2022 in Links: Our Favourite Digital PR Campaigns This Year

The festive season is in full swing, which means we’re slowly becoming surrounded by mulled wine and mince pies, and the end of the year is upon us. At Propellernet, we take the opportunity once a month to shout about a small selection of the links that our wonderful PR team has secured over the last 30 days (you can find the threads each month here on our Twitter), but this year we’ve also taken the opportunity to dive deeper and choose our favourite campaign from each format we’ve tested out.

With the digital PR industry bigger and better than ever, more great people doing great work and an ever-growing population of professionals and brands across the globe coming to understand the importance (and impact) of what we do – there are more ideas floating around the net than ever before. Keep reading to discover which formats have sparked the most joy for us this year, and which ideas in particular have secured the most quality pieces of coverage and links for our clients.


Our Favourite Data-led Campaigns

        • Mozillion’s Mobile Gaming Report 2022
        • Kuoni – The World’s Most Beautiful Sights
        • Premier Inn – The Most Beautiful Cities by Night
        • GetAgent – The Most Beautiful Streets Around the World
        • Beauty Pie – Revealed: The Best (and Worst) Profession for Your Skin
        • Rated People’s Home Improvement Trends Report 2022

Our Favourite Creative Campaigns

        • PureGym’s ‘Gym Tester’
        • Pour Moi – Meet Melanie: The Woman Who Has Worn a Badly Fitting Bra for Decades
        • Secret Linen Store’s Clean Sheets Calculator
      • Scrap Car Comparison’s Bacteria Study
      • My 1st Years – The World’s Most Beautiful Sounding Names, According to Science



Our Favourite Data-led Campaigns

Best Use of Google Search Data

Mozillion’s Mobile Gaming Report 2022

Why: Tasked with gaining links into an online mobile marketplace, we explored ideas and themes surrounding handheld technology and devised a beastly campaign that revolved primarily around Google Search Data – enter Mozillion’s Mobile Gaming Report 2022. 

How: We compiled a seedlist of over 130 of the most popular mobile games, and ranked them according to three different factors: which ones were being searched for the most, which games people seemed to need the most help with and which games took the longest to complete. Digging through Google’s Keyword Planner (a lifeline for any Digital PR), we were able to find the search volumes for the games themselves, and for phrases such as “[game] + cheats” or “[game] + walkthrough” to work out which ones were leaving people the most baffled. We also took a quick peek at a site called howlongtobeat.com, to discover which games were keeping players glued to their screens for the longest amount of time. 

What we loved about this campaign: “When we started working with Mozillion, a newcomer to the mobile phone industry, we knew that to help them start ranking, we would need highly relevant links. With billions of people playing mobile games each day, there’s not many topics more relevant than that! Google search data is a tried and tested source for us, but pairing this with the more gaming-centric data on howlongtobeat.com really helped this to stand out, which comes through in the report being covered by titles like Pocket Gamer. Links like this have had a big impact on Mozillion’s visibility, and it all came down to keeping things relevant to their products, as well as their customers”. Richard Paul, Creative Director [PR]



Best Use of Tripadvisor Data

Kuoni – The World’s Most Beautiful Sights

Why: Travel may have taken a hiatus during the pandemic, but the industry steadily and slowly roared back into life in 2022. In order to gain links into Kuoni’s website, we needed to ideate around themes of travel and adventure, and so we took to Tripadvisor to pull data surrounding the global sights that international travellers have deemed the most beautiful. 

How: We took a list of over 267 different cities around the planet, and using the ‘Things to Do’ section of Tripadvisor’s website, analysed how many of the reviews for each of those sights mentioned the word ‘beautiful’ in order to rank the best spots around the world for your viewing pleasure.

What we loved about this campaign:Highlighting the visual beauty of destinations is often key to the success of travel campaigns; what could be more appealing than pining over breathtaking landscapes? We wanted to leverage this but were keen to use a unique methodology – and one that was based on reviews of people who had actually visited the place they were raving about! That’s where scraping TripAdvisor reviews came in. By analysing the number of mentions of ‘beautiful’ for each natural wonder, we were able to provide a unique and robust ranking of destinations, many of which Kuoni provides holidays in, allowing the campaign to satisfy a trifecta of high brand relevance, beautiful imagery, and a unique methodology that journalists could sink their teeth into.” – Alessandra Carriban, Digital PR Manager




Best Use of Social Media

Premier Inn – The Most Beautiful Cities by Night 

Why: When it comes to specific industries, like hotel chains, sometimes you need to think outside of the box. It’s not always possible to create stories around the exact product or service that our clients offer, so we need to dig deeper and investigate the themes that interest the audiences of the brands we’re creating our campaigns for. When doing this for hotel chain Premier Inn, we decided to take to Instagram to investigate what the individuals staying there might do beyond sleeping and eating.

How: We took a seedlist of 253 cities from around the globe, and scraped Instagram data in order to find out how many posts existed for each city under the hashtag #[city]bynight, to reveal the most popular cities for a late night adventure.

What we loved about this campaign: “After two years with very limited travelling, I think we were long overdue some lighthearted travel news! The story was well-timed, piquing tourists’ interests as they cautiously started to travel again, at the same time as piquing the interest of global travel publications hoping to inspire the same message – particularly regionals who love to shout about their home cities performing well in the rankings. Premier Inn hotels are largely based in towns and cities in and around the UK, as well as some locations in Europe, so what better way to bring relevance into our campaign by talking about exactly what these towns and cities have to offer? Meanwhile seamlessly linking to our city break landing pages within the content.” – Jas Bradley, Digital PR Executive



Best Use of Technology

GetAgent – The Most Beautiful Streets Around the World

Why: Property experts GetAgent needed authoritative links into their website, so we delved into the thoughts that surround the home buying process, for both home sellers and buyers – and found ourselves tapping into the well known phenomenon of curb appeal. What makes a street so appealing to those who might live there? We used a new eye-tracking technology to find out. 

How: We collated a seedlist of 50 of the world’s most well-known and beautiful streets, and showed the images to a study group of 40 participants. Eye-tracking software was used to record how many times the participants’ eyes were drawn to look at each street image, and how long the participants stared at each image. The average fixation time was then used to rank each street according to how eye-catching members of the study found it to be.

What we loved about this campaign: “I find using eye-tracking as a data source so fascinating, as it reveals a split second human instinct that can make for such interesting findings. Combining a unique data source with something as visually appealing as beautiful streets, it’s a match made in link heaven.” Louise Parker, head of PR 




Best Index

Beauty Pie – Revealed: The Best (and Worst) Professions for Your Skin

Why: In an industry as saturated as beauty and skincare, how do you cut through the noise? We decided to investigate the impact that the world around us might have on your skin, to help provide some expert insight to those who might be having skin struggles due to their professional and everyday surroundings.

How: We created a ‘Skin Stress Index Score’ using 18 different ‘skin-stressing’ factors, i.e. working late, or stress levels, and ranked a number of professions from a total of 13 different industries according to these. Each profession was given a score according to which of the ‘skin-stressing’ factors occurred within it, and the total scores were then converted to an index score out of 100 – creating an overall ranking for the professions that are best and worst for your skin.

What we loved about this campaign: “This campaign was a great example of how you can use survey data to go beyond just gauging sentiment from the general public. By surveying British workers from 13 different industries – ranging from sports and leisure to the legal industry – we were able to discover how often people experience various skin-stressing factors. This allowed us to use real-life insights on top of data from the survey which is a double whammy for journalists! It also gave us great scope to reach out to niche publications relating to each of the sectors included in the study.”Maddie Davies, Senior Digital PR Executive




Best Report

Rated People’s Home Improvement Trends Report 2022

Why: We’ve been securing quality links into Rated People’s site for almost five years now. Luckily for us, the find-a-tradesperson platform has a wealth of unique and valuable data on the ways homeowners are adapting and improving their homes each year, and they challenged us to do something impactful with the data. Enter the annual Home Improvement Trends Report, which is now in its fourth edition. It covers the biggest trends in the industry, from how to boost your home’s value, to insights into why there aren’t more tradeswomen in the UK, and how tradespeople can capitalise on opportunities in the industry.

How: For the 2022 report, we analysed over 800,000 home improvement jobs posted on Rated People as well as interviewing thousands of tradespeople and homeowners across the UK. We also analysed industry data from .Gov as well as social data on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and search volume insights from Google. We designed the report to provide six months worth of digital PR campaigns, all from one hero piece of content. This means it’s a link-building machine as well as an evergreen piece of content that pulls in links long after pitching has stopped.

What we loved about this campaign: “I am obsessed with all things home improvement and interior design, so this is a passion project for me. The report is packed full of insights and data points and that means it’s incredibly relevant to a huge number of different audiences – from homeowners and tradespeople, to the media, suppliers and other businesses within the industry. So even after pitching has stopped, coverage and links keep coming in – journalists keep the report to hand and quote useful facts and stats in different articles they write, and other content creators also quote key insights that are specifically relevant to their field. It’s a joy to see how well known and respected the report is now, and the results speak for themselves.”Hannah Adams, PR Director





Our Favourite Creative Campaigns

Best For Engagement

PureGym’s ‘Gym Tester’

Why: We all know and love the concept of the ‘dream job’, and while some can seem somewhat far-fetched… there are many on offer that tie back beautifully to the brand in a highly relevant way. With PureGym we decided to hire a real-life gym tester, to try out their gyms and feedback with real, honest thoughts. Bonus points? Some incredibly relevant high DA coverage, with links back to the PureGym site.

How: We set out the terms and conditions of the role on the PureGym website, and pitched out details of the requirements and application process to journalists around the UK – where applicants needed to be based. 

What we loved about this campaign: “It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that campaigns offering the job of a lifetime are simple to execute, but at the end of the day, they need to feel relevant and not completely off base. This campaign worked so well because the job ultimately made sense. And the real bonus is providing journalists with a tangible, irrefutable reason to link back to your client’s website – by way of offering real value to their readers. Everybody wins!” – Chloe Tickner, Digital PR Executive




Best Image-led Visualisation

Pour Moi – Meet Melanie: The Woman Who Has Worn a Badly Fitting Bra for Decades

Why: In order to gain links back into lingerie brand Pour Moi’s website, we needed to tap into the psyche of its consumers – people with boobs, and the problems they might face as a result of them. When ideating around this subject, we decided to look into the real-life impact that occurs when people don’t get their bras fitted correctly.

How: We surveyed bra-wearers to uncover the truth behind our lingerie habits, how long we wear the same bra, how often we get fitted for a new bra and what feelings (both good and bad) we have when wearing our bras. We then partnered with a sports therapist with expertise in body corrective exercise, and a GP, to produce an extreme visual representation of what your body might look like after having spent years wearing an ill-fitting bra.

What we loved about this campaign:This campaign was a great way to visually show people the long-term implications of wearing the wrong-sized bra. With Pour Moi being experts in bra fittings, we wanted to find a creative way to show the importance of getting regular fittings and ‘Melanie’ was a great way to get people talking. Also having the experts on board really helped us add credibility to the campaign and allowed us to offer a solution to a problem we know a lot of women are facing when wearing an incorrectly sized bra.” – Megan Salter, Senior Digital PR Executive




Best Tool

Secret Linen Store’s Clean Sheets Calculator

Why: When devising new campaigns, sometimes it’s the long-held beliefs or common myths that can help shape a thought into a piece that feels relevant for both the brand and relatable to its consumers. This is exactly the road we went down when ideating for Secret Linen Store, and led us to investigate the long-debated question, how often should you actually be changing your bedsheets?

How: We took a number of factors, such as whether your pets sleep on your bed with you, how often you have sex in your sheets, whether you eat/drink in bed, whether you sleep naked, and even how often you wash/sweat or use fake tan – to create a tool that works out exactly how often you should be swapping your sheets for a fresh set.

What we loved about this campaign: “This campaign caught the media’s attention thanks to the topic matter landing in that sweet spot between universally relatable, yet also controversial – and not smutty! One of our strategic goals for Secret Linen Store campaigns is to promote their green ethos and the Clean Sheets Calculator allowed us to promote this message, with the calculator encouraging people to save energy by washing their sheets less than they think they should, and providing tips on spot-cleaning to help your bed linen last longer between washes.” Stephanie Finch, PR Director




Best Use of an External Expert/Scientific Study

Scrap Car Comparison’s Bacteria Study

Why: Any Digital PR knows it can be tricky to breathe new life into industries where you might feel somewhat limited in your audience, and the topics you can discuss. This is the obstacle we faced with Scrap Car Comparison, so we pushed ourselves to think outside of the box. With drivers using their vehicles for everything from the school run to dog walks, we wanted to find out just how dirty our cars really are, and whether drivers are cleaning their vehicles thoroughly enough. 

How: We joined forces with Dr Jonathan Cox, a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at Aston University to conduct a study, where we sampled various cars and incubated each sample under controlled circumstances in order to stain and identify the bacterial growth that occurred. Our study revealed that the boot was the most heavily bacteria-contaminated area of all the cars, with 1,425 bacteria identified within the research. Did you know your car boot is dirtier than the average toilet?! 

What we loved about this campaign: “Our findings that most car interiors contain faecal bacteria and are more dirty than the average toilet shocked drivers around the world, and led to media attention far and wide. Scrap Car Comparison are on a mission to help people be safer drivers, and so conducting a University-backed campaign was a really fun way to promote this. Working with a well-respected microbiologist such as Dr Cox on the shoot and campaign was a total honour, and having his expert advice supporting the findings of the study really helped us to secure coverage across online media, radio and TV – which was really exciting for the whole team to see!” Abi Bennetts, Digital PR Manager




My 1st Years – The World’s Most Beautiful Sounding Names, According to Science

Why: Baby names are big business, but we’ve seen campaign after campaign revealing the most popular or unpopular names every year as soon as the ONS data comes out – so how do we add something new to the conversation that’s also useful and relevant to our client and their customers? We decided to go down the scientific study route again and partnered with an expert in iconicity (or ‘sound symbolism’)  to decipher why some names appeal to us more than others.

How: We partnered with an Associate Professor in Cognitive Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, who worked with us to use the most recent theories of linguistics to rank the current 100 most popular baby names for boys and girls. We then used a system laid out in Adelman et al. (2018)’s paper to attribute valence scores to the sounds in each name, before ranking them according to which names really sound the best to the human ear.

What we loved about this campaign: “This campaign was a really fun one to work on, mainly due to the unique and original methodology used. We’ve seen many a baby name campaign before, but wanted to add a completely fresh twist to what is often a tried-and-tested format, in order to elevate it and take it one step further. Getting stuck into academic papers and working with an expert in the field helped us to create a strong basis for our campaign, and end up with a finished product that we were really confident in – while being completely on target for My 1st Year’s audience and tone. Looking at the coverage gained, the press clearly loved it too!” – Charlotte Brown, Digital PR Executive




Feeling inspired to try out a new format, or even dip your toes into the world of Digital PR yourself? You can find more of our case studies here to see the business impact of our campaigns, or find out more about the work we do in the Digital PR team here and listen to our new Digital PR podcast!