International Communications Firm Turns Local Press into National Coverage with Outbrain

Success Story

Fleishman-Hillard is a top global communications firm that specializes in public relations, public affairs, marketing, paid media, transmedia, and social content.


International communications firm Fleishman-Hillard (FH) sought an innovative way to promote earned media across the web. The agency was particularly interested in amplifying client mentions on local and regional news sites in order to prolong the lifespan of each story. When a mid-market Midwestern newspaper ran an interview with an expert supporting their client’s stance on an important policy debate, FH used Outbrain to drive traffic to the story and ended up netting an additional placement in the process. A Huffington Post writer saw it and picked up the story shortly after FH started their Outbrain campaign.


If in the past we had a client that had a great placement, we could circulate the story among the clients or stakeholders, but there was no way to reach additional people,” says Dan Horowitz, EVP and Senior Partner at Fleishman-Hillard Digital. “But if we could take a piece of content that might have limited visibility yet all the right messages, and give it jet-fuel, we could potentially increase the likelihood that the people we wanted to see the story would.

Outbrain had the “jet-fuel” FH was looking – qualified traffic coming from trusted premium publishers like CNN, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. While FH was able to promote earned media on social networks by reaching out to key influencers and sharing links, there was no guarantee those influencers would post the story on their Facebook or Twitter pages.

Outbrain can take a piece of earned media and use algorithms to recommend it to the right audiences reading content on its network of premium publishers – audiences 50% more engaged on average than those coming from social. It’s a more effective approach to buying traffic than tactics of old.

screenshot cnn outbrain widget


“You’re appearing next to credentialed content so it’s less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content,” says Horowitz. “Buying traffic is typically done in bulk and it never reaches the right people. It originally started on digital platforms with things like buying email addresses, but with Outbrain it’s so much more transparent.”

“It was unlikely anyone would’ve ever seen that interview,” says Horowitz. “[But as a result of the Huffington Post article] we now had a national reach versus just a local reach.”Most importantly, their clients are pleased. “They appreciate that we’re bringing innovative ideas to the table,” says Horowitz.

It’s less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.”

Dan Horowitz, Fleishman-Hillard Digital, EVP and Senior Partner

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