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2021 Year in Review: Digital PR Media Coverage

By Tricia Harte

2021…What a Year for News

The volatility of the 2020 news cycle carried over to 2021. Our content creators and outreach strategists navigated a particularly fickle news cycle dominated by the Covid-19 crisis, political unrest, and economic uncertainty.

Roughly half of our research supplemented the themes and trends we saw in our news feeds and watched on our TVs. Here’s what media coverage for DTC clients in 2021 panned out…

What our Digital PR team did in 2021

Between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, our agency launched 75 Digital PR campaigns for our clients. These campaigns newsjacked media trends to gain widespread news coverage, and identified key themes in media appetites. 

We worked diligently to find tangential research topics that established our clients as subject matter experts, and were also newsworthy enough to capture the attention of journalists.

The campaigns consisted of consumer and national surveys, data scrapes, as well analyses of search behaviors. While the topics varied from client to client, many campaigns shared a common theme of pandemic-related impacts on American life.

75 campaigns launched 4261 placements 3898 links 52 links per campaign

National Digital PR Coverage in 2021

Successful digital PR connects businesses with the largest and more relevant audiences possible. What better way to grab widespread attention than to earn media coverage in the nation’s leading, marquee publications.

  • 2658 national placements
  • 64% of placements from DA 50+ websites
  • 30% of placements from DA 70+ websites

What exactly does “national” news coverage look like? Here are just a few examples of the national media outlets that featured our digital PR clients’ work:

Black and white media logos of national media outlets.

From an SEO perspective, publications with national audiences always maintain a high DA (Domain Authority). Which is why we pursue and build relationships with journalists at these leading media outlets by regularly producing data of interest to their target audiences.

Think of an inbound link as a digital signal of trust. Each time we earn linking media coverage from outlets like the Washington Post, or ABC News, some of those website’s credibility was passed along to our clients. Search engines, like Google, crawl high-DA websites and assign value and digital trust in the links they cite. Those citations can also lead to increases in referral traffic to our clients’ websites by curious readers looking to learn more about their digital PR research.

These evaluations can improve the ranking of our clients’ websites in organic search results. Not just for keywords found on the content pages, but other targeted keywords clients pursue for business-building purposes.

Local News Digital PR Coverage in 2021

Local news continued to be a staple of our digital PR strategy in 2021. We earned inbound media coverage from the thousands of local television and radio stations, newspapers, and hyper-local digital platforms. Each placement offers incredible SEO and PR value (and opportunities for amplified coverage through syndication). 

This year, our work was featured in all 50 states, reaching millions of local news consumers.

  • 1480  local news placements
  • 80% of all designated local media markets (DMAs)
  • 49% of links in major media markets

One of the many benefits of local news coverage is the opportunity for geographic diversity of media placements. In reaching 80% of the nation’s designated media markets, our clients’ content spread far and wide across the United States.

The 1400+ local news placement we earned had an average domain authority of 64, which transfers significant weight and strength to our clients’ websites.

Local news also carries additional, albeit harder to measure, PR value in the form of broadcast, print, and radio coverage. This year, our clients were featured by 411 newspapers, 500 television stations, and 467 radio stations, earning valuable brand mentions and linking coverage nationwide.

Our digital PR content earned repeated media coverage in top media markets including Chicago (#3), Philadelphia (#4), and New York City (#1). We tracked dozens of television segments, radio spots, and newspaper articles in these impressive market spaces.

Top 15 DMA's that shared media coverage

Local news is often the most preferred type of news in many communities across the United States. There are 107 million TV homes in the country broken up across 201 designated market areas (DMA), according to Neilsen. Our content was shared by 81% of the nation’s media markets.

DMAs are designated by population, with the top markets reaching the greatest potential viewership in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. At the end of the year, 49% of all local placements occurred in the 30 largest media markets in the US.

What’s Next for Digital PR?

The digital PR space grows increasingly crowded every year; meaning content and original research needs to become more nimble, responsive, and newsworthy content to earn both digital PR and traditional PR coverage.

Our team walks into 2022 informed by 2 years of a global pandemic and changing political tides. Consumer-based stories and sports narratives continue to play well with the media; as do data-driven content derived from government databases.

We’ve seen increased interest in trend-related content that balances the newsworthy elements of recent news stories (especially pandemic-related impacts on American life and behaviors). It’s unclear what the next 12 months of link building will hold, but one thing is certain, the demand for Digital PR content is going strong!

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