From Tinder trolls to top of the game: How reactive PR can help your brand stand out

By Jennifer Grey | 14 May 2019

In the traditional content marketing game, brand-led campaigns ruled supreme. However, in 2019, it seems that sometimes the best way to earn links and coverage is to get the internet to do your work for you.

Reactive PR is fast becoming an important way of bolstering campaign work, despite usually not having fancy assets or a lengthy ideation process behind it. Take the brilliant marketing ploy by ASOS, who recently turned a woman, trolled for her appearance in their dress, into a model on its site. This garnered coverage from almost every tier one publication from The Independent to Cosmopolitan, over 20 backlinks to the product page alone, and an even higher amount of editorial links for the homepage. While content campaigns will always be a fantastic way of building reputable links, something as simple as a photo on a website, or the re-packaging of a statistic relevant to today’s market, can create as much of an impact. It can also help ensure there isn’t a sudden dearth of links between campaigns, when one wraps up and the next one is waiting to kick off.

So, what can Digital PRs learn from this?

  1. It’s time to take a leaf out of traditional PR’s book – it’s long been a PR specialism to turn breaking news into a brand story on the fly, but this got a bit forgotten in the proliferation of content marketing campaigns which ruled back in the day. Read the news, look at #journorequests to get a flavour for hot topics in your target demographic.
  2. Stop working in silos. Social listening can help you build stories for your clients and be aware of the trends, but the tools and expertise for doing so often sit with the social team. Get them to show you the ropes, and then use the tool yourself to spot stories as they emerge.
  3. Re-use old data. Just because that infographic was first released six months ago doesn’t mean a statistic won’t be useful to a breaking news story now. Also, don’t be afraid of engaging with influencers to swap content, or give expert opinions.
  4. Think outside of the box and be creative. There’s a wealth of potential stories out there, and the best way to build links for clients is to work in the same news-hungry, always-on fashion the internet does today. Being truly reactive means you can stand out from the crowd.

So, if you’re looking for a way to build your backlink and coverage profile outside of campaigns, consider reactive PR. It’s time-sensitive, cost-effective, and can stop you from having to invest in more assets to keep up in today’s competitive market while breathing new life into what you already have at your disposal. See you on social media!