Square pegs can fit in round holes

A Skyscanner PR journey into growth

Skyscanner Growth
Apr 13, 2017 · 5 min read

By Victoria Bailie

How we have a Growth mindset in Skyscanner PR

Embedding consumer PR into a growth structure might seem slightly incongruous. How could growth hackers, focused on lean agile tests and driving measurable metrics, understand where PR could add value? Here are a few thoughts on what has enabled PR to come through its growth journey unscathed and stronger!

1. We are data informed rather than data-driven

2. We decentralised and disbanded PR as a function

As a functional lead this involved a transition from a role directing strategy to one of enablement. That’s not an easy transition to make but it’s proved the right one. My role now is about ensuring squads have the support, guidance and training they need, whether through regular creative ideas meets, drop in support sessions or 121 squad meetings. It’s also enabled me to free up time to run other projects, proving you can teach an old dog new tricks!

3. We multi-skilled and emphasised a growth mindset over a PR mindset

4. We measure what we can but we don’t tie ourselves in knots about what we can’t measure

  • Goal setting and measurement should be used for any PR or comms activity
  • We should measure outcomes not outputs
  • The effect on business results should be measured where possible
  • Media measurement requires quality and quantity metrics to be applied
  • Transparency and replicability are key — we can’t pick and choose different measurements to get the results we want to see
  • We shouldn’t measure PR only in isolation but look at the amplification of our messages across earned and owned media channels

5. We look at direct metrics where we can but we don’t obsess when we can’t

  • We apply direct metrics in our nascent markets as mini start-ups in their own right
  • Major broadcast coverage is the exception where we can still analyse direct traffic impact
  • Links and especially back links give us the opportunity to measure referrals

Skyscanner Growth is looking to start a Growth hacks newsletter, sign up for that to get resources and inspiration on how to apply metrics to your marketing activity.

6. We focus on what matters

In PR we don’t chance vanity metrics such as coverage volumes (or god forbid AVEs). We only comment in the media where we have a relevant viewpoint to offer and our PR activity aims to tell consumers a little about who we are and how we can help them. This might mean we do less activity than we did say two years ago, but what we do is of high quality and makes an impact.

7. We use PR to tell our story

Embedding PR into a growth structure hasn’t always been an easy journey and, at times I have wondered if we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. However, we’re now in a position where the quality of PR we are doing across our markets is far higher and is more tailored to the specific consumer needs of each country. Ultimately though we are still on the journey and it will continue to evolve.

How can a Growth mindset be integrated into PR?

Like what you hear? Work with us

About the author

Victoria ‘Vik’ Bailie, Skyscanner

Skyscanner Growth

Written by

All about how we're working towards hyper-growth for our global travel site. Visit Skyscanner to see how we walk the talk https://www.skyscanner.net/