In March, the media landscape changed in a way we’d never seen before following the announcement of the government-enforced lockdown. With the news agenda focusing on the global pandemic, and consumer needs changing on a daily basis, existing strategies needed to adapt to ensure a consistent flow of brand mentions and links was maintained.
Here’s how we managed that for Furniture Choice:
About Furniture Choice
Furniture Choice is an online furniture retailer based in West Yorkshire. Starting in 2005, the business has key product areas including sofas, dining and bedroom furniture.
Having worked together for the past five years, our team has built up an expert understanding of the interiors and lifestyle landscape, which should always be the first step in producing newsworthy content. With a plethora of previous campaigns, expert commentary and tips based content to look back on, reacting to the news agenda is part of our always-on activity. But with an ever-changing news agenda and journalists becoming overwhelmed with content, we needed to work with Furniture Choice’s internal PR team to adapt the current strategy and ensure we could capitalise on existing content whilst maintaining a high volume of brand mentions and backlinks from key publications.
Prior to lockdown, our quarterly activity usually consisted of a data-led link building campaign supported by smaller tips-based content positioning the brand as an expert in their field. However, through our daily media monitoring, we noticed key target media were featuring more expert insight compared to solely data or survey led stories. And with national and lifestyle journalists calling out for health-related content as well as light-hearted, ‘feel-good’ news for consumers to indulge in alongside COVID-19 updates, we reviewed what content we could use to fit these requirements, and whether a big data-led campaign would still be the right approach.
Following an in-depth audit into key media titles and speaking with our press contacts, we worked with the internal PR team at Furniture Choice to adapt the strategy and increase the volume of content we would issue out to press, led by new and existing tips based press releases and expert commentary. This approach, as opposed to a more time-intensive data-led campaign, enabled us to be agile in the content we were creating and adapt quickly based on what journalists were asking for. Doing this meant we could stay present and adapt to the news agenda without restrictions, whilst maximising on existing data, campaign content and supporting press imagery.
During March and April we created and issued content focusing on the best way to sit on your sofa during lockdown to avoid back pain, interior tips to boost wellbeing and productivity when working from home, how to celebrate Easter whilst social distancing and mindful DIY crafts you can do at home during lockdown. This activity, alongside ongoing press office support, led to us achieving a high volume of coverage and links across national, lifestyle, interiors, property, HR/business and health publications.
Since adapting the strategy in March, the team has achieved:
41 pieces of coverage
11 followed links
19 pieces of Tier A coverage
Amthal Karim - UK Marketing Manager: “We’ve worked with the team at Epiphany/Jaywing PR for an extensive period of time and are really appreciative of how well the team understands our brand values, and how the Earned Media activity fits in with our overall marketing strategy. We were really impressed by how the team worked alongside our internal team to quickly adapt to the changing media landscape and position the brand as a real authority in the industry. The volume and quality of coverage achieved is exactly what we want from the Earned Media activity.”