So you probably heard Rise at Seven is going WORLDWIDE (Pitbull song incoming). After we expanded our services to Germany, it’s time to expand over their neighbours. No, I’m not talking about Poland, it’s closer to home. I don’t know why I’m acting all mysterious, the title said it already: Rise at Seven is now serving Digital PR in THE NETHERLANDS. 

First things first, a crash course about The Netherlands

If I get a link everytime someone says ‘Dutchland’, ‘Oh Dutch, where in Germany do you live’ and ‘Ah yes Amsterdam is a lovely country’, I would be promoted before you can pronounce my last name (‘Sijbers’, give it a try). 

So here are some basics you need to know before starting a chat with someone Dutch.

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1. The Netherlands = the country

2. Holland = two counties; North-Holland and South-Holland (mind blowing, right?)

3. Dutch = the language (Dutch = not German)

4. Amsterdam = the city where you go for a good time. The Netherlands is not just Amsterdam. Lads going on a weekend trip in grey joggers, I know why you’re visiting and it’s not to see the Van Gogh museum. 

5. 22.9 million = not the population of the Netherlands = the amount of bikes we have (yes we love our bikes). There are 17.28 million people living in the Netherlands, do the maths yourself (this is excluding the bikes at the bottom of the canals).

Sorry, but who are you?

Why do I know all of this? I guess this is the moment where I introduce myself. Hallo, my name is Nicole Sijbers. I’m a Dutchie living in London and I’m Rise’s latest addition to the International Digital PR team. I hear you thinking ‘this girl must be tall, direct, and wear wooden shoes all the time’. False, true, false (shocking I know). I can be very direct, which resulted in some awkward moments when I just moved to London. I’m sure people thought I was rude when they first met me. Here in the UK, people are so polite and we Dutchies just say whatever comes across our minds without all the niceties. 

UK VS. NL – What are the differences?

  • Straight.to.the.point.please

I guess one of the main differences is the way we communicate when we outreach. Most of the time we keep it short and skip the ‘I hope you are well, safe, had an amazing weekend, and the many, many thank yous. For some people, this might sound rude, but we see it as more time-efficient. 

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  • A tiny, tiny country

Which means that our seeding list is way smaller. For comparison 48.5 million more people live in the UK than in the Netherlands. This could mean less publication opportunities, but no panic, there’s also a positive side to that. Because the media industry is way smaller, it’s easier to build strong relationships with journalists and they will get less emails from other PR’s in their inbox, so more chances to get noticed.  

  • Digital PR who?

Another difference between Digital PR in the UK and in the Netherlands sits within the name. In the Netherlands most of the time it’s referred to as Content Marketing. However, there’s a slight change happening; Online PR (as it’s called in the Netherlands) is starting to become more popular as part of Online Marketing. 

UK VS NL – what do they have in common?

With only a 40 minute flight in between the countries, it’s not a surprise that the Brits and the Dutch are quite similar in their behaviour. I guess politeness is something the Dutch lost in the Atlantic while sailing up and down the ocean, but here are five things they do have in common.

1. Dry sense of humor; besides English and Dutch we’re also fluent in sarcasm. Sometimes our jokes and campaigns can be a little bit controversial (like the one from Suitsupply below), but what do you expect from a country which is known for coffee shops, the red light district and open-minded people?

Suitsupply

2. We don’t take ourselves too seriously; the best sunday roasts are the roast yourself.

3. We like beers; okay the Brits would definitely win a beer drinking contest, but we’re better at brewing beers. Heineken, Amstel and Bavaria (just to name a few). I will find you and I will link you.

4. We both have disappointing weather 80% of the time, so whenever the Brits complain about ‘it raining cats and dogs’, across the water the Dutch say ‘het regent pijpen stelen’ which means it’s raining pipe handles. It’s a serious saying and it makes absolutely no sense.

5. Having the same weather climate also means the Brits and the Dutch worship the same god: the sun (not the newspaper, I’m talking about that hot, orange ball that gives you vitamin D). This means that our Google searches are quite similar. When it rains, we both browse for ‘Top 10 warm countries to immigrate to’, ‘Best tropical island for working remotely’, ‘Cheapest flight tickets to Maldives’ (yes we Dutchies like to find good deals, and no we don’t always go Dutch). 

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Whenever it’s hotter than hot, we both search for ‘fans with next day delivery’, ‘the nearest beach without traffic’, and ‘can I wear shorts to the office?’, or maybe that last search is more Dutch than British. I guess Londoners would Google ‘how not to pass out in a packed tube while wearing a suit.’

Besides the bloody weather, what else are people talking about in the Netherlands?

Of course our Miss Rona is in the centre of attention in the Netherlands, but if I ignore COVID-19 for a second, there is something very exciting trending. Think EXTRA, think WIND MACHINES and think SEQUINS. HELLO EUROPE!

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You guessed it right, I’m talking about the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s hard to imagine that while the only events I went to last year were Zoom quizzes, there’s an over the top music event going on which should bring Europe all together or divide us depending on the scores. Belgium, I expect our ‘Douze points’ and nothing less! 

Why is the Netherlands so excited about the Eurovision? Because this year, after winning in 2019, we’re the hostess with the mostest with the one and only NikkiTutorials as one of the four hosts. 

So from 17th of May till the 22nd 2021 (the big finale), the city Rotterdam is the heart of Europe (and a few non European countries). The only thing left to think about for you is who to vote for, but I can help you with that; see GIF below, no pressure.

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How will Rise at Seven take-over the Dutch market?

So now you understand our type of humor, you’re going to be less shocked when you see some of our controversial campaigns and you hopefully don’t think we are all rude when we keep it short by email. The only question left is how is Rise at Seven going to take-over the Dutch market? 

Well, there is me of course with my content creation experience so I have a nose for good stories, but there is also quite a gap in the market for Rise at Seven’s International team when it comes to Digital PR with strong SEO knowledge and global data insights. The same as the Germans are a little bit behind in terms of Digital PR, so are the agencies in the Netherlands. Traditional PR agencies are more focused on products and creative agencies are focussed on concept creation. As we are a search first agency, we can do it all. Do you want to know how? Check the list below for the key to an explosion of links.

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  • Create content where journalists NEED to LINK to. 

Make your story so interesting that they have no choice other than covering it. Keep in mind what their aim is: clicks. So give them a headline which will generate so many clicks, their website will crash. However, that doesn’t mean you should go for a massive clickbait story. Journalists in the Netherlands want hard facts, so double check your facts and data before sending it.

  • Always be relevant

Respond to current events and ride on the wave of trending topics. Dutch journalists want to be the first to cover a story so make sure you respond to the news quickly. Make yourself addicted to the news and trends, if you aren’t already (hello more push notifications and so long less screen-time).

  • Be an attention seeker

Most of the Dutch people don’t like attention seekers. There is even a Dutch saying ‘just be normal, then you’re already crazy enough’. Well, that doesn’t count for your stories if you want a lot of links. Your emails need to stand out from the rest to get people’s attention. So be BOLD, be CRAZY, BE DIFFERENT.

  • Think BIG, think global

Don’t let the borders stop your stories from becoming viral worldwide. Think of an International angle and send it abroad. 

  • Timing, timing, timing

First of all, it’s one hour later in the Netherlands than in the UK, so keep that in mind when doing outreach. Second, for Dutch people work-life balance is important. Sometimes we have different teams who work in evening/weekend shifts, so know who those journalists are when you have the perfect story that needs to be covered in the weekend. 

  • SPAM: Sending People Annoying (read Attached) Messages.

Don’t send over emails with huge files enclosed, there is a chance it will end up in their spam folder so they won’t even see it. Instead, send a link to Dropbox.

Inspired? We are. 

Using our bank of international digital expertise, we’re ready to rise on the European publishing scene.

Looking to generate a buzz, topple search results, ignite your brand, or get in the press through Digital PR? You name it, we’ve got it. Let’s build links together – drop us a line. 

Nicole Sijbers

About Nicole Sijbers