Digital PR: How data and newsjacking landed over 100 pieces of coverage for Legacy

Newsjacking is a smart Digital PR Tactic used to align a brand with a current event or news story in an attempt to generate additional coverage and boost a brand’s exposure.

When a strong, creative, and timely idea is paired with strong data and knowledge of the news agenda, you can easily use the news cycle to create additional coverage for a client. This is exactly what Legacy set out to do with its most recent Digital PR offering analysing the most stressful airports in Europe at a time when airports were trending in the news for long wait times.

The most stressful airports release secured 104 pieces of strong coverage with features in publications such as Lovin Dublin, District Magazine, The Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Express UK, The Standard, and a whole host of regional publications across the UK, Ireland –  and other parts of the world to boot.


The Results

The release generated Blanket coverage with a total reach of over 145,980,741, a total of 104 pieces of coverage not including social mentions. Of the 104 pieces of coverage, 40 included a link, a further 4 included a Legacy branded image and almost all articles mentioned the Legacy brand numerous times.

The release increased search referral traffic by over 400% over two days and Legacy is now ranking number one for online PR companies in the UK thanks to the release generating 68 mentions of Legacy next to the term Digital PR with 53 outlets quoting Legacy within their article.

We also secured 4 on-air brand mentions related to the data on some of Ireland’s biggest radio stations including Newstalk, Red FM, Dermot and Dav,e and Radio Nova. The unexpected coverage drove fame and awareness to huge audiences.

The release also resulted in an interview request from RTE’s Drive Time who reached out to us organically.

The piece was also mentioned on social media by almost all of the publications that covered it, with most publications that shared the story on social mentioned Legacy by name within the tweets. It grabbed hold of the conversation on Twitter and Facebook – a major viral moment that had journalists reaching out organically to ask for the release from social and news coverage.


The Creative

While it may seem like ideation is the easiest part of your digital PR campaign, this isn’t always the case. Make sure you do some critical thinking in the early stages to ensure you will be able to actually secure the data you might need later down the line. Brainstorming sessions with your team are key to sense check your ideas before wasting time on data.

For Legacy’s Airport release, we used data from a variety of sources including flight tracking apps, airport ranking sites, and sentiment analysis tools. Tapping into a topic that was already trending right before the Easter travel season began.


The Data

Once your data availability has been approved it’s key to spend some time thinking about the best sources to get your data.

To gather the data on sentiment analysis for each of the airport’s Legacy used TensiStrength to analyse the stress score of 100 of the top tweets (2,500 in total) per airport hashtag.

We also calculated the total number of delayed or cancelled flights over the same sample day period per airport to calculate an average score. Meanwhile, data on overall customer satisfaction including for baggage, security checks, WiFi, etc came from an analysis of over 10,000 Flight Radar reviews from travellers.

Analyzing Toy Story Gif By Gif - Find & Share on GIPHY


The Timing

The airport release topic was chosen after carefully monitoring news trends during the lead-up to Easter. We also conducted searches on individual journalists and publications to figure out the likelihood of our idea getting coverage.

We also made sure to take a cautious approach to the release date. Especially when releasing around big events, it’s key to make sure you get your story in at the exact right time. Pitching too early or too late can break even the most solid of scoops. With this release, we chose to go out right as news surrounding airport delays peaked ahead of Easter weekend.


The Crafting

The key to writing a good press release is keeping a journalist in mind while crafting your release. Make sure to always think about ways to improve your release, if you can add a graphic, a stronger headline, or an expert comment – then do.

The success of Legacy’s airport release was massively helped by being able to take a tiny step back and let the data lead the piece. Remember – if your angle is strong enough, you won’t have to oversell it.

Jim Carrey Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


The Outreach

Take a look at journalists who have covered similar topics in the past and more recently and create a targeted media list for each release – this method is a lot more effective than using a general list and while it may take you more time, the results are worth it.

Make sure your ideas have a strong news hook but don’t be afraid to think of ways to add a secondary local angle – regionals are an excellent way to boost coverage. Changing the headline per publication and sending it out multiple times with different angles makes a massive difference.

Journalists are usually busy, so don’t take it to heart if you don’t see coverage right away. Retarget, send a follow-up and create new media lists if at all possible – you’ll be surprised at how effective this method can be. With Legacy’s airport release, a significant amount of the coverage didn’t come until day three, with results still rolling in weeks later, so try to keep calm.

Happy Eddie Murphy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY



In one campaign Legacy went from ranking at number 7 to number 6 for the term digital pr service in the UK, as well as moving from ranking in nineteenth place to fifth place for the term digital pr company, and from 10 to number one for the term online pr companies.


Meanwhile in the US, Legacy went from ranking in twelfth place to fifth for the term digital PR agency, number 7 to number 5 for digital PR services and 10 to 3 for digital PR service, also moving from 0 to 6 for digital PR firm and 18 to 4 for digital PR companies. Our referral traffic also increased by over 400% over the two days.

And if you’re still unsure about how to create more coverage for your next digital PR campaign, don’t be afraid to reach out to us!

Digital PR

The Legacy Guide To Digital PR

The days of merely using print media to achieve brand awareness are over. In order to beat the noise of 1.86 billion other websites vying for consumers’ attention, companies leverage blogs, newjacking, stunts, data, creative thinking and social media to powerfully ramp up their business success. 

Your business will struggle to survive without a solid Digital PR strategy in place. That’s why we’ve created this guide that will teach you:

  • What Digital PR is
  • Why Digital PR is so Important
  • How to Build a Successful Digital PR Campaign
  • Proven Tactics that will Strengthen Your Digital PR Strategy
  • How to Measure Whether Your Digital PR Campaigns are Working
  • How Digital PR Agencies Can Help

With this guide in your business back pocket, you’ll know how to utilize Digital PR like a professional and start building brand awareness right away. 

What is Digital PR?

Public Relations is the process of managing and maintaining a favorable image in the public’s eye. It’s a tactic that marketers use to promote their brand and increase awareness. 

Over the years, companies’ public relations strategies have changed drastically. A marketing evolution driven by technology has transitioned public relations from traditional to digital. 

Fewer and fewer people are spending time reading newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio, or watching cable tv. In fact, printed newspapers have taken a steep dip in circulation, and magazine readers have dropped by 6 million last year. Radio audiences are declining, and millions are cutting their cable cord and waving TV subscriptions goodbye. 

To fully understand Digital PR, let’s examine this transition and the difference between Traditional PR and Digital PR. 

Traditional PR vs. Digital PR

The main difference between traditional PR and digital is that digital PR is – you guessed it, digitally focused. Traditional PR typically targets traditional media sources – things like newspapers, magazines, TV, events and radio shows. Digital PR, on the other hand, targets online sources, like news websites, social media platforms, blogs, online news outlets, and video portals. 

traditional pr vs digital pr

As a sub-service of content marketing (which also includes all your content creation), Digital PR is the process of:

  • Gaining publicity online
  • Connecting with online journalists and publications
  • Gaining high-quality backlinks (when someone sends their reader to your site) from websites, social channels, and online publications

Today’s most successful PRs have embraced savvy Digital PR strategies in order to reach a much broader audience. 

digital pr example

Running Digital PR Campaigns, they can connect with their company’s target audience and boost product and brand awareness much more rapidly than traditional offline strategies. 

Digital PR is a great way to gain additional coverage for a client by utilising a newjacking approach as well as creativity and timing to beat competitors to the punch and help your client rank as high as possible.

Why is Digital PR Critical for Your Business’ Success?

Digital PR professionals are a powerful force in a brand’s marketing team, able to effectively improve online presence and brand visibility. Digital PR drives brand awareness, traffic to a website, sales, social following and engagement, and links that boost organic rankings.

Its benefits for your business stretch far and wide, but let’s narrow in on the three main advantages of investing in Digital PR: 

Digital PR Gives Your Business a Glowing Introduction

When your target audience isn’t aware of you, Digital PR strategies can raise awareness, increase the visibility of your brand, and help you and your audience get acquainted. 

By connecting with your target audience through a blogger, or journalist who already has credibility with your audience, you can shortcut your way into their trust. Rather than running ads that tend to put consumers off, your brand can appear in front of your target audience as a recommendation from someone they already trust. 

Digital PR Ratchets Up Your Google Rankings

Digital PR SEO tactics, like when someone mentions your brand on their own website or online publication, may carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight for search engines. How? 

Each online article, social media share, and product review that mentions you or links back to your site looks great to search engines like Google. 

As you rank higher on Google, you’ll gain even more traffic to your website. This increased traffic will boost your rankings even higher, and the cycle continues.

digital pr referral traffic jump

Digital PR Boosts Customer Acquisition and Lead Generation

The number of people consuming digital content on their handheld devices is growing each year. As a business, lead generation should be at the forefront of your campaigns. 

Digital PR gives you a way to target this massive and growing group of digital consumers and build quality lead generation.

How to Build a Successful Digital PR Campaign

Digital PR can be powerful, cost-effective, and transformative for your brand’s success, but only when a solid strategy is in place. Below, we’ll walk you through four critical steps to creating and implementing a robust Digital PR Strategy. 

Create Your Digital PR Plan

Before you start sending out dozens of pitch emails determine your plan and approach to Digital PR. You can create a concise and detailed Digital PR plan by answering these 3 questions:

What goals do I want to accomplish with these Digital PR efforts? Set specific goals within a timeframe. For example, you might want to increase sales by 10% by 2022, gain 1 million impressions for your brand, rank on the first page of Google in 6 months, or double the traffic coming through your website within the year. 

Which people and publications hold the most influence over my audience? Find out where your target audience hangs out. Which websites, magazine and newspaper sites, social channels, and blogs are they frequenting the most? Make it your goal to show up wherever your target audience spends their time.

Where is my competition getting published? 

Google your competitors’ names or the CEOs of competitor businesses and see which sites and influencers have mentioned them. These sites might be interested in interviewing you or featuring your products and services as well. 

Lock-In on an Other’s-Focused Perspective

Job interviews, marketing, sales, and PR are no places to gush about your business and goals. In any situation where you’re trying to convince another person to take you or your business on in some way, it’s paramount that you think from the other’s perspective instead of your own. 

Your story, your products, and your goals can be shared later. For now, all you should be thinking about is their story, their products, and their goals. 

Which outreach proposal do you think would more likely be picked up by a publication?

example of bad digital pr email pitch


example of a good digital pr pitch

While the first message is all about John, the second is all about Sarah and her readers. If you want a “yes” from Sarah, pick a powerful angle for the piece you’re proposing that you know will capture her audience, increase her readers, and boost her sales. 

Don’t Be The Company That Slips Through The Cracks

Influencers, entrepreneurs, journalists, newspaper editors, and magazine CEOs are busy people. On top of their daily responsibilities, they receive loads of pitch emails and outreach DMs daily. Your first message will almost certainly be left unopened or quickly forgotten. 

Following up can make all the difference. Be patient and persistent. Send gentle reminders, graciously understanding that the people you’re reaching out to have a lot on their plates. They might need a few nudges before you hear back. 

Build and monitor your contact list

As you work, keep track of every publication, blogger, or journalist that you’re interested in contacting. Create a Google Sheet that shows who you’ve already reached out to, followed up with, and gotten a response from. 

email list example for digital pr

When one of your proposals is rejected, reach out again with a different article idea or product for review. Just because the answer is no this time doesn’t mean that they’d say no to a different article or product in the future. 

Note which sites published your content in the end. The commonalities can help you shape your outreach strategy in the future. Foster good relationships with the people willing to work with you. Oftentimes, you can continue working with them – especially if their piece or review covering your business boosted their own views and sales.  

Tried and tested Digital PR tactics

Now that PR has moved online, methods are rapidly changing and developing to keep up with the internet’s constant advances. Here are three timeless approaches to Digital PR that will foster good relationships with the public and build your brand awareness in today’s market. 

1- Reactive and Proactive PR (AKA Newsjacking)

digital pr example 1 - newsjacking

Reactive and proactive PR is a great way to get ahead of your competitors by anticipating trends within the news cycle and hopping on breaking news stories and topics to increase coverage.

By monitoring breaking news you can keep track of ways that your client can easily gain some additional pieces of coverage – for example, is there a beauty story they can add an expert comment to? A new story they can add a fresh outlook to? Look for ways to apply the news to each client.


The same applies to proactive digital PR, a lot of topics will resurface year by year, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the calendar to predict trends and have your own takes ready to go.

2 – Product PR:

Product PR when done correctly can be a great way to drive traffic to a client’s site. The key is to think outside of the box – if a bottle of ketchup won’t get you a mention in a publication, a bottle of ketchup from Mars certainly will. 

Get creative. The more outlandish the better, but make sure to approve any ideas with your client beforehand.

product pr example for digital PR

3 – Creative Campaigns or Stunts

When it comes to creating good digital PR, every campaign should be a creative one. Dedicate time and resources to thinking outside the box and figuring out fun ways to add value to journalists who might be reading your release.

Stunts are another great way to gain attention for your client, when done correctly you can secure massive amounts of coverage on both news and social sources. 

4 – Data led/Data Stories

Combining data with creative thinking is a key part of digital PR. Once you have your idea, spend some time thinking about if it could be improved with data – and where you would get this data from. 

data led digital pr

Journalists are always on the lookout for new facts and figures but are often short of time to gather extensive data. By doing the work for them and offering them some quality data, you’re way more likely to see your piece land.

5 – Thought Leadership/Expert Led PR:

Similarly to the newjacking approach, keeping an eye on trends within each of your client’s sectors will give you a massive advantage. Monitor journalist requests and have somebody ready to provide quick quotes at a moment’s notice.

expert led digital pr

You can also use this approach to add value to your other stories, if you’re sending out a data or creativity based release, having a quote from an expert can give your piece authority and make it a lot more likely that journalists will pick it up.

How to Measure Whether Your Digital PR is Working or not?

You can use several success metrics for your Digital PR campaigns. Your measurement will largely depend on what goals you set while developing your Digital PR plan. 

  1. If your goal is to increase sales by 10%, you can use tracking links and, with Google Analytics, analyze how many sales have come from that one link. 
  2. If your goal is for your website to rank on Google’s first page within six months, you can track your search traffic and see whether that number is progressively increasing. 
  3. If your goal is to secure 15 pieces of coverage or improve overall impressions surrounding a client, you can search online or use tools to search for mentions of your press release on various publications.
  4. If your goal is to gain more links to your client’s site you can then cross reference any publications who covered the release with any who attached a link to their site. Don’t be afraid to follow up and ask them to attach it either.


How Digital PR Agencies Can Help

To help build brand awareness, many companies hire a Digital PR Agency. These agencies can provide your company with professionals that can throw around acronyms like SEO PPC CRO, and CPC like Digital Marketing was their first language. The experts working at an agency can help you:

  • Generate market research
  • Create a strategy that beats the competition
  • Build and run powerful campaigns that help you reach your business goals
  • Create product or service advertisements in Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Manage and optimize your website’s rank

Running Digital PR campaigns takes a lot of time—precious time and resources that you or your in-house marketing team could be spending focused on running your business. After cutting out payroll and taxes, hiring an external agency to handle your Digital PR campaigns can also be a lot lighter on your business’ budget. 

Ready to reap the benefits of Digital PR but don’t have the experience or time to do the job right? We’re ready to help. See how rapidly other ambitious companies have grown while working with us

A Digital PR Case Study

Legacy put these methods into practice with a recent campaign that was hugely successful.

screenshot of the sun coverage for legacy digital pr case study

We secured 45 pieces of coverage from the campaign (so far), as well as 10 links, featuring in publications such as, Galway Beo, Spin South West, Ireland Before You Die, four different Sun articles, two Mirror articles – and a multitude of local radio and news sites to boot.

Here’s how we did it:

Ideation: For our Ireland’s snowiest counties release, we dedicated time and resources to expand on the initial idea, finding tools to gather what we would need and analysing how it would work in practice before starting to collect data. 

Data: To calculate the probability of a white Christmas in each county, Legacy used weather data from the past ten years from Met Eireann and weather checking application, TimeAndDate. 

Timing: We chose the topic based on new cycle trends over the last number of weeks – as well as trends in the news cycle during the lead-up to Christmas over the past number of years.

Crafting: When writing our press release we crafted it like you would a news article, if you can do interviews with experts, think of snappy headlines and sub-heads and write in a news language style as much as possible – it will make a difference.

Outreach: You can always give your release an advantage by simply knowing what each publication is looking for. We took the time to look at what journalists were already writing about the topic before starting our outreach to achieve maximum results.

Retargeting: For Legacy’s Christmas-themed digital PR when coverage had come to a standstill after the first day or so we decided to ditch the traditional follow-up approach. 

Instead, we decided to go back to each publication, see what journalists had covered similar stories in recent hours, and add them to the outreach list.

Insights: Even the most successful campaigns can always be improved. We found that certain aspects of our campaign such as the creation of a resource page on Legacy’s website to drive links, and the expansion to other locations would have made a big difference. Take note and apply it to your next campaign.

Here’s a link to the full digital pr case study.

Have another Digital PR question?

Is this guide “ultimate” enough, in your opinion? Did we miss something? Let us know by tweeting @Legacy_Comms. We’ll make sure to keep you updated with the most relevant answers to your Digital PR questions.

Keep this Digital PR Guide in your business’ back pocket. With it, you’ll be able to build a powerful Digital PR strategy that will help you reach your business goals.

Digital PR – The more you snow: How a smart Christmas campaign led to an avalanche of coverage and links

Use intelligent data and creativity to avoid getting snowed under when attempting to secure Digital PR coverage

When it comes to digital PR any campaign from any brand no matter how big or small can be hit or miss, especially when you throw the added pressure of keeping on top of the ever-changing news cycle into the equation. Even more so when it’s the Christmas news cycle.

While it’s inevitable (unfortunately) that some releases will miss the mark even if you have covered all your bases, there are a few measures you can take to avoid getting caught up in the pre-Christmas slump.

A recent campaign from our Digital PR Hub to showcase our own offering at Legacy in Digital PR became an overnight hit with a few key ingredients.

screenshot of the sun coverage for legacy digital pr case study


Utilising creative thinking, news focused planning, and strong data will always reign supreme when it comes to delivering a top-class digital PR campaign, which is exactly what we attempted to do with our recent story analysing the likelihood of snow in each Irish county for Christmas Day. A simple idea that was supercharged by brilliant data; creative licence and a strong understanding of the news focus across lighter news+ lifestyle media.

Our story secured a whopper 45 pieces of really strong coverage (to date), featuring in publications such as, Galway Beo, Spin South West, Ireland Before You Die, four different Sun articles, two Mirror articles – and a multitude of local radio and news sites to boot. Not to mention many articles hosting key links and multiple mentions to drive Legacy website rankings- key for us when it comes to digital pr.

Here’s everything you need to “snow” about how we did it, and how you can garner similar success

Snow Exciting – Ideation:

When it comes to ideation it can be difficult not to get swept away with hundreds of different ideas. However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to creating quality digital PR, brainstorming and sense checking are just as critical as creative thinking.

For our Ireland’s snowiest Christmas counties release, we dedicated time and resources to expanding on the initial idea, finding tools to gather the data we would need and analysing how it would work in practice before starting to run full data collection. We also had a good look at what was already easily available to us- you would be surprised how much is there if you know where to look.

Don’t be afraid to take risks in the ideation stage but be sure you do due diligence on whether the data is actually available. You absolutely need your data team to stress test availability to match the idea.

Snow rest for the wicked – Data:

Once you are greenlit on data availability; think about the best way to gather the information you need.
To calculate the probability of a white Christmas in each county we devised a smart + clear route. Our data and digital PR team used weather data from the past ten years from Met Eireann and weather checking app TimeAndDate.


However, the website couldn’t find the exact figures for snowfall so instead of abandoning the idea, we decided to think creatively to problem solve a data issue and use the freezing point (the point at which snow could stick to the ground) plus precipitation to calculate the likelihood, working out the percentage based on the same ten-year time frame. Always use your creative to problem solve – even if it is a data issue!

Don’t be a flake – Timing:

We chose the topic based on new cycle trends over the last number of weeks – as well as trends in the news cycle during the lead-up to Christmas over the past number of years.

By searching for what journalists are covering and have covered on a regular basis each year you can get ahead of competitors by offering publications information on topics that you know they’re already going to be interested in. Getting to a story first and at just the right time is key to a campaign’s success.

Snow not tell – Crafting:

When writing your press release it’s important to craft it like you would a news article, if you can do interviews with experts, think of snappy headlines and sub-heads and write in a news language style as much as possible.

This approach adds instant value to your release and means that very few publications will edit much of the content of your release, which is always the goal – and was what we noticed when examining the coverage gained from our white Christmas release.

Break the ice – Outreach:


You can always give your release an advantage by simply snowing your audience (no, we’re not done with the puns yet). Look at what journalists are already writing about the topic before starting your outreach.

And remember – there’s snow place like home (we warned you) – think local and don’t be afraid to send your release to any smaller regional publications if it has a regional angle, every piece of coverage counts.

Avoid meltdowns – Retargeting:

So, you’ve thought of a great idea, crafted an excellent press release, and perfected your outreach approach but you’re still not getting any coverage. Don’t stress just yet. Falling down the rabbit hole of overthinking your idea is a slippery slope, chances are journalists aren’t freezing you out – they’re just incredibly busy, meaning even if your idea really stands out, it’s not always going to land the first time around.

If it seems like things are moving at a glacial pace, take a breather, go back to the drawing board to see if there are any new angles you can try and retarget.


For Legacy’s Christmas-themed digital PR when coverage had come to a standstill after the first day or so we decided to ditch the traditional follow-up approach. Instead, we decided to go back to each publication, see what journalists had covered similar stories in recent hours, and add them to the outreach list. You know what they say if at first, you don’t succeed completely freak out – and then try, try again, of course.

Go with the snow – Improvement:

Even the most successful campaigns can always be improved. Take each release as a learning opportunity. Learn about the journalists who love this type of story; what drove the most links and where you couldn’t land coverage. Then call us 🙂


Snow off – You’ve earned it!

Make sure to track the things that you *did* get right just as much as the things you may have missed the mark on.

Digital PR can be a bit of a minefield at times, take it easy on yourself, there will always be room to improve something. Chances are you’re doing better than you think – and if you don’t believe that, simply flake it ‘til you make it.


Snow other benefits, or is there?

The campaign had amazing results in terms of the amount of coverage that it got, but it also came with a ton of other benefits, let me explain.



One of the hardest things to do in SEO is build links, especially to the right pages! With this campaign we were able to build some really nice links to our target page from extremely authoritative websites. these links will help us grow the authority of our site and ultimately our organic traffic.


Referral Traffic

As well as all those juicy links, we also saw a huge increase in referral traffic to our website, another great signal that search engines will use to increase our organic traffic. Search engines love popular sites, and use metrics like traffic from other sources to measure the popularity of a site, which is in part why big brands tend to be so hard to compete with when it comes to the first page of the search engine results.