Digital PR Spotlight: 3 campaigns we loved in April 2024

April: the month of pranks, spring sunshine and, this year, some wonderful digital PR campaigns. So, you know the drill – grab a cuppa, sit back and check out what the industry got up to last month. We look at three great campaigns, the coverage they gained and why they worked:

Jack’s Flight Club: JFC’s Full English Airport Index

If you’re a travel lover, you’d best be signed up for Jack’s Flight Club – an email newsletter and mobile app focusing on helping subscribers find cheap flights, using flight deal alerts. 

Last month, they launched their Full English Airport Index; a study of the cost of a Full English in each UK airport. Because, as we all know – there’s no place we’re more willing to shell out a ridiculous sum on a low-quality brekkie than the airport.

In case you’re curious, JFC discovered that Newcastle International boasts the cheapest full English brekkie at £10.09, while London City took the rip-off spot, with theirs costing a whopping £18.50. 

This campaign secured 14 backlinks to its landing page, alongside several more to the homepage, with the stand-out piece being the Daily Mail – a publication notoriously tricky to land coverage in.

Standout coverage

  • Daily Mail (DA 94): Come fry with me! The UK’s cheapest and priciest airports for a full English breakfast revealed
  • Mirror (DA 94): UK’s cheapest airport breakfasts as travellers get hit with £18.50 fry-up costs
  • The Sun (DA 94): PLANE GREEDY Look at what £18 gets you for a fry-up at the UK’s most expensive airport
  • Bristol Live (DA 81): This is where you’ll find the UK’s cheapest airport fry up – and it’s more than £10
  • Manchester Evening News (DA 90): Manchester Airport named second cheapest airport for a fry up in the UK
  • Lancs Live (DA 68): Manchester Airport named second cheapest in UK for full English breakfast

Why it worked

The success of a Digital PR campaign is always in the idea – and despite being incredibly simple, this one hit the nail on the head. The full English breakfast is a beloved national dish in the UK, making the campaign relevant and relatable across generations.

Tying this idea into the theme of airports not only made the theme relevant to Jack’s Flight Club but also added an element of humour and lighthearted grumbling to the campaign. Airports are notorious for their overpriced food, but somehow, our perception of a good deal magically flies out of the window once we’re through security.

Highlighting the price differences between airports across the UK added a strong regional spin. Journalists are more likely to cover stories that are relevant to their local audience and with 15 airports featuring in the campaign, it was no surprise that it secured plenty of regional coverage.

RAC: Pothole Index

If there’s one topic that seems to get the British public wound up, it’s potholes. RAC patrols attended nearly 30,000 pothole-related breakdowns throughout 2023, up by 33% in just one year.

The RAC (or should we call them the pothole saviours?!) jumped on this unfortunate trend to create the ‘RAC Pothole Index’ which detailed key statistics and data surrounding potholes across the country.

Unsurprisingly, the page has already generated 46 backlinks, with coverage in highbrow publications such as The Guardian and the BBC, alongside plenty of trade press.

Stand out coverage

  • Road condition statistics – a basic guide and quality assessment
  • The Guardian: Broken roads and broken necks: life in pothole Britain
  • BBC: Potholes: What are they and why are they dangerous?
  • New Civil Engineer: AI, predictive maintenance and the pothole money-pit
  • Motability: How to drive safely on pothole-laden roads
  • Cycling UK: How to handle potholes on a bike

Why it worked

Similar to the subject of airport food prices, potholes are universally frustrating.

The RAC noted that they were called out to 5,153 breakdowns caused by potholes in 2023, the highest amount for any October to December period since 2017. The index suggests drivers are more than one-and-a-half times as likely to experience pothole damage as they were 15 years ago, meaning the campaign resonates with a huge portion of the population.

It’s fair to say that reputation plays a role here. Founded in 1897, the RAC is a well-known and highly-trusted brand within the motoring world. With access to extensive data on breakdowns caused by potholes through their roadside assistance services, their data and insights are credible – owing to them being cited by the government.

By shining a light on pothole data in specific regions, with Derbyshire holding the potholes per region, with 90,596 – followed by Lancashire (67,439) and Northumberland (51,703) – the campaign also has potential for local outreach in the future.

Who Gives a Crap: Sending toilet paper to Uranus

It wouldn’t be an April digital PR round-up without an April Fool’s campaign – and we’ve found the perfect one! Who Gives a Crap – Europe’s most sustainable paper, with the highest BCorp score and the lowest carbon waste – announced that they’d be sending their toilet paper to Uranus.

Why, you ask? In their own words, ‘With billionaires chucking cars into space and taking their midlife crises to the moon, we thought it was time to do something truly meaningful. And when we found out the aerospace industry was sending a spacecraft to our second favourite planet, we saw an opportunity. Discovering Uranus is literally filled with gas, that just sealed the deal.’

Makes total sense, right? Who Gives A Crap announced their mission across their social media platforms on April 1st. Although they only gained eight pieces of coverage, it was still a good result for such a simple campaign and made their audience laugh to boot.

Stand out coverage

  • Mumbrella: Who Gives a Crap embarks on a mission to Uranus
  • Sky News: April Fool’s Day round-up: From drug-detecting chickens to Aldi’s new dating show
  • Metro: The best April Fool’s Day jokes from brands
  • The Grocer: The best foodie pranks brands pulled this April Fool’s Day
  • Marketing Beat: April Fool’s Day 2024: the best pranks, stunts and fake news

Why it worked

The core of the campaign’s appeal lies in its toilet humour. Uranus, the name of the planet, is a well-known source of childish jokes – and pairing it with toilet paper, Who Gives A Crap’s core product, creates an immediate funny factor. This perfectly aligns with the brand’s tone, who is known for being light-hearted, cheeky and down-to-earth.

It’s also fairly absurd – sending toilet paper to another planet? What, why? This ludicrous idea grabs attention and makes the campaign inherently shareable, making it tailor-made for social media.

Although this campaign didn’t generate huge amounts of coverage, it was still a great way to boost brand awareness. If people didn’t know who Who Gives a Crap was previously, they might now – the brand that wanted to send toilet paper to Uranus.

This campaign shows the brand isn’t afraid to laugh at itself, making them appear more relatable and approachable to potential customers and further helping to build their brand personality.

Alice Lang
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