My Work in PRogress guest this month is the wonderful Abby Chinery, who is Creative Director at Reboot Online.
Abby is responsible for shaping the creative output of the team at Reboot, and works with a number of clients on creative link-building campaigns.
I loved this conversation with Abby in which she shares her fave things about working in digital PR, her best sources of inspiration and why it’s so important to always keep learning.
What is your ultimate shower song? (The song you can give a 10/10 Grammy-worthy performance on in your shower on a Saturday morning).
I think grammy-worthy might be a slight exaggeration – but I can definitely rap out the entirety of Lose Yourself by Eminem WITHOUT STUTTERING.
What are your favourite things about your job?
Having done Digital PR for a number of years now, I’ve been involved at every level- from an exec, to PR manager and now to creative director. This has helped me realise that there is SO MUCH to love about our industry. If I had to cherry pick a few of my favourite things:
Getting to play around with data. I don’t do this as much now since we hired a team of data analysts- but finding a fresh, virgin dataset that you could use in a campaign was just the best feeling. Also, getting coverage in dream publications.
“I remember my first link in Harper’s Bazaar, it was a dream to get my content featured in an outlet that I’d read in my own time!”
As a creative director, I can feed directly into our PR team at a higher level – so one of my favourite things about this job is experimenting with new campaign ideas, new outreach methods, brainstorming techniques and actually getting to measure their success. I loved working on my campaigns as an exec but feeding into how the whole agency conducts PR is a great feeling.
What are your favourite topics to ideate around? Which niches do you think are harder or more competitive to build links in?
I think it’s always easier to ideate around topics that you have a keen interest in – as it helps you understand the types of research that others like you would get excited about. For me, my favourite topics to ideate around are interiors, lifestyle and relationships.
Ultimately, after a while in DPR it’s not about loving to ideate for certain topics – rather it’s the thrill of getting something great from an ideation sesh – no matter the topic!
While I do love to come up with ideas in lifestyle niches, that’s not always to say they are the easiest niches to build links in.
Personally, I have had more success from campaigns in cybersecurity niches and football too – both are industries that I initially was not familiar with at all (nor particularly liked to ideate for!) I think it boils down more to the idea rather than the niche.
Saying that, I do think it can be harder for DPRs to build links for niches that journalists tend to be hesitant to link to (gambling, vaping etc), but it’s far from impossible and just takes a little more creativity to make the research irresistible to links!
What are your three favourite campaigns of all time?
I see so many amazing digital PR ideas out there all the time, but my three favourite campaigns that we have ever done at Reboot:
NETFLIX AND… CO2 EMISSIONS
This campaign looked at the CO2 emissions of streaming our favourite Netflix series.
The idea was actually sparked from a simple statistic the team dug up from a previous study, but it was just great timing- we were at the start of the UK’s first ever lockdown and Netflix streaming was prolific. I love this campaign because the idea was unique and really relevant – two important DPR ingredients!
It was our first one for this client, so when it got over 350 links for them, we were ecstatic.
Metal and jazz music have the happiest fans, new study finds
Quite a recent campaign from the team. I loved this campaign because, growing up as a goth (!), I know how fiercely protective fans can get over their favourite music genres. Some people base their whole identity and even friendship groups on the type of music they listen to, so the response to this campaign was really interesting. In general, I love campaigns that set about ranking and measuring things that you wouldn’t think are measurable – like happiness.
The Most Trolled NBA Players, Twitter Study Reveals
We actually paired up with SEMRush for the data on this and looked into the sentiment analysis of thousands of tweets regarding NBA players. The team was able to determine which NBA player had been subject to the most negative tweets.
This campaign is one of my faves because we were able to get the client some really great US links – across the pond link building is not the easiest task, as many a DPR can confirm – so this was a great achievement for us. We also got the attention of some top NBA players who tweeted about the study which made us completely starstruck. I also loved the idea of analysing tweets for negative or positive connotations – it’s a great way to analyse the plethora of social media data outside of hashtags and potential earnings.
Where are your favourite places to find inspiration?
I think I get most creative when doing really mundane tasks – I have thought up campaign ideas in the shower, driving home and doing household chores. There is something about being on autopilot that just opens up a new realm of imagination.
I also know that I’ve been inspired by a few of our office debates (what DOES constitute a top tier cake? Who IS the hottest premier league player??) – it’s one of the main reasons I miss working from the office – you were really able to get some interesting ideas from office chit chat!
I also love being inspired by others in the industry through twitter accounts such as DigitalPREx or JustDigitalPR.
Finally, what does being a work in progress mean to you? (Both professionally and personally).
Professionally speaking, the one thing I love about Digital PR is that you MUST be a constant work in progress. The media changes faster than seasons and so to keep up you always have to be on your toes and try out new things. So, to me, being a work in progress means never resting on your laurels, and always trying new tactics to improve on what you’re already doing. Unfortunately, in our industry there is a time limit to how long something will work well for – so it’s always good to be thinking ahead to the next thing.
I take the same approach to my personal life, if I’m not learning, I’m not happy. I truly believe that to be the best person you can be, you have to accept that you’ll always be a ‘work in progress’. For me, I’m always studying languages in my spare time (mainly French, Spanish, and Japanese) or if I’m not doing that then I’m reading literature or listening to history podcasts.
“I think being a work in progress as a human is always understanding that there is more out there to learn about humanity, from the past and present, and that the more you learn, the better human you can be.”
You can keep up with the wonderful Abby on Twitter here and LinkedIn here.