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Let’s face it, the past year has been turbulent to say the least (that’s probably already the understatement of the year!).

And whilst we do have a lot to thank 2021 for (think Jackie Weaver, Sea Shanty TikTok songs, and England making it to the Euros final), it would be hard to ignore the not-so-good stuff that also came with it.

The continued COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and that time the UK ran out of petrol are just a few things that brought our lives to a standstill over the past 12 months and changed the way we all work, live, and operate.

The above has taught me some invaluable lessons in both my personal and professional life.

On a personal level, it has taught me to appreciate the time I spend with my loved ones more, and never take this for granted.

On a professional level, it has shown me just how fast the media landscape and consumer behavior can change, and how, as someone who works in digital PR, we need to stay agile in order to keep up with these changes.

So, as we look towards the next 12 months, what lessons can we, as digital PRs implement to try and make our work navigate an everchanging news and consumer agenda?

Well… I’m glad you asked!

It’s time to become relevant

That’s right, I’m going to talk about link relevance. It’s nothing new and it’s something I have been talking, writing, and tweeting about for quite some time.

When running a link building campaign, you need to make sure the stories you’re producing are both on-brand and relevant to your target audience.

This will become even more important in 2022, as Google will better understand the context of a link and place more weighting on those that are relevant.

This was recently endorsed by Google’s very own John Muller, who stated that a single link from a relevant source can send a stronger signal to Google – you can read more about it at Search Engine Journal.

At connective3, we place relevance at the center of all our campaigns – you should speak to our (quite frankly awesome) digital PR team to find out more!

You must always have more than one headline

So, if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that that the news agenda can change quickly.

Imagine for example that you were running a travel campaign at the start of 2020. You’ve done all the work, prepped the releases, created the media list and then BANG! Travel shuts down globally.

Scary, right? As a digital PR, this is your worst nightmare. You don’t want the time, resource or effort to go to waste, and you still want to deliver results. So, how can we make sure our campaigns can cope with this changing news agenda? The answer is to de-risk it as much as possible by having multiple media angles and headlines.

When planning your campaigns, make sure you have multiple stories you can release. That way, if the news agenda goes against you, you always have a Plan B.

An always-on approach is needed

When thinking about link building, planned campaign work only creates around 70% of the total link opportunity in front of you. If you are to run proactive and reactive PR simultaneously to your campaigns, you will not only be able to build more links, but you’ll also have an always-on approach to link building.

If you want to know more about how to do this, then take a look at this handy blog post I created earlier.

The above are just a few learnings we can take from 2021 into 2022. I hope everyone reading this blog post is keeping safe and well during these crazy times, and as ever, if have any questions, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter.

 

Have a fantastic 2022… go forth and let the links multiply!

David White

Content Marketing Director