Never have news sites - or the internet in general - been more saturated with content than they are today. Refresh a news page 30 minutes after opening it and it’ll likely be filled with umpteen more stories, each vying for your attention.
Coupled with the fact that news desk teams have shrunk significantly in the last twenty years, it’s not hard to figure out why substandard PR stories and ideas struggle to cut through the noise and make it onto the web pages of quality media sites.
So how can you make sure your PR content gets the coverage it deserves in 2021? Well, double and triple checking that your ideas are practically bulletproof should be priority number one.
Great PR ideas come in many different guises but they tend to share a few qualities. First, they elicit an emotional response - whether that be shock, intrigue, humour, nostalgia, or even anger in some circumstances. On top of that, they should offer audiences something new and unique, and most of the time - but not always - they should be somewhat relevant to a brand’s core offering or purpose in one way or another.
If you can tick all of these boxes AND find a story or content angle that’s relevant to what’s happening in the world today, you can’t really go wrong.
But how do you come up with these ideas in the first place? Luckily, the internet boasts a wealth of resources to make it easier.
Here are some of our go-to's:
1. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a search listening tool that tracks, collates and alerts you to the important questions being asked on Google. You can use it to find out what people are searching about certain topics, and come up with content ideas that help answer those questions.
Try it here: answerthepublic.com
BuzzSumo scans billions of articles and social posts so you can harvest meaningful insights about what people are talking about at that moment. This tool is constantly crawling the web and social media feeds to bring you the most popular content in any niche. BuzzSumo is great for making sure ideas are relevant to the here and now, and that they’re covering topics that people are actually talking and therefore bothered about online.
Try it here: buzzsumo.com
You can use Ahrefs for lots of different things. When it comes to ideation and brainstorms, the ‘Content Explorer’ tool allows you to search for any word or phrase and find relevant pages with useful SEO and social media metrics. You can also use it to check out what your competitors are talking about and where their stories and content are being placed.
Try it here: ahrefs.com
Nothing beats a good, old fashioned scroll through Twitter to see what’s trending and what people are Tweeting about. When it comes to trending topics, try to think outside of the box (as much as we all hate that overused phrase). You might not immediately think that a topic is relevant to your client or brand, but if you’re creative about it, you could find an appropriate angle.
Yep, Reddit is great for something other than memes - who knew? In fact, there are loads of subreddits that can provide content inspiration. A couple of my favourites are r/DataIsBeautiful and r/MapPorn. You could also join subreddits that are relevant to your client’s business or brand to see what people are discussing in those communities.
6. TikTok and Instagram
Stories based on TikTok and Instagram data generally do really well. You can use hashtag data to see the kind of things people are talking about within your sector, for example. They’re good to keep an eye on for general trends and “crazes” too, which you can hop on the back of.
7. Google Trends
Google data is one of the most easily accessible - but powerful - tools for content creation. The website analyses the popularity of top search queries and uses graphs to compare the volume of different queries over time. Data can be split down across various regions too, meaning regional stories and campaigns are achievable.