I recently completed a three-month project working as a freelance PR consultant to tech business, PetrolPrices, with a brief to relaunch their app, building awareness, as well as driving traffic / new users.
I designed a highly successful PR campaign, aimed predominately at motoring, personal finance and news journalists on national newspapers, and focused to capitalise on the price volatility in the market. From creating new news stories, newsjacking price changes, elevating the app at a key trade show and providing industry commentary to media as they were breaking stories, I put a hefty suite of PR tactics into play.
Over the three months, the brand featured in x4 pieces of Daily Mail/This Is Money coverage, x2 iNews stories, x2 pieces Daily Express stories, x1 The Sun story, x1 The Mirror story, x1 Daily Star story, as well as in an exclusive agree with the Sunday Times. These stories included reacting to changes in market pricing, identifying the cheapest and most expensive areas to buy fuel in the UK, comparing the cost of car travel to train travel and a study on motorway station pricing.
In total I drove 100+ pieces of coverage, which broke down as 20 national news pieces, 76 regional pieces and five trade pieces.
So why was this campaign so successful at driving national headlines?
Well it wasn't down to some 'dark PR art', there were four key factors that were put into play:
1) Getting to grips with the media landscape. A thorough media audit, reviewing who was writing about what, in relation to petrol pricing, and getting a grip of the news agenda meant that I could devise a strategy that had stories with mass media appeal and I knew where to target them. Preparation was key.
2) Working weekends. Many of the stories were issued on a Sunday for Monday basis. News desks are notoriously quieter on a Saturday / Sunday and manned by fewer staff, and so it is often easier to land stories over the weekend. As a freelancer I can be more flexible with the hours I work, which means I can put in the hours when they'll be most effective for the client. I released two of the PetrolPrices campaign stories on a weekend, delivering some fantastic results.
3) Staying on top of the news agenda. Rather than being a small fish in an agency pond, PetrolPrices were a big fish in a freelancer's pond, which meant I was on top of new news in their industry. I stayed abreast of changes in the market on a daily basis and could react swiftly, newsjacking any breaking news stories, providing thought leadership right when the media were looking for commentary and could adapt the plan to match the mood in the market.
4) Building reciprocal relationships. Providing journalists with relevant and useful content meant that they started coming back for more. We turned proactive relationships into reactive ones, driving additional coverage that was outside of the PR plan.
Here's what Jason Lloyd, Managing Director at PetrolPrices had to say: "Lyndsey worked with the PetrolPrices.com team on a 12-week project to increase brand awareness, grow monthly active users and support the launch of a new app.. From the start, Lyndsey was very easy to speak to, as well as enthusiastic and positive about the project and this gave the team fresh energy and impetus to deliver on the project’s objectives. Her attention to detail, story idea creation and research was impeccable, creating intricate and carefully built spreadsheets that added an extra level of professionalism and validation to the whole process.
"All work was done to schedule, including an exclusive piece for the Sunday Times, which is one of the hardest places to get media coverage in the UK. Most important of all, Lyndsey delivered a large amount of national, trade and regional coverage, enabling our brand to punch well above its weight and deliver on our project objectives. During her time working with us, usage of the app grew by 60,000 monthly active users, equating to a 70% increase and it continues to grow at good rates today. Overall, we were truly impressed with Lyndsey’s work, positive mental attitude, adaptability to a small and tight-knit industry, the coverage she gained and the results it drove for the business. We’d highly recommend her to anyone, as she’s such a gem we will be rehiring again for future PR requirements."
Driving national news coverage for PetrolPrices wasn't some dark PR art, it was the culmination of hard work and tenacity being put into play by a practiced PR practitioner. If you think that your brand could benefit from hitting the headlines, get in touch via email@example.com.