Consumer PR in a Pandemic: Silentnight


As the Coronavius pandemic turned the world upside down and the UK went into lockdown, for many of us the quality of our sleep took a hit amid disruption to our routines and worries about our health, families and job security.

As the market leader and an authority on sleep, our client Silentnight wanted to support the nation and be the reassuring, expert voice for consumers on sleep health issues. Smoking Gun’s goal was to achieve high profile national press coverage and create timely digital content to support this. 

We needed a PR campaign that would cut through a highly competitive media landscape, dominated by hard news about the virus. 


A Healthy Sleep content hub was created on the Silentnight website offering tips and advice from Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, among other thought leaders. 

It was more important than ever, with more people spending more time online and the bricks and mortar retail sites in shut-down, to build the brand’s digital presence. We focussed on online coverage, communicating our messages through high domain websites and securing backlinks to the content hub. 

Dr Nerina became our core media spokesperson and we developed angles based on topical issues that were present in search, social media and online forums – ensuring we were answering the questions the nation was asking at such an unsettled time. 


  • Interviewed our sleep expert and created stories and content around her advice during lockdown – from why people were having weird dreams to ways to combat anxiety at bedtime
  • Pitched stories to national news, health and lifestyle journalists – as well as broadcast 
  • Developed content for the Healthy Sleep hub on Silentnight’s website, building backlinks to this from online press coverage
  • Ran weekly Instagram Live events with our sleep expert 
  • Media angles fuelled engaging content for social media channels, as we connected with the brand’s audience 


Smoking Gun’s health & wellness PR campaign not only supported the nation in its quest for improved sleep, but kept the brand front-of-mind in a challenging time for UK retail. We achieved:

  • A series of high impact media placements including Channel 5 News, ITV News, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Sun, Stylist, Grazia and Metro – over 100 online hits in total 
  • 40% of coverage generated backlinks from high domain authority websites to bolster search rankings
  • Domain authority of the Silentnight website rose during the campaign period 
  • Thousands of sessions to the Healthy Sleep content hub 

All coverage included key messages, positioning Silentnight as a caring authority of sleep health