Generating PR for your business is pretty hard to do. Sometimes it’s an orchestrated event that you might want publicised, and other times it might be an accident that your PR team spins to their advantage. However it happens, the way your brand copes when it hits the news can have huge payoffs.
In the last year, there have been a number of brands that have hit the headlines in a positive way. Roman Originals, Airbnb, and REI have all seen some positive stories about them in the press. This has had impact on their backlinks and their site traffic.
I’m sure you were aware of the internet sensation that was that dress – was it gold and white or was it blue and black? Questions were asked, Twitter had a meltdown and everyone had an opinion on it. It was the stuff of PR legend as it got picked up by all sorts of publications from Buzzfeed to Wired. Even Taylor Swift joined in on the debate.
Roman Originals did phenomenally well from the Internet furore – with a 17500% increase in mentions in the press, 2300% more backlinks and a 430% increase in organic traffic. Sales grew by a whopping 560% in one day.
It wasn’t just a short term boost either; there has been a considerable increase in traffic which has been sustained since the story broke.
Igloo on Airbnb
The blizzard that hit America hard this winter saw a great boost for Airbnb as a man in Brooklyn built an igloo and listed it on Airbnb for a giggle. Despite the fact that it was removed by Airbnb due to ‘not meeting occupancy standards’, the story continued to snowball and it appeared in The Daily Mail, ABC News, Washington Post, Mashable and USA Today.
However, Airbnb seem to make the news quite regularly, often with a story about a house party gone awry, so they only saw an increase of 2% in their traffic, despite the fact that they were up in the papers by 83%.
Black Friday Banning at REI
REI, a store in the US, decided to opt out of the madness that is Black Friday, instead creating the #OptOutside campaign to encourage people to spend the day after Thanksgiving outside, exercising to get rid of the post-turkey belly.
They received great coverage for this campaign across a spectrum of news sites including Time, CNN, CBS News and USA Today. This led to an increase of 51% in backlinks, and the subdomain for #OptOutside received 8000 backlinks since the launch. However, traffic year-on-year decreased in the month following the media storm about the store.
Basically, if you find your business at the centre of a PR hullaballoo, there are advantages to be gained – as long as you deal with it in the right way. Smaller companies can often use a media boost as a springboard to bigger things as long as they’re prepared for it at all times.
Keep your eye out for our next post on PR disasters!