In early 2019, Google announced a change to its Chrome web browser that would disable third-party ad blockers and privacy tools. Among those was Ghostery, a browser extension that improved the browsing experience by detecting and blocking thousands of third-party data-tracking technologies. With more than 7 million customers, Ghostery has harnessed growing consumer awareness and interest in protecting their personally identifiable information.
Working with Diffusion PR, Ghostery worked to position itself as both an advocate for consumers and as a solution to gain back control over privacy. How Diffusion and Ghostery addressed Google’s plans, through the use of newsjacking and consumer advocacy, has won first place in the “Technology Campaign” category of the PR Daily Awards.
Within an hour of the news breaking, Diffusion worked with Ghostery to issue a public statement, taking Google to task for its plan. The news hijack sparked earned media coverage in top-tier technology publications like Wired, CNET and Gizmodo, along with business publications like Bloomberg and Fortune, and even mainstream media like the BBC. The campaign helped elevate Ghostery as a privacy authority.
When a study of ad blocker performance commissioned by Ghostery proved Google’s initial justification for the change to be untrue, another media push resulted another wave of coverage from the likes of ZDNet, Ars Technica and The Verge.
Ultimately, Google announced its Chrome changes would be minimized, but Ghostery didn’t back down, and this third wave of outreach led to more top-tier coverage. In the end, the campaign generated 63 pieces of earned media. Ghostery also recorded an increase in users and installations.
Congratulations to Diffusion PR for an effective use of newsjacking to deliver meaningful results to its client.