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Self (financial) Tax Day campaign

image from the Self Tax Day campaign

2020 media coverage came in with bang for financial company, Self.

To maximize earned media coverage, the online credit builder partnered with 72Point — part of SWNS Media Group — to create a relevant, newsworthy story to elicit buzz before Americans began filing this year’s taxes. 72Point provides survey-led news stories designed to land top-tier coverage for PR agencies and other brand communication teams.

 

screenshot of Nasdaq's article "Americans are very dependent on tax refunds this year and it's a problem"

 

The research aimed to uncover shocking statistics on Americans’ knowledge of common tax procedures. In fact, the study revealed less than a third of Americans know exactly when this year’s taxes are due (April 15). With this compelling topline, the story generated a massive amount of media coverage — 149 total pieces of coverage, 6.17 million estimated coverage views, online readership of 4.74 billion and 233 social shares.

 

screenshot of New York Post's article "Most Americans have no idea when their taxes are due"

 

“Tax-related coverage ramps up soon after the new year and sustains through the filing deadline, so we wanted to find a timely and interesting way to be part of that conversation while also building our reputation as a resource in the broader topic of personal finance,” said Jeff Smith, a spokesperson from Self.

The campaign from Self and 72Point exemplifies not only the effectiveness of timing in earned media, but also in the importance of balancing brand and news initiatives when securing top-tier media coverage.

 

screenshot of Motley Fool's article "Americans are very dependent on tax refunds this year and it's a problem"

 

By creating a survey-led story that tapped into the relatable feeling of anxiety that many feel around tax season, the story landed on major online publications such as Motley Fool, The New York Post, Nasdaq, Yahoo!, Journal Star — as well as over 100 other placements.

 

screenshot of Yahoo's article "Shocking number of American taxpayers have no clue when Tax Day is"

 

“Our mission is to help people progress toward financial stability by building credit and saving money,” Smith said. “So we strive to make all of our content marketing efforts relevant to that mission, yet interesting enough to earn mention in consumer-oriented publications.”

To kick off the campaign, Self designed a survey of 2,000 Americans, conducted by 72Point’s in-house market research firm OnePoll. 72Point then wrote a piece of news copy based on the study’s key results and, from there, the design team created a visually-pleasing infographic that highlighted key statistics from the copy, along with an animated infographic to match.

 

Self financial inforgraphic on Tax Day campaign

 

The package was then released on SWNS’s internal newswire where key outlets could see the story and decide if it was a fit for readers.

Thanks to the compelling data and time-sensitive story angle, the campaign with Self was able to produce unprecedented levels of news coverage across online publications, local broadcast news stations, radio, blogs and social media sites.

 

tweet by Self about Tax Day campaign

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