if the journalist didn't bite, 28:44 we could go out several times over with different angles until we won. 28:47 And that's why we ended up getting over 126 links in a couple of weeks. 28:53 The average DA of those sites was over 54. 28:57 And furthermore, we didn't even count any links of a DA below 20. 29:00 So I'm telling you there are more links out there, and 29:05 we're continuously getting value from it. 29:08 The game is getting harder, it's undoubtable. 29:14 But if you get better at your imagery, at your reporting and 29:18 at scheduling your campaigns to go off in different sections, 29:23 as well as getting faster at the way you sell, 29:28 and getting faster at the way you execute, you will be stronger. 29:30 Thank you very much. 29:36 >> [APPLAUSE] 29:37 >> Wow, that was amazing. 29:46 So much information. 29:48 For a lot of people in this room, they've never reached out, 29:49 they've never pitched a story, they don't have any PR people in their Rolodex. 29:53 So when you first make your first contacts with news agencies, 29:57 what are some tips for initiating that? 30:02 >> I like to always talk to people before I've locked a story down, 30:06 because if anyone is getting involved in a story, they're more invested in it. 30:09 So if you call them up and say, we've got an idea, and we're thinking of doing this. 30:14 Would that work for you? 30:17 Suddenly, you're asking their opinion, instead of just trying to 30:19 push something on them, and then it becomes a two-way engagement process and 30:22 actually they've become kind of excited. 30:26 I mean the news agency knew about our duck project for an incredibly long time. 30:27 >> Any tips for that very first email, when it's absolutely cold, 30:32 you don't know them at all, in order to get their response? 30:34 >> Yeah, don't email them, ring them. 30:37 >> Ring them? 30:39 >> Yeah. >> Yeah. 30:39 >> Always ring people, it's much better. 30:40 Because even slight nuances of language, can be misunderstood. 30:42 And if you ring someone, you know exactly what their contentions are. 30:46 >> Interesting. 30:50 So, obviously you pitch a lot, how often can you expect failure? 30:51 And how much failure is okay when you're pitching these stories? 30:58 >> I don't think it's about failure. 31:02 It's about doing so much and being so focused on the end goal that, to a large 31:04 extent, you don't notice the failure until you're reflecting back on the campaign. 31:08 So now and again, I will go through my inbox and be like wow, 31:12 I made 40 phone calls and sent 60 emails, and I only got 30 pieces of coverage. 31:15 I'm not massively unhappy with that. 31:21 There's a whole load of variables that go into that, right? 31:23 Firstly, you've got things like, who is on holiday? 31:26 Like right now, loads of the industry would be on holiday. 31:29 Christmas? 31:32 Nobody works. 31:33 Okay, so you've gonna send triple the amount, so failure is proportional. 31:34 And is it really failure? 31:38 With the ducks story, or even with the chocolate bathroom, 31:39 do you know how many times I called the Mirror? 31:42 Do you know how many times I called the Mail Online? 31:44 Did I fail the first three times that they told me to go away? 31:47 No. 31:51 I succeeded the fourth time because of the first three so it's how you view failure. 31:52 >> So okay Lauren Rothering on Twitter, excellent question. 31:56 She was asking about, you use a lot of photography examples, 31:59 do you find that people are more receptive to photos or 32:03 how often do you like infographic things like charts and graphs work for you? 32:05 >> Which ones do you prefer to look at? 32:09 When you're scanning through the front page of a major news site, 32:13 what catches your eye? 32:16 For me? 32:18 It's going to be a cool, pretty picture. 32:19 So, I would argue that that's how you make the decision, but 32:22 the exact answer is actually, probably photographs and video. 32:24 Video is becoming even more important. 32:29 If you've got video, you go to the very top of the pile. 32:32 If you've got great images, probably second. 32:34 If you don't have any, 32:37 then you're really fighting the black hole of a journalist embogs. 32:38 >> Let's talk about success metrics a lot. 32:40 You put a lot of slides up about how many stories you got, how many links you got. 32:43 Are those the primary success metrics that you're working with? 32:48 What are you reporting to your client? 32:51 >> So, this is really interesting. 32:53 When I was SEO side, it was all about links and traffic. 32:55 When now I'm sitting on the PR Side, 32:59 it's kind of bizarre, because it can be anything. 33:01 You got, a client comes to you and they say I want to get into the Guardian. 33:05 Okay, why? 33:08 Cuz I do. 33:11 No, no, no. Why? Because that's where my readers are. 33:11 Okay, well will your readers click through from the Guardian? 33:13 Because my experience is that readers never click through from Guardian. 33:16 And so you have to keep asking why and why and why, and sometimes they get upset. 33:19 Not everyone thinks it's a good game, but 33:23 at the end of the day, you need to work out what it is they're really looking for 33:26 and then they'll see the reason for whatever metrics 33:30 that will actually help you measure that, whether you've achieved that. 33:33 So we measure rankings, but for example, 33:36 for bathrooms.com we didn't manage technical. 33:39 I'm limited, so I can say that yes rankings have moved, and that yes we've 33:41 contributed significantly, but I can't say that contributed entirely to that. 33:45 So I like to report on everything. 33:51 I measure absolutely everything, but as I say, 33:53 I always put the call metrics at the top and everything else below. 33:55 >> Lexie, they say when you give a speech leave the audience wanting more, I want so 33:58 much more right now. 34:01 I wanna learn, basically I just wanna hire you. 34:02 >> [LAUGH] >> So, thank you very much. 34:04 Please give a hand for Lexie Mills. 34:05 >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you very much. 34:06
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