Now you’ve decided on your campaign idea, it’s time to create it. Look back to your research and ideation steps to determine how best to display your story, data and messaging to resonate with both your audience and journalists. Is it a simple blog post or an expansive microsite? A video or a report? The content opportunities are endless, but above all, remember who the content is for and create it for them.
Your campaign briefBefore you fire up the Adobe suites, send out a survey or start analysing data, develop a campaign brief for client sign off. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. A clear, concise brief ensures that all teams are on the same page, identifies accountability for the agency, client and contractors and proves you’ve thought through every aspect of the campaign. Naturally campaign briefs vary from project to project, but we created a guide, ‘How to: build a Digital PR campaign brief’ featuring the elements that are good as a springboard, including:
- Campaign overview
- Campaign objective
- Campaign timeline
- Content deliverables
- Visual mock-ups
- Content location and technical requirements
- Reporting metrics
- Feedback process
- Client requirements
Data gatheringWe all know the key to a strong digital PR hook is data, even more so when it’s unique data. Using unique stats can help grow a client’s authority and manoeuvre them into a position of thought or industry leader. But data doesn’t appear neatly in one form from one source. There is a wealth of data and angles from all manner of sources out there to suit all budgets. Here are some of our go-to sources:
Unique data:This is new data unique to your campaign or client, something that no other campaign has.
- Internal data (e.g. customer trends, booking data)
- Polls/quizzes on social media or CMS
Government data:Governments have a wide range of public data detailing everything from tourism to spending habits to crime.
- Office for National Statistics (ONS)
- Local council
Social media:Using social media data can build a number of stories and is especially useful for indexes, listicles and trends.
- APIs (Spotify, Tripadvisor)
- Pulsar (paid)
Google:Using Google helps you understand your audience and the public, what they are searching for, how their search trends are changing in response to specific events or seasons, and what they are no longer interested in.
- Google trends
- Google search volume
- Statista (paid) (general public data)
- World Bank Open Data (general public data)
- Freedom of information request (FOI) (general public data)
- Wikipedia page views
- Expert input
In designing your campaign content, get creative. Consider what your target audience engages with and shares across social media. Especially when it comes to data, find interesting way to display it that goes beyond the plain table or graph, and above all else, make sure it’s understandable. Can you incorporate images? Is there an opportunity to make it interactive? Remember, you want a reason for journalists to include or link back to your campaign page. Regardless of the content you create, there are a few hard and fast design rules to follow:
Not too branded:
- Use brand colours subtly. Digital PR campaigns are not blatant advertisements. Overt branding may discourage journalists from using your content. This goes for using your logo in assets you use for outreach. Keep it low key.
- Research your target sites and mirror their data graphics, such as tables. You want your content to fit naturally on their sites.
- What assets are you going to use for outreach? Do not pitch a visual campaign without visual assets. Remember, you want to make the journalist’s job as easy as possible.
- Add embed links to the assets on your campaign page to encourage follow links.
Optimise for dev and SEO:
- Build your tables and lists in HTML (rather than designed images), so Google/search engines can read all the data through the HTML
- Ensure all images have relevant alt text, allowing Google to better understand the content
- Optimise and compress images to reduce load time to elevate user experience
- Remember, Google focuses on providing the best experience for searchers, so keep UX design in mind. You want good, understandable content presented in a user-friendly way to encourage more time spent on-site
- Incorporate internal links to encourage users to spend more time on-site
Additional design notes:
- Make sure your content looks good on both desktop and mobile
- Minimum font size should be 14
- Use an online accessibility checker to ensure your content is accessible to all