As a practice, link-building has a somewhat poor reputation. At best, it’s seen as some soulless email fired out to a list of contacts with varying relevance. At worst, it’s a drudge through hundreds of self-submission sites that bring little value to the client.
Above all here at Tank, we are creative communicators. In a world where many digital PR agencies would prefer to keep a computer screen between their staff and any journalist, we understand the need to stand out and give the press something valuable in return when we’re asking for a link.
Last week we organised a press day with our client, Throstlenest Saddlery, an equestrian equipment shop and riding school. Knowing that a lot of adults would love to ride horses but have never had the chance, we invited journalists and bloggers to come along and have a complimentary lesson and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the horses.
The attendees learnt about the different types of saddles, bridles and girths, riding hats, jackets and boots before getting to meet the horse they’d be riding. After grooming and tacking up, everyone headed to the ménage to learn the basics of mounting, turning, trotting and dismounting – made even more exciting by the presence of a photographer for a national magazine.
We finished the day with more pictures of horses for glossy blogs and websites and even recorded an interview for a radio station.
With such a fantastic resource like the stables at our disposal, there’s no way our digital campaign should be limited to blasting out an email begging for a link back. Whatever we’re sending out to the press, the relationship needs to be reciprocal. In return for a unique, fun and exciting day out in the countryside with beautiful horses and lovely people, we ensured our client received some quality links in the right places – not to mention some brilliant coverage singing the saddlery’s praises. Not a bad day’s work for anyone, really.
Just because we’re dealing in digital doesn’t mean we can’t give our work the human touch. While links might not flood in thick and fast, the relationships we’re building with the press at events like this ensure we’re front of mind should they need any contribution from us in the future. From taking the time to get to know these people, we know that finding a free day midweek in the summer is quite a struggle, so we’re already planning another event later in the year.