Amassing Digital PR Results Amid the Chaos of COVID-19
The pandemic crashed like a wave over our country in March 2020. The newfound uncertainty in our daily lives left businesses reeling. How would they connect with customers in a world where face-to-face connections were fraught with unknown risks? We felt those same concerns at Veracity. Suddenly working from home, we had to help our clients pivot their messages while proving that public relations (PR) work was more critical than ever. Fortunately, we had our best practices and proven techniques to rely on during that transition.
This year I’ve written extensively about how the gap between PR practitioners and marketers has narrowed in the digital world. When PR professionals work closely with marketing teams, they can achieve impressive results for their clients. Along the way, these promotional activities bring tremendous search engine optimization (SEO) benefits that boost a client’s web presence.
So how does digital PR relate to the beginning of COVID-19? During those first very scary months of the pandemic, Veracity’s approach to PR helped one company shift their outreach approach with timely messaging, secure valuable media placements and receive measurable SEO results to reward those efforts.
Increase in Website Clicks
Increase in Organic Search Traffic
Improvement in Domain Authority
Campaign Profile: DailyCaring.com
DailyCaring.com is a website filled with resources and advice to empower family caregivers responsible for supporting an older adult. They were referred to Veracity by their SEO consultant, which understood the value PR could bring to an SEO-friendly website that contained excellent content. We began our engagement with DailyCaring.com in March 2020, just as COVID-19 hit.
DailyCaring.com wanted more traffic to the website to support its advertising revenue model. Because caregiving is such a universal topic, they wanted to reach anyone in the United States who might be involved in caring for an older relative.
In the Spring of 2020, COVID-19 dominated the news cycle. Veracity’s challenge was to find a story that would break through all that noise and resonate with editors, producers and reporters. We started by asking the client how the pandemic affected caregivers and senior health.
We soon discovered that the threat of COVID was so severe for older people, assisted living facilities were locked down, preventing relatives from visiting their loved ones. Even independent seniors were staying home in an attempt to avoid the virus. This new dynamic created complex challenges for older adults as they faced unprecedented social isolation. Caregivers also felt helpless because they could no longer show up for their loved ones in person.
Because DailyCaring.com exists to be a resource for caregivers, we elected to continue that mission and develop content that helped caregivers navigate the pandemic.
With Easter right around the corner, we used the holiday as a content development peg centered around celebrating special moments under pandemic conditions. Our campaign focused on pitching print and TV media with press releases, content that was ready for publication and interview opportunities. From there, we created a media list targeting mid-tier markets across the country that were large enough to support a television station.
We also used a media organization’s domain authority (DA) ranking as targeting criteria. We knew that achieving placements with organizations that had strong DA rankings would not only help raise DailyCaring’s public profile, but the hits we received would also help drive traffic and boost our client’s SEO position.
During this process, we pivoted quickly to adapt to the new pandemic reality. Under normal circumstances, the Veracity team would have targeted healthcare or senior living reporters. But because nearly every beat had shifted to COVID coverage, our search ended up being much broader. We also previously had limited opportunities for TV interviews outside the Bay Area where DailyCaring.com is located because producers preferred in-person interviews. However, as people quickly adopted video conferencing, we arranged several Skype and Zoom interviews with TV stations across the country.
Veracity provided media training for company spokesperson and founder Connie Chow, including tips on styling her interview space and technical support for lighting and connection issues. We were fortunate that Connie was willing and accessible to take on opportunities, even on short notice.
As Easter approached we began seeing article placements appear. The content we provided on ways to make a COVID holiday more memorable began landing in early April. By the time the campaign had ended, we had earned 32 total links, with 12 stories landing on sites with DAs above 70.
The interviews and article placements were enough to call this campaign a success. However, we also wanted to show our client tangible SEO results. Before our campaign started, DailyCaring.com averaged hundreds of thousands of daily clicks. During our campaign, clicks increased by 47%, organic search traffic jumped 41%, and DailyCaring.com’s domain authority improved by 1.9%, which is a significant jump over a short period.
Most importantly, our client was pleased with the outcome.
“I’d highly recommend working with Veracity. They understand PR as well as SEO, which was key to our goals. They were able to get us exposure on a variety of major news stations across the country in a short amount of time, which helped us in improving our organic SEO traffic. It was a pleasure working with them and I look forward to our next campaign together.“ — Connie Chow, Founder, DailyCaring.com
During this campaign, a fantastic client and well-timed and well-executed strategy combined to deliver superb results.
A Traditional Approach Isn’t Enough
The DailyCaring.com case study is a perfect example of how powerful digital PR can be. Not only did Veracity use its digital expertise to build a media list that would maximize public exposure and the associated SEO benefits, but we also used our traditional PR skills to read the media landscape, build pitches that keyed in on relevant themes and remain flexible to media member’s needs and preferences.
In a digital world, relying on traditional PR or traditional digital marketing alone isn’t enough. Professionals must cultivate new skills and collaborate in new ways to meet the next challenge and continue delivering for their clients.