William Purves: newsjacking

Case study

The Challenge

Represent works with leading independent funeral firm William Purves to build brand profile and raise awareness of its services and developments. As a PR client, key in achieving these goals is securing quality press coverage aimed at key target audiences.

Newsjacking – getting subject experts and organisations involved in conversations about current affairs and events – is a commonplace PR tactic in the industry and is something we routinely do for Represent clients. This is especially true of small businesses we work with.

Acting responsively to the evolving news agenda, we picked up on an industry news story highlighting ‘human composting’, an eco-friendly alternative to traditional burials, in the UK and brought it to the attention of William Purves for comment. 

As experts in funeral innovation with a strong interest in sustainability, this was the perfect opportunity for them to join the wider conversation on eco-friendly funerals. We pitched them as an expert with the necessary knowledge to offer valuable insight and ultimately get our client included in developing news stories.

Taking advantage of the story, Represent positioned William Purves as a thought leader on green funeral options to drive brand awareness and increase traffic to the website.

The Solution

Represent swiftly reacted by researching the topic and assessing which media outlets had previously covered it. 

Having identified key journalists with an interest in the area, Represent reached out to target media with offers for comment on the developing story.

Tactics Included

  • Key message and angle development
  • Client briefing
  • Developing an impactful pitch that brought attention to a new funeral trend
  • Research and media segmentation
  • Targeting key media at national titles and broadcast
  • Pitching journalists based on their interests and previous coverage
  • Securing new media opportunities (hurrah!)
  • Briefing the client for TV and radio interviews
  • Recording coverage
  • Thanking press
  • Reporting on results

The Impact

As a result of our newsjacking efforts in March, eight pieces of top tier coverage were achieved in national and trade titles, plus an interview with BBC Radio Scotland AND two TV interviews.


  • BBC (Web)
  • Live radio interview on Good Morning Scotland
  • Live TV interview on BBC Scotland’s The Nine programme
  • Live TV interview on That’s TV Scotland news bulletin 
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Times
  • The Times Scotland
  • The Daily Mail
  • Daily Express
  • Funeral Service Times
  • This is Money

Estimated combined reach: 898k

A coverage book to the results can be found here.

14% MoM increase in referral website traffic.


This case study proves what can be achieved for PR clients through ingenuity and taking risks. The client was amazed at how quickly interest was coming in on the back of Represent’s newsjacking and was well briefed and supported throughout to ensure William Purves experts came across brilliantly and were able to establish authority on the topic.

To find out how Represent can help your small business grow its profile, please get in touch!

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