2013 Digital PR Awards: Email Newsletter

Winner: Hunter Public Relations - Hunter PR’s The 511 e-Newsletter

A few years ago, Hunter PR launched its social and digital media practice to help clients take full advantage of the increasingly critical online space. After three years of growing expertise and expanding capabilities, the team wanted to share its insights with marketers, as they felt that timely and relevant social and digital media news would help marketers the same way it had helped Hunter’s clients.

Hunter’s team found that an e-newsletter allowed for both the broadest distribution and the most expedient delivery of such news to recipients. The newsletter's name—a play on "411"—would provide the most important "Five Things" a marketer needs to know about a given topic. In March 2011, the first issue of The 511 was distributed.

When drafting the newsletter's content, members of Hunter’s social and digital media practice focus on timely, relevant topics to provide the most value. To increase virality, each issue contains prominent sharing buttons for email, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a subscribe button, links to newsletter archives and links to each of Hunter PR's social assets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Blog).

Each issue of The 511 also features a form of multimedia to increase engagement. Newsletters have included poll questions, YouTube videos, infographics and PowerPoint presentations integrated through Slideshare. The newsletter incorporates online video the most, as it is a proven driver of digital interaction. The quality of the newsletter's content establishes the practice's expertise within the discipline.

The newsletter has garnered industry attention, as a growing number of marketers are reading and subscribing to the newsletter. Numerous issues of The 511 have been featured on CommPro.biz, and content from the newsletter has been featured by PR News and PR Daily.

During the last year, the total number of new subscribers to Hunter PR’s The 511 e-newsletter has more than doubled, and in that time, the average open rate for The 511 has been 25.2%, nearly three times the average for marketing newsletters (9.4% according to MailerMailer).

Honorable Mentions:

  • Allstate Insurance Company - Building Connections, Strengthening Relationships
  • American Institute of CPAs - AICPA News Update: Revamp
  • National Kidney Foundation - Love Your Kidneys
  • Weber Shandwick - Simple Skincare: Driving awareness & cultivating a community through VIP, an interactive newsletter