Tag Archives: PR ROI

Three PR case studies (techniques) for oil and gas, legal and accountancy

Over the last couple of months a few posts have gone up focusing on public relations techniques and PR case studies on this blog.

This post is just to bring them together.

The first two are perhaps more examples of PR techniques than strict case studies, but are nonetheless valuable overviews of how PR can results from a number of effective techniques.

Legal PR case study

The legal PR post shows how current news items can be utilised for PR purposes.

Financial PR case study

The second with a tax accountancy firm shows how creativity can bring results, even for professional services.

Oil and gas PR case study

The third a PR case study in its true sense for an oil and gas related company shows how PR can generate real results online in terms of Google profile and links – ROI can be shown from PR.

Oil and Gas PR case study – achieving results

Oil and gas PR case study

This is a recent oil and gas PR case study for Oil and Gas Job Search, a leading industry jobsite servicing a worldwide client base.

Oil and Gas Job Search in conjunction with Hays Oil & Gas produce an annual salary survey based on the responses of oil and gas professionals and recruiters from around the world.

In 2010, 7,000 surveys were completed and used to compile the 30 page report covering not only wages but sentiment and confidence in the industry.  In 2012, it was 14,000, making it the most comprehensive guide available to the industry.

Artisan was tasked with promoting the guide in December 2010 as its potential to generate and raise profile within the industry had not been fully exploited.

The campaigns aims were to:

  • Raise profile
  • Generate additional online profile in Google searches
  • Generate significant number of links from reputable and powerful sites
  • Result in downloads of the guide from new registrations

The following deals with the 2012 campaign, which started in mid-February.

Artisan began the campaign by producing and writing specific releases by country and industry i.e. logistics, HSE and engineering.  Some 15 releases were produced over the Christmas period and into early January to ensure all parties had plenty of time to review and sign-off.

The campaign kicked off with key selected journalists at specified target  publications being personally contacted prior to the launch.  The list was in part selected on the basis on those that had covered the survey in 2011 or had shown an interest but had not run the story.

This resulted in newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Scotsman using the Salary Guide as they had done a year previously, but also in newspapers such as Ted Daily Herald ( a Scottish national that had been interested in 2011 but had not gone further) doing a write-up of the salary survey.  Similarly, BBC Scotland had shown an interest in 2011 without going further, in 2012 there was a radio interview and a link from the BBC website.

This was followed up with press releases for a number of key group, which each had their own customised releases to address their interests, these included:

  • General world release
  • UK release
  • Scottish local press (as Aberdeen is a key hub for the industry) to target areas where many oil professionals and recruiters live
  • USA, Canada, Africa, Middle East, South America (translated into Brazilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish), Australia (distributed with good results by Hays (who also did well for Singapore)), Netherlands and Norway.
  • HSE, logistics, engineering, drilling engineers, graduates

Oil and Gas Job Search combined the PR by using blogs, LinkedIn and their own website to attract oil and gas professionals to download the guide.

The combined results were as follows:

  • 152 pieces of coverage worldwide, with notably strong coverage in the UK, Middle East, US, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Australia and Norway
  • Recruitment press covered the guide, such as onREC & The Recruiter as this is a key client target
  • Over 50 links generated – the value of links can range from £50 up to £1500
  • Over 60,000 guides to date downloaded
  • Dominance for terms “oil and gas salary guide” and “oil and gas” in first 10 pages in Google, including first 5 listed on page one.
  • Significant number (in the 10s of thousands) of new candidates registering

The increased brand strength, raised profile and the developing of the reputation of the client can also be factored in the analysing ROI.

This makes the Salary Guide a valuable PR tool that can make a significant contribution to being highly competitive in market that is not short of competition.

PR Case Study on Accountancy that shows a substantial Return on Investment

This PR case study on accountancy focuses on work with Simpson Burgess Nash on its launch that led into more communications.

Artisan was initially specifically instructed in getting an article in a magazine for medical professionals, Hospital Doctor, that resulted in a new client for the practice from content placed.  (Another two pieces was placed during subsequent work).

Following on from this success – the MBO launch featured prominently in the Manchester Evening News– and Artisan was hired to do some more work.

The work for Simpson Burgess Nash centred around issues such as tax relief for R&D and capital allowance changes that gained significant coverage – 12 magazines published articles (usually 300-600 words) for capital allowance changes alone.

Work resulted from a piece in one of the care homes magazines that published the capital allowance article – Mark Simpson, the practice’s tax specialist was at a social event when a long-standing contact mentioned he had read the piece, hadn’t realised Mark offered such expertise, and could he help with a new care home he was launching.

PR often combines well with networking.

Good timely PR coverage can significantly aid networking and bring to the attention of potential clients services that they often overlook.

(The following link is for another piece that resulted in a new client)


At times it was possible to be creative such as the tax implications of having a business in a virtual world such as Second Life, where transactions take place on property that only exists on the Internet.

This was used in four magazines, one of which is linked to here:


The amount of coverage is estimated from the first 10 days of work to have an advertising value of around £100,000 – a budget that was not available for marketing and PR.

“Rob is a master at getting your business into the media – TV, radio and print. His contacts book must be worth more than a penny black! He is diligent, full of creative ideas and has secured our firm tremendous publicity across a wide range of outlets.”

PR testimonial

Mark Simpson tax saving director at accountancy practice Simpson Burgess Nash


Legal PR Case study: specialist wills, trusts and probate solicitors Lane-Smith & Shindler

Legal PR case studyPR is still a mystery to many law firms, perhaps interested in what PR can do but unsure because it is seen as hard to measure, is wishy washy or they have not considered it because they do not have the information to make a judgement.  With this in mind I have written this legal PR case study (well effective PR techniques in a legal setting) to show how public relations works:

Lane-Smith & Shindler, specialist private client wills, trust & probate solicitors

Malcolm McLaren and the issue of wills and probate outside the UK

This technique uses current news and issues to gain coverage for clients, it represents about a day’s work:

Malcolm McLaren passed away leaving a contested will.  His son challenged the will on the basis of legal jurisdiction (it was drawn up in Switzerland) as well McLaren’s mental state and his failure to make reasonable financial provision for him under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

A small piece was spotted about this in The Times, a few short paragraphs that were easy to miss.  It was used then as a way to broach the subject, owing to its topicality, to journalists in the following newspapers and magazines:

Daily Mail


Expat Money Channel


Wealth Briefing for high networth individuals (you will need to register to view)


A Place in the Sun (companion title to popular TV series)

Swiss Lump Sum Tax – online and offline covered

Lane-Smith & Shindler had a Zurich based office and were keen to warn high networth individuals looking to move to Switzerland to take advantage of the Swiss Lump Sum Tax that they should be aware of the less generous tax regime that was coming in the following year.

While it was key to tell hard copy press, it was also key to dominate online searches.

Around the end of 2010 careful targeting of media ensured that anyone looking for information on the Swiss Lump Sum Tax on Google could not fail to notice that nearly half of the sites listed for the first two pages originated material from Law-Smith & Shindler.  (The position has changed over 12 months, so it is important to keep good content flowing if you want to maintain position).

Moreover the Lane-Smith & Shindler blog and Artisan blog ensured that a presence was maintained to complement the online wealth magazines.

Magazines such as Investor Today and Wealth Briefing ran the press releases online, the latter using an in-depth article with links to the Lane-Smith & Shindler blog to help ranking status.

The value of these initiatives easily runs into thousands of pounds (for the advertising costs of gaining the coverage).

They are both about a day’s PR work.

The contract with Lane-Smith & Shindler came to an end owing to a merger with DWF and hence the in-house marketing department of DWF took over the PR.

The firm was very happy with the work and results and gave this testimonial:

“Rob has really helped our PR effort and clearly knows a lot of the right people in publishing. Unlike other firms we have used in the past he makes most of the running himself rather than expecting us to do the work.”

Paul Davies partner at Lane-Smith & Shindler

Making a return on investment from PR

I usually give out tips but this time I want to talk about return on investment from PR.

I do a lot of work for small businesses and they want to know what they get for their money.

It’s absolutely fair to ask. They have to make business decisions on limited budgets that pay off. But when they get the reply I suspect sound judgement does not always feature in their decision-making.

As long as PR spend generates more money than is invested then surely it is worth pursuing, especially as it can a very high return. After nepotism and recommendation it is the most cost effective way to generate business.

I am generalising. Some businesses use expos best to their advantage others tele-marketing, but on the whole I am happy to argue my point. You have to spend your money in the best way for your enterprise.

However, the cost of PR is highly cost effective. You do not pay papers to get coverage. All you pay for is the PR guy’s time.

Let me demonstrate by contrasting with direct marketing.

Consider how much time, energy and costs go into a direct mail campaign for instance: materials, printers, postage, copy, designers etc. Average return on investment for a direct mail campaign: 1% is a high return, usually about half of that.

PR works on a number of levels for return on investment:

  • Enhancing brand image: many see mailers as junk, not the best association, getting published has the opposite message
  • Building awareness: 400,000 read the Manchester Evening News. How many people receive your mailers? Could you afford to send 400,000 mailers?
  • Supporting other marketing activities: you go networking, the other person has seen you in a recent article, imagine the effect that has in building confidence in youInquiries: a good product or service will lead to clients coming to you

It is this last return which I want to mention. One inquiry that leads to a sale for some products or services pays for the PR spend. Any more and it is profit.

Your product sells for £10? Well it is easier to generate inquiries for smaller value products.

If you do not agree do not risk your money on any sales or marketing and see what happens or worse still nothing happens.

Business is about risk and limiting that risk. PR can be done with little risk – or spend if you prefer – but has high potential.

But do it well. I see many people who get in Obscure Area Times or Back and beyond Gazette and think they have done well and miss the real opportunity.

Good PR will, as will good networking, pay dividends but only if you invest.