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The Outreach Highlights of Search Leeds 2019

July 24, 2019

A big focus of Search Leeds was towards PR and creating links in order to improve your search strategy.

Here are some of the highlights that I came across.

Why social media should be part of your search strategy?

Social Media Search Strategy

To connect on a personal level

54% of journalists are more likely to respond to a personal connection. These “connections” don’t have to be childhood friends, they could be someone they spoke to and connected with in the past, perhaps through a conversation on twitter.

Influencer Marketing and PR

Influencer marketing doesn’t have to have just one purpose. If you manage to sign up your ideal influencer then you should try to leverage a deal that has multiple purposes.

At Search Leeds, they used Wren Kitchens’ partnership with former Made in Chelsea cast member Lucy Watson as an example.

Whereas many might have just got Watson in for a photoshoot to gather images to use on her and internal social media channels, Wren took the chance to set up interviews and invite media as well. Meaning that in the limited time they had, they also managed to secure coverage with national newspapers and magazines.


Social media is a great platform to find out what topics are trending. This should act as an inspiration for outreach. If a relevant topic is trending then it probably worth piggybacking or high-jacking the story.

You can also use social media to find your audience, through analytics tools. For example, Facebook allows you to analyse the people who are following your page, meaning you can match demographics with publications that cater to these markets.

Digital PR campaigns should generate conversations on their own on social media

Try to create sharable content that people will want to share with their connections on social media.

PR that drives performance

PR that drives performance

Don’t just create PR and outreach for the sake of building links, utilise all of the benefits to create solid PR campaigns and links will come.

Data led approach

Utilise tech to see where competitors are being featured and find out what journalists did so. These are the kinds of contacts that should be established.

Use the same data to inform your content strategy.

There is no need for big expensive PR campaigns to achieve mass coverage. There are certain topics that journalists cover over and over again, so find out which are relevant and get in there first ahead of the next wave.

Form a newsroom mentality

Invest hours into learning about your media. If a journalist works for the publication you aspire to be in and covers stories that you could be part of then it’s worth taking the time to meet face to face.

Journalists/publications have different days and hours that they don’t want to be contacted on. Common rules such as ‘Friday is a dead day’, do not apply to all so it is worth researching when is best to contact people.

Review what the media in the morning to see what has happened and where potential opportunities lay.

Example of a low-cost viral story

In order to raise awareness for the expansions of a task outsourcing platform, the company teamed up with a local restaurant and created a “Yorkshire Pudding Taste Tester” role.

The job went viral and was repeated in the next city just with the job title “‘Pigs in Blankets Taste Tester”.

In total the campaign saw 77 pieces coverage achieved, 21 million reached and 59 links. Coverage included Metro, Daily Mirror, UniLad and Lad Bible.

The campaign won the most effective use of PR for SEO at the Drum Awards.

How to make fake news for links

Linkbaiting Examples


Linkbait is “content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing to create hyperlinks to the site”. It is seen as a low-risk strategy with a high reward potential.

Examples of link baiting

Create fake products.

One example that was mentioned was a ‘pee-cape’ that allows men to attach a cape to the wall when visiting urinals and giving you privacy. The idea went viral, even featuring on Fox News – despite only being a mock product that was never created.

World cup t-shirts that change the flag at the flick of a button. This concept was created for the Russia world cup after mass warnings about the safety of fans. The fake product was a team top that could show a Russia flag in public and could be changed to an England flag once you got inside the stadium.

Fake Lance Armstrong DVDs are another example. Once Lance Armstrong was busted for doping 30 fake DVD covers about “the science of Lance Armstrong” were put on sale, featuring a picture of a person holding the stack of DVDs in front of some cardboard boxes. The story featured on BBC.


1. Remember to be funny. Humour is key to Linkbait articles becoming a success. Most of the stories have a “surely not” feel, which in some cases is so obvious that the journalist knows it’s not real but finds it so funny that they still publish it.
2. Never promise anything. Despite the news being fake, it is important to make sure that you don’t promise anything and then end up getting burnt.
3. Mark as ‘out of stock’. When selling a fake product, make sure that it is marked as out of stock, and not available to pre-order.
4. Don’t be too obvious. The stories need to be believable, despite the outrageousness or else it will not gain any traction.
5. Photoshops have to be realistic. If you’re trying to create fake news through editing photos or videos, make sure it looks realistic.
6. Fake branding. If you create a fake brand to go along with products it will add authenticity.
7. Use a personal email. If you’re a company that will try to spread Linkbait regularly, then using your company’s email will be useless.
8. Use live blogs. If a newspaper is using a live blog to cover an event, it offers you a good opportunity to be part of the conversation by posting to the person blogging.

Pros of Linkbait

• It’s quick
• It’s cheap
• It can win big links

Cons of Linkbait

• You need the right client – A more serious client may not be open.
• You need the client’s trust
• You need to move quickly
• Don’t do it too often




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