Engaging with an effective and strategic PR campaign has become more essential for brands than ever. In a world of overstimulation and greater access to digital technology, implementing an effective PR strategy to further consumer engagement, widen brand exposure and establish authority in the relevant industry is imperative for business success.
Differing from traditional marketing and paid media, such as pay-per-click, advertising and endorsements, PR has the potential to gain traction and trust organically, and allows brands to get more creative with their campaigns in order to reach a wider audience and create both online conversations – boosting media presence and gaining authoritative, high-quality links – and offline conversations through creative and attention-grabbing strategic and cultural campaigns.
The shifting role of a PR
In an era of combative and complex media communications, PRs are tasked with being increasingly quick on making decisions to create or amend campaigns in response to cultural trends or dominating news fronts.
The pandemic was a key example of this, where we saw many brands adapt their narrative when it came to social and news campaigns, reevaluating their key messaging in order to promote the accessibly of their brand in the ‘stay-at-home’ movement, which was further accelerated through digital means such as campaign imagery and brand messaging.
Multinational retailer, Zara, for example, switched up their exotic, location-based campaign shoots with models taking pictures of themselves wearing the fashion items at home in order to excel the narrative of at-home accessibility and for consumers to continue to purchase their products.
The role of PR now more than ever is to create targeted campaigns to secure both online and offline media coverage and traction by articulating a brand in a way that is relatable to the audience, culturally relevant and creative in content and messaging.
The importance of PR for digital marketing
According to findings made by digital marketing agency, Embryo, more people are interested in what makes a good PR campaign, with some of the top searches made on google questioning, ‘What are the best PR campaigns?’, ‘How do you create a PR campaign?’, and, perhaps the most relevant in our era of digitalised marketing, ‘How does PR improve SEO?’.
Using Google search trends, Embryo also looked at the monthly search volumes for the number of people searching for ‘Digital PR’ and found a huge spike, revealing that search volumes increased by almost 70% in the last five years (19000-32000). Due to digitalisation, PR has become more necessary than ever for brand exposure and boosting SEO rankings when combined with an effective and integrated SEO and content strategy.
As a full-service marketing agency, Embryo has the advantage of combining seamless and effective digital strategies across the board to deliver on client KPIs. The Digital PR team works closely with the SEO, content and paid social media departments to construct collaborative campaigns, implement keyword research, gain high quality trusted backlinks and, in turn, boost SEO rankings. If you’re interested in finding out more about how our digital services can help your own growth journey then please get in touch today!
Whether it’s an effective press release published across multi-national networks or a publicity stunt to grab the attention of the consumer – we know a good PR campaign when we see one. We’ve put together a list of key campaigns that have used different levels of PR to deliver effective and lasting results.
Effective campaigns that have implemented different methods of PR
BBC’s billboards advertising ‘Dracula’
Two billboards advertising BBC’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ captured the attention of many and created a stir across multiple media outlets. A creative team, headed by Reuben Dangoor, a London-based Instagram artist, constructed two billboards that articulated the same terror as the anticipated TV series.
Bram Stoker’s character can not be seen in the daylight, but comes to life at night through inventive lighting creating shadows across strategically placed stakes coming from the billboards, which creatively played on the gothic element of the show – vampires come out at night.
The billboards featured in London and Birmingham, also had a box beneath them including a stake, with a glass encasement that read ‘In case of Vampires – break glass’,’ which played on the key message and sense of foreboding and that this campaign was aiming to communicate..
With multiple news features and social media shares, this effective PR campaign highlights how brands can get creative in building anticipation around a launch through innovative branding and inventive imagery.
Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week broken iPhone invitations
Balenciaga chose to do things a little differently with this year’s Paris Fashion Week’s invites, sending broken iPhones, branded as ‘artefacts’, to invitees, with the event details engraved on the back of the devices and an accompanying note that read:
‘Please find personalized information on the back of this phone. This is a genuine artefact from the year 2022. It is nonfunctional and to be used for display purposes only. This document certifies that this device is, to the best of our knowledge, not artificially manufactured but made from years of use and later, neglect’.
The French fashion label is renowned for its quirky social media and PR campaigns that reflect the unique essence of its designs. In true Balenciaga fashion, this particular campaign left people questioning, what is it for?
While some argued that this was to echo an era of disposability and ‘throwaway’ culture, reflected in the idea behind the smashed devices, other social media users argued that it was dated and a tacky ploy – either, it worked, and this disruptive and strategic PR campaign started multiple conversations across the news and social media with people still left stretching their heads.
Embryo’s case study led Digital PR campaign
The Digital PR team here at Embryo created an innovative and effective campaign for our client, a leading dog toys and treats provider, that looked to target dog owners everywhere by raising awareness of a key issue to be aware of.
The Digital PR team created a case-study led campaign that focused on the unfortunate accident of a west highland terrier that was rushed to the vets after being poisoned by plants typically found in the garden. The campaign was launched during the spring/ summer period when more people were out in the garden or in their local parks. We also worked closely with the SEO team to implement keyword research into our campaign.
Collating commentary from industry experts, the campaign advised people of exactly what plants and other seasonal hazards dog owners should be aware of with a compelling real-life story about westie, Tilly, that caught the attention of the masses. The campaign went viral and was accelerated across national, regional and lifestyle publications, as well as social media shares.
The lifestyle-focused Digital PR campaign is a great example of how effective campaigns can be when PRs respond fast and communicate culturally inspired, trending stories. So much so that the campaign is nominated for an award this year at the ‘UK Digital PR Awards 2022’.
Dove’s #ShowUs campaign
Personal care brand, Dove, created a PR and social media campaign, #ShowUs, that changed the narrative of beauty and representation in the media by creating an image library of women who feel unrepresented in the media.
Project #ShowUs is a collaboration with Girlgaze, a diverse community of non-binary and female-identifying creatives, and Getty Images, one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of imagery, which featured imagery of 10,000+ women and non-binary individuals to provide an inclusive representation of beauty across media and advertisements.
The innovative and product-focused campaign was hugely impactful on consumers while also changing the conversation around beauty in the industry by using ‘real women’ across all of their communications, catching the attention of fashion and beauty journalists globally. The beauty brand hones in on the cultural conversations that more needs to be done to represent women of different ages, ethnicity, body type and sexual orientation in order to continue to refine the standards of beauty.
Both the internal marketing team at Dove and the assigned PR professionals for the campaign understood the brand’s ethos and how to tap into an audience to market their hero products effectively and authentically.