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Adding value and innovating in digital PR


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Sam Cobden
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Let’s be real. Digital PR can be pure chaos. You can do everything right and still lose.

In this little guide we’ll talk about how you can take that situation and, with some persistence and a refusal to settle for less, get results by innovating in Digital PR.

We’re going to walk you through what happened with one of our clients, and how we turned our Digital PR services around to generate a shit ton of links. We also learnt a few things in the process which we’re good enough to share with you. 

We’ll get started shall we…


Not every problem has the same solution

In 2022 we had an automotive client. This particular client specialised in the buying and selling of vans for the private and commercial sectors. Their main goal was to drive relevant traffic to the site and increase their authority. Standard Digital PR fodder.

We’d hit the commercial angle pretty hard with some of our campaigns, but they just weren’t achieving the results that we knew that we could get.

We needed to change up our tactics and find something new.

Instead of the commercial market, we decided to focus on the private buyer sector instead.


A new angle: Vanlife

During our research, we decided to do a campaign on Vanlife.

Vanlife is the practice of taking a commercial style van and, with some DIY, turning it into a camper van. During the pandemic, Vanlife became incredibly popular. A lot of people were doing it themselves at home, which led to an increase in Google searches. People were wanting to learn how to do it and, as with all great post millennium stories, it started with a search.

We thought it would be a great basis for a campaign, so we went for it.

Rather than fall back on our classic methodologies like data however, we decided to go for something new. The real life angle is something that’s incredibly popular in Digital PR, but we’d never done it for this kind of client before.

We decided to experiment. 

And so began several days of reaching out to a number of online accounts on Instagram and simply asking them their story.

We took those responses and turned it into a campaign, pairing it with advice from our client to help aspiring Vanlifers find the perfect project for them.


The results from innovating in Digital PR

The campaign was an unfettered success and generated links on regional, national and even international press across the board.

It saw a stacked increase in domain authority for our client and a 240% increase in referring domains. No exaggeration necessary. 

It was so successful that we decided to do it again. We took what we learnt, refined the process and created a completely new campaign.

Once we pitched that out it managed to generate links on Yahoo Style, the Express, AOL, MSN and more. Coverage and links = Digital PR rainbows and pots of gold.



A lot goes into a solid Digital PR campaign and, the truth is, it’s not always going to work out the way you want it to.

But rather than try the same old tactics, it’s worth experimenting and innovating in Digital PR.

We did and it paid off.

The Vanlife campaign shows that audiences appreciate real stories about real people. Don’t bend over to please an algorithm. Just provide actual value. That value is going to look different for each client and each campaign, but being willing to innovate is what will get you there. Resting on your laurels is so 2021.

Google keeps bashing out helpful content style updates, even inexplicably adding an extra e- to e-e-a-t. Now more than ever, giving the people what they really really want is what will pay off. So try something new. Or get Dark Horse’s Digital PR show boaters to do it for you. 

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