Welcome to a special edition of Content, Curated. In this issue we’re embarking on a nostalgia trip, going back in time to when infographics reigned supreme and journos were dishing out (followed) links like they were going out of fashion.
Back then it was easy to build dozens of links with pretty modest budgets. Armed with a well designed infographic and a vaguely unique idea, you could bag links from top publications purely based upon the fact that the format was fresh and novel.
They continued to work well for a good number of years, despite how relentlessly they were churned out, until we reached the point of diminishing returns. Journalists became buried underneath a suffocating pile of needlessly long .jpg’s, that were often impossible to read on mobile, and weren’t even the best format to display the information in the first place.
On top of this, it became really hard to come up with fresh ideas for infographics. There was a point where infographics about ‘fiction’ (fictional characters, fictional plants etc.) worked really well, so what did we do? We made a bloody infographic on fiction within fiction.
What’s even more ridiculous than the idea itself, is that this piece got over 30 pieces of coverage from the likes of Adweek, Mental Floss and Fast Company. I’ll leave you with this final example to underline how much easier things were back then: Iconic Walls Visualised.
These examples would probably fall flat on their faces if outreached today, but there are plenty of examples from years ago that have stood the test of time. The first section of this month’s highlights some of these.
Made something you’re proud of? I’d love to see it! Send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org 💌
Nostalgic Content ⏳
The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People 🎨
This piece has aged really well and still continues to attract links today. Originally released in 2014 (I think?), it’s attracted nearly 900 separate linking root domains.
Evolution of James Bond Cars 🚗
Shoutout to Jo Price for reminding me of this one, and giving me the idea of exploring older pieces in this issue. The Evolution of James Bond Cars dates way back to 2012, with coverage from nearly 1,000 linking root domains.
Every Dress Worn By Best Actress Academy Award Winners 📽️
This piece (Visual.ly link for added nostalgia) still crops up during meetings and ideation sessions. The original site that hosted the piece is now dead and the URL has 152 domains pointing to it, but in reality it built a boat load of links at the time.
Shark Attack 🦈
A huge graphic, but it’s one of the only instances where it’s required in order to get the message across. Simple, emotive and hard-hitting.
The Small Business Guide to Google Analytics 📈
This is one of several small business guides that Simply Business did at the time, with this one in particular attracting over 650 linking root domains. Essentially it just links out to useful resources, but it aesthetically it still looks good even today, which is pretty impressive considering it’s over 7 years old.
100 Years of Rock 🤘
100 Years of Rock by Concert Hotels was really unique at the time, in the way that it presented the information. To date it’s attracted over 625 linking root domains, and still holds up well.
Now we’ll step back into the present, and look at some of the best campaigns from the last month or so. 🏃♂️
Must-see Content 👀
Women’s Liveability Index 2019 👩
Indexes can work really well and attract links at scale, but they require intensive research, reputable sources and a sound methodology. This one by Nestpick has so many different outreach angles to it, with relevant and well thought out data points.
Show Your Stripes 🌡️
Watch Manhattan Grow 🌆
The folks at Neomam put together this awesome visualisation on the growth of Manhattan over the last 400 years or so. The designs are really well done, and it’s clear a lot of time was put into the research behind the piece.
Remake My Day 🎬
This piece compares original movies against their remakes, utilising data from IMDB and Metacritic to create audience and critic scores. The accompanying copy highlights the interesting angles within the piece, making life easier for anyone looking to cover it.
Hipster Summer Reading List 🤓
Looking for a new book to read? The Pudding have crunched the data behind 100 million (!) checkout records to identify fictional books that haven’t been checked out in over a decade.
More Great Content…
- Toward Greener Cities 🌳
- The Rise of the Summer Sequel 📚
- The MOST POPULAR social networks: 2002-2019 💬
- Have you ever been held up at ePassport gates? ✈️
- We Read 150 Privacy Policies. They Were an Incomprehensible Disaster. 🕵️
- Killing Eve and the rise of the older screen queen 📺
- Who’s REALLY this year’s most popular Glastonbury headliner? 🎵
- What could Apple buy with its pile of cash? 🍎
- Highest Grossing Media Franchises 💸
- Storyline: The Trend Guessing Game 📈
- Best cities to rent with pets 🐕
The below campaigns may not have been intentional PR stunts, however they did attract substantial attention from the media.
Potentially NSFW! Sex cam site Camsoda are reportedly releasing a vape device that is connected via Bluetooth to a sex toy.
The longer a user pulls on their vape pen, the higher they get and the more the connected live sex toy will vibrate
It has all the hallmarks of a fake product, but has gotten then some decent coverage.
Ikea releases free ‘Soffa Sans’ font made of couches 🛋️
IKEA’s ‘design your own sofa’ tool exploded in popularity when people were using it to create funky designs or write words. In response, IKEA have released SOFFA SANs for free, which is a font made of couches.
Track This 🍪
To highlight just how invasive online tracking can be, Mozilla have created ‘Track This’, a tool that lets you chose a persona that opens up 100 browser tabs. As a result, advertisers will begin targeting you based on the persona’s interests. It’s an interesting way to highlight just how easy it is for advertisers to follow you around the net, and target your interests.
Discovered via Gisele Navarro 🕵️
Must-read Articles ☕
Below are some articles that are absolutely worthy of a read during your coffee break:
- The 12 Things Journalists Want PRs To Know by Jessica Pardoe 📰
- The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it by Joshua Benton 📊
- 3 lessons learned from analyzing journalist feedback for a yearby Domenica D’Ottavio 🔬
Must-follow Marketer 👑
Who:Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR & Content at Aira
Why: If you attended any of the main industry conferences over the last couple of years, chances are you may have seen Shannon talk about Digital PR, links and content. Her most recent talk at Search Leeds is packed full of insightful data that you can use to inform your campaigns. If you have the chance to see her speak, I highly recommend you take it.
Once again thanks to those people who sent over ideas, and if I did forget to give you credit, please feel free to call me out on Twitter.If you’re not yet subscribed, you should probably go ahead and do so, and I’d love to hear any thoughts you have in general on Twitter, or via email: email@example.com.