Gareth Southgate, his dapper waistcoats and noble nature won the love of football fans and non-fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

And you know you’re the nation’s new sweetheart when you’re inspiring social media memes.

We’ve had #SouthgateMemes, #WaistcoatWednesday and #GarethSouthgateWould – with individuals, businesses and brands creating and sharing content.

And the love for the England manager hasn’t just been restricted to social media, as we’ve seen a huge spike in online searches for Gareth Southgate over the World Cup period.

Gareth Southgate and the media – which publishers scored with the best content?

Gareth Southgate | PR | Marketing | Media coverage | Content marketing | SEO | Social media
Photo credit Shutterstock.com

In the battle for clicks, shares and dwell time, the world’s media jumped on the Southgate bandwagon to produce news stories and content. But which publishers came out top?

Below are the top 10 UK articles about Gareth Southgate, based on total engagements over the last month (shares and engagement across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest and links – as calculated by Buzzsumo).

  1. ​Everyone Wants A Knighthood For Gareth Southgate After World Cup Heartbreak, Ladbible: 73.5k engagements
  2. Gareth Southgate Comforted By His Wife In Empty World Cup Stadium, Ladbible: 68.7k engagements
  3. Gareth Southgate Proves He’s a LAD By Consoling Colombian Player, Ladbible: 59.4k engagements
  4. England Manager Gareth Southgate Pays Tribute to his Squad After World Cup Semi-Final, the FA, 21.7k engagements
  5. Gareth Southgate Praised For Consoling Colombia Player Who Missed Penalty, Unilad, 19k engagements
  6. World Cup 2018: England players not bowed by history – Gareth Southgate, BBC, 17.6k engagements
  7. World Cup 2018: England players came of age – Gareth Southgate, BBC, 17.3k engagements
  8. There’s A Petition To Have Gareth Southgate Knighted Regardless Of Semi Final Result, Unilad, 14.4k engagements
  9. People are sharing things Gareth Southgate would do and it’s the most British thing ever, The Poke, 14.4k engagements
  10. Gareth Southgate is the symbol of positive masculinity we’ve been waiting for, The Pool, 13.9k engagements

Ladbible is the clear winner, scoring a hat-trick with the top three Gareth Southgate articles, totalling 201.6k engagements.

What can PRs and marketers learn from Gareth Southgate news?

Real time marketing and trending news offer loads of opportunities for PRs and marketers working with a range of brands and businesses. So what can we learn from the top 10 most engaged with news stories about Gareth Southgate?

  • The vox pops is still top: The internet-age equivalent of the vox pop is the tweet. Three of the top 10 most engaged articles included tweets from individuals and brands. If you’ve got something to say in response to breaking or trending news, head to Twitter. Find out more about how to tweet your way to national media coverage.
  • A picture’s worth a thousand words: Or in the case of the Ladbible story based on the photo of Southgate’s wife comforting him (the second most engaged story we looked at), it’s worth 478 words. Picture-led stories are a great way to generate headlines. And even if your story isn’t specifically a ‘photo story’ you still need to get good images. There are 23 images used in the top 10 most engaged news stories about Gareth Southgate (not including images in shared tweets). Find out more about the importance of good photography in PR and marketing.
  • Say more with video: Six of the top 10 articles we looked at included video. While the BBC has access to a huge library of interviews and sports footage, Ladbible includes clips from Good Morning Britain and a mobile video of someone getting an ‘England 2018 World Cup winners’ tattoo (bet he regrets that now…). We’ve heard for ages now how important video is – and it’s showing no signs of disappearing.
  • Sport is only the half of it: It’s understandable some people might not want to talk about topics they don’t feel qualified to comment on. But the trending news and social media posts about Gareth Southgate show there’s so much more to stories than simply the immediately obvious topics. As well as football and the performance of the England team, fashion, relationships and psychology are just some of the other topics talked about in relation to Gareth Southgate. It’s these wider comment points that provide great opportunities for PRs and marketers to help get their non-sports related clients involved in trending news and content.
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