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Brighton SEO Take-away Part 1: Content and PR

Brighton SEO Take-away Part 1: Content and PR

By Sophie Nightingale

Last week we attended the Brighton SEO conference to get some key tips for SEO strategy, content and PR. Part one is about some of the great talks we attended from specialist sin the PR and content marketing field. 


Big brand advertising on a small budget

Phil Nottingham

Slides here

Not all metrics are valuable as people are quickly scrolling down feeds so one video view doesn’t equate to an engaged watch of your brand ad. For this reason, a viral video won’t always guarantee brand awareness. It’s difficult to portray the correct brand message, as well as the punch line in a video at once, with the audience still remembering your brand and what it does afterwards.

Therefore, Phil recommends that storytelling and pre-production is much more valuable than large production costs for a glossy finish. Creative ideas are the most valuable so find your ‘nerds’, your fans and your key audiences and direct the video to them.

Leveraging machines for awesome outreach

Gareth Simpson


Gareth spoke about the benefits of using machines for outreach and automated PR activity. Explaining that machine learnings improve performance overtime, AI can help to automate repetitive tasks. Using tools like monkey learn can train data that will then allow to filter out useful information such as client relevant #journorequests and PR opportunities. Outreach is largely about relationships so robots won’t completely take over the process but will allow mundane tasks to be undertaken quickly and efficiently, making more room for client opportunities.

Bouncing back when your campaign fails

Shannon McGuirk

Experienced in content and PR, Shannon shared her story about a campaign that failed, and how she brought it back gaining links and great coverage. One of the main tips was to know your journalist. Spend time researching the people you want to get in contact with and let them know why they’d be interested in your campaign, and why their audience will like it too.

If you’re unsure of a campaign idea, try reaching out to a journalist and asking them about the angle you’re going with and if they thought it would work. She’s had a lot of success with this, from journalists saying an idea wouldn’t or that a different angle would be great for a story they’re writing next month.

Give journalists everything they need. Let them know in the email subject exactly what the campaign is about and what you’re sending them. Attach images and embed the PR, include expert comments and let them know you have more data for a different angle if they’d prefer. Offer an exclusive to them and let them know the time you’ll hold the campaign for. Write the headline in the same style that the journalist would. For example, some publications will often use “Research had revealed” or “New data shows”.

Making your brand voice stand out online

Bethany Joy

A specialist in brand voice, Bethany spoke about how to ensure audiences recognise who you are, just from your copy. She explained that if you’re not cool, quirky and fun, don’t make your copy cool, quirky and fun. Who is your target audience? What do they respond well to? Develop a consistent voice so that people will recognise it and link this across all channels. If you say you’re relaxed, be relaxed in your voice, if you’re a professional business, make that clear in your tone of copy.

How to protect your online reputation

Alex Judd from Grayling PR

Slides here

As someone who works in PR with large FTSE 100 companies, Alex’s talk was about protecting reputation online. A large part of the work he does is promoting good PR for these companies as 80% of FTSE 100 companies have negative content on the first page of search results. 99% of this is media producing negative content about things like poor financials and customer service and one negative search result can decrease click-throughs by 22%, which is 14.8million leads going elsewhere. Therefore, Alex explains that not all PR is good PR.

To combat this, Alex emphasises the need for engaging social media and great site content. Increasing visibility of positive news stories, it’s recommended to bid on your brand’s own keywords to push negative content further down in search results. As well as this, ensuring all Google business data is up to date for your brand, with linked blog posts, maps and PAA’s to elongate the space taken up by your brand on the first page of search results.

Writing a killer outreach email

Hana Bednarova

Slides here

The key take-away from Hana’s talk was personalisation of outreach. Experienced in securing national and international client coverage alongside multiple follow links, Hana said the key is to do your research, know your journalist, and explain you’re emailing them about a campaign their audience will be interested in. Telling them why their audience may be interested and how your story is different is important in building a relationship with the journalist. For example, “I know your audience is 30-45-year-old women and gin and tonic is a massive trend at the moment with sales from millennials increasing by X%”.

Making it as easy as possible for journalists to use your story is also vital, detailing in the subject line exactly what the campaign provides, it could be mapped data, case studies or infographics. Once your outreach emails have been sent, follow up a few days later, offering something else to the journalist like a different angle or an interview.


The Author

Sophie Nightingale

Sophie Nightingale

Campaign Executive

Sophie is part of the Content and Comms team at twentysix with specific interests in digital PR. She has a First Class Master's degree in marketing and had her paper on brand engagement published in the academic field.