Going for Gold
Ladbrokes is one of the world’s leading betting brands, having established on the high streets over 50 years ago. With an ever-growing online and multi-channel presence, the Ladbrokes brand is one of the most recognised around.
Nicola McGeady is Head of PR at Ladbrokes, where she began as Public Relations Manager in 2013. Nicola is a highly experienced PR professional in the betting field, having spent four years as Public Relations Spokesperson and Broadcaster for Boylesports, prior to joining Ladbrokes.
Since March 2018, Ladbrokes have been using MediaHQ for their media outreach. Sending out press releases seven days a week, with an average of two to three press releases per day in Ireland, the betting company needed a tool to ensure that their releases were being sent to the right people. “Sports never stops, the news doesn’t stop so we don’t really stop.”
As the company covers everything from sports to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, it is essential that they have access to journalists who cover an array of stories. Ladbrokes came to MediaHQ in 2018 with the need of an up-to-date media contacts database that would keep up with their busy PR schedule. Since then, Nicola and her team have sent over 200 press releases through the MediaHQ system, making national news countless times. The ability to create media lists at the click of a button and keep media contacts in one place has allowed Ladbrokes to scale up their media outreach, saving them time and providing a solution to using messy spreadsheets as media lists.
Slashing the odds on adversity
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we work forever. Even through working from home and with a pause put on British and Irish sporting events, Ladbrokes found a way to keep going in the face of adversity. With sporting events cancelled all over the world, Nicola details how Ladbrokes found a way to provide compelling stories from around the world.
“The lack of sport had a knock-on effect on our industry of course. It meant we had to be more creative and look further afield. With sport at home postponed, we brought international sporting events to the table instead. Football was dearly missed and the media turned their attention to foreign leagues. We adapted and issued press releases out around these events which sparked plenty of attention.”
As well as thinking laterally about what sporting events to cover, Nicola says that the popularity of online sporting became a large focus. “Esports grew in size and became a product that became more popular during COVID”. Even though sports news slowed down, Ladbrokes continued to provide the latest news and odds on unconventional sporting events to ensure that both sporting fans and the media had fresh content to cover and consume daily. By eliminating the need to manually upload excel sheets of contacts to personal emails, MediaHQ gives Ladbrokes more time to focus on finding stories that matter.
Banking on Up-to-Date Contacts
In the PR industry, up-to-date, accurate contacts and media relations are everything. Nicola talks about why Ladbrokes signed up for MediaHQ and how they use it. “The number one selling point for us was the up-to-date contacts base. Knowing which journalists are covering what sports and what news stories is really useful. I like the actual tool, that I can hit one button and send a release out to everybody instead of trying to do it through email, it makes life much easier.” By having their media contacts in one place, it eases the process of sending out press releases and targeting them to specific journalists and publications.
MediaHQ helps Ladbrokes to build media relations
Ladbrokes’ main use of MediaHQ is to send out press releases, using MediaHQ database search tools to identify and reach out to the media contacts that have the best chance of covering their stories. Nicola discusses how MediaHQ helps their communications team to build media relations with journalists: “When I send out a press release, people get back to me with questions if it’s a story of interest to them. That’s where relationships can develop” The MediaHQ software has enabled them to scale up media outreach in a professional, effective manner and helped them secure coverage on several major media outlets including The Sun, The Irish Mirror and Sports News Ireland. Ladbrokes benefits from the speed at which MediaHQ can get information out. This makes their jobs much easier to do as it cuts the time down, which enables them to spend time doing other important tasks.
Keeping positive in the face of change
Ladbrokes uses MediaHQ to share a multitude of stories, from sports and entertainment to weather and music. In a time of continually changing technologies and shifting customer patterns due to a switch to online dominance and COVID-19, Ladbrokes have found ways to adapt their communications, with MediaHQ by their side since 2018.
Ladbrokes have continued to successfully distribute press releases regularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping up with the ever-changing news and thinking outside the box with sporting events to keep their customers and the media informed and entertained during a time of uncertainty around the world. MediaHQ has allowed Nicola McGeady and her team to persevere through the challenges of the last year with easy-to-find, up-to-date contacts and customer support always on hand.