Appleyard Lees is a leading UK intellectual property (IP) law firm serving international companies through expertise in patents, trademarks, intellectual property, etc.

The data-driven report creation and media relations activity we undertook with the firm won the Gold award for Corporate and Business Communications Campaign at the 2022 CIPR North West Awards.


  • Use data-driven insights to position Appleyard Lees as experts in green innovation
  • Highlight specific Appleyard Lees’ patent attorneys for their expertise
  • “Achieve mentions” for the firm in business media
  • Increase traffic to Appleyard Lees’ website via search and direct visits


1. Research and write a report about global “green innovation”

Green innovation – i.e. companies investing in patents for environmentally-friendly technologies – was a fertile space for the firm to inhabit and a market likely to become important to Appleyard Lees’ clients.

Therefore, the concept was a report based on published patent data showing how companies are investing in technology areas –including energy storage (e.g. electric vehicle batteries), bioplastics production/recycling and environmental farming and food production – and including interpretation and insights from Appleyard Lees’ patent attorneys.

2. Selecting the most pertinent green technology areas for the report

By reviewing the United Nations’ 17 sustainability goals for areas where technology innovation would be essential and cross-referencing with the OECD’s sustainable development goals and the World Intellectual Property Office report into green patents.

3. Media relations

Metamorphic PR researched the visibility of green innovation stories and identified that each technology was covered primarily in university researchers’ academic papers and technical media. This meant that – to obtain wider recognition among business media – Appleyard Lees’ campaign would require content equally intelligent, insightful and accessible.

Also, Metamorphic PR actively monitored the agenda of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference to pinpoint live issues hitting the news agenda and referenced them where relevant in the green innovation report.


The Report

The creation of Appleyard Lees’ 10,000-word Inside Green Innovation: Progress Report 2021 involved:

  • Multiple interviews with patent attorney experts
  • Creating iterations of each section based on new input and feedback from the attorneys and other reviewers
  • Identifying relevant commentary from other industry sources and publications to place the data and commentary in the broader context of global, environmental issues
  • Ensuring the language in the report was clear and accessible for experts and non-experts alike.
  • Shaping the report’s findings so that Appleyard Lees’ analysis of the data demonstrated the firm’s professional knowledge and expertise; offering advice relevant to companies innovating in green technologies.

Media relations

This involved:

  • Extracting the most compelling findings to develop news stories for each industry sector addressed in the report: energy, plastics, farming and food production.
  • Identifying media – both UK and international – relevant to each sector.
  • Drafted and distributed news releases.

Metamorphic PR advised the client that a media relations campaign following shortly after the COP26 conference would capitalise on the media appetite for related stories. Therefore, the report was published and media relations activated within two weeks of COP26.


As a result of the campaign, Appleyard Lees received an inbound business enquiry from an industry leader in green innovation which constituted a “potentially very big” opportunity.

The CIPR North West Awards 2022 judging panel, when allocating the Gold award in Corporate and Business Communications to Metamorphic PR, said: “In a very niche sector this campaign had clear and focused objectives centred around specific timing. The resultant cross-border research and media relations campaign has had some significant results for the client.”


  • Earned news media for the green innovation report (25 items) had a reach of >174k; 21 social posts from third parties reached a further >9.2k.
  • 54% of content name-checked Appleyard Lees multiple times, and 72% cited the company exclusively or as the main focus of the piece, supporting the objective to position the firm as experts in green innovation. Fifty-six per cent of coverage mentioned an Appleyard Lees expert, with 20 mentions across four spokespeople.
  • There was a strong, probable correlation between earned media mentions, Google search and website hits. Google Analytics data show that in the weeks following the report’s launch there were spikes in web traffic with users coming to the site at two to three times the average daily rate.
  • Direct traffic (4,950 sessions) rose by 25% and referral traffic to the site (440 sessions) increased by 44% compared with the period just before the campaign, indicating the impact of both the awareness generated by the activity and links achieved in the earned media mentions (present in 87% of earned media).
  • 42% of online news landed in sites with a Domain Authority higher than Appleyard Lees’ (DA: 36); which alongside the links in media coverage, will have had a positive impact on SEO and site visibility.

Click below to see full results infographic

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons