Creative, Digital PR, and Media Relations: ‘Digital Scavenger Hunt’ for Unite Students

For Unite Students, the UK’s largest student accommodation provider, we delivered some fantastic PR campaign results…

The idea:

FTSE250 company Unite Students is the UK’s largest accommodation provider – so its core audience is students (from the UK and international) who are typically digitally-savvy.

To captivate this audience and to drive traffic to Unite Students’ channels, we pitched a campaign where we would develop a Digital Scavenger Hunt, as part of the wider ‘Leap’ strategy, to take students along an online trail to find three codes.

PR campaign results

The Scavenger Hunt would enable students that might be heading to a new are of the country to explore different Unite Students properties online.

Those diligent enough to complete the Hunt would be entered into a prize draw to win £9,250 – the same as a year’s tuition fees in England and Wales.

For the challenge, we developed a trail of clues – the Hunt was made up 18 stages across three rounds and guided participants through a mix of Unite Students-owned channels, such as its website, YouTube channel and properties on Google Maps, as well as third-party sites, like lyrics site Genius, eBay and Moteef.

PR campaign results

We also created a bespoke Digital Scavenger Hunt microsite – the first destination for the student, giving the first clue for each round and a text box to enter each code at the end of each of the three rounds.

The news hook behind the campaign was that tuition fees in England and Wales are among the most expensive in the world and that Unite Students was offering the chance for a student to win a year’s tuition fees through the Digital Scavenger Hunt. This was the main angle we pitched to media.

PR campaign resultsThe plan also encompassed social media, through Unite Students’ owned social media channels, as well as influencers in the space, and boosted with spend.

A second story went out once a winner was selected – a student called Joe in his third year at Sheffield University – and we achieved more campaign PR results!


Here are our PR campaign results.


We achieved 100+ pieces of coverage – and exactly the same number of high authority links, including in The Sun, ShoutOut UK (a leading student news site), The Yorkshire Post (twice) and Love Money, reaching millions of potential readers.

PR campaign resultsOutcomes:

According to the analytics (we MIGHT have been checking in every few hours after the launch of the campaign – hey, we get excited!) nearly 3,000 unique visitors headed to the microsite.

Of those, a high number converted – resulting in more than 720 sign ups. 147 clever students managed to complete the intentionally difficult Hunt across the internet!

Those who signed up with their email opted in to allow Unite Students to contact them in the future, too, ensuring a nice data capture bump for their target audience, too.


And finally, thanks to Unite Students, one happy student won a whole year’s tuition fees!

Want to know how we might help you deliver great PR campaign results?

We’d love to chat – drop us a line at or call us on 01452 698765!