Content Creation | Digital PR
9 Min read

JBH’s Best Digital PR Examples of 2021

Written by Sophie Howarth
@sophieannhow

The Digital PR Low-down… Digital PR Unwrapped… our Digital PR Director, Rebecca Moss, delivering the results in the form of a 10 minute freestyle rap. There were a lot of ways we considered outlining our favourite digital PR examples of 2021, but as fellow digital PRs know, sometimes you just can’t beat a good old list. So, as the year comes to a close, the JBH team has rounded-up our best digital PR campaigns of 2021.

Since Christmas is the season of giving, we’re starting off with the digital PR campaigns we didn’t work on. These are digital PR examples from fellow agencies that shocked and fascinated us, warmed our hearts, made us laugh — and ultimately, made us green with envy.

The best digital PR examples we didn’t do

1. The Top 200 Common Passwords — Nordpass
First up is The Top 200 Common Passwords by Nordpass. We’ve already made it clear that, as a digital PR agency, we love lists — and if you’ve been around the industry block, you’ll know there aren’t many digital PR examples more thrilling than a ‘Top 100’ or ‘Most Common’ list. Sprinkle them onto our cornflakes! On a more serious note, we thought this campaign was highly topical, and a real conversation starter. After all, just how many times have you told your technophobe parents 123456 isn’t quite the cryptic password they assumed it to be?

2. 7 Fantasy Bedrooms Inspired by Iconic “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Queens — Household Quotes
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a talent show that’s nine years and 13 seasons strong — and that’s not counting its UK run. Everyone who’s anyone has a favourite queen from each series — always down to their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. In layman’s terms, RuPaul’s tongue-in-cheek acronym essentially means ‘personality’ — and what better way to portray personality than by Fantasy Bedrooms? As far as digital PR examples go, this campaign is a perfect case of when pop culture meets the post-Penguin world (if you know, you know).(Image source: https://news.yahoo.com/7-fantasy-bedrooms-inspired-iconic-162438870.html)

3. The Modern Attitudes to Sex and Dating Report — HANX
Here’s where the digital PR examples get a little saucy! You’ve heard of social distancing… but what about sexual distancing? This exploration of the global pandemic’s effect on sex and relationships couldn’t have been more fitting for public conversation. Injecting fresh energy into discussions around social distancing, The Modern Attitudes to Sex and Dating report gave us insight into how people feel about everything from sex on the first date… to approaching the STI conversation. Additionally, with talks of another UK lockdown looming, this falls into a subcategory of some of our gold digital PR examples — the campaigns that can be repurposed.

4. Side Hustle Economies — Canva
Just as the global health crisis has shaped much of our lives for the past two years, it’s also shaped much of our digital PR campaigns. We’ve seen tons of brand new words and phrases enter our everyday vocabulary — like ‘quarantine’, ‘lockdown’, and ‘key workers’. Also a result of the pandemic, another, more fun concept increasingly discussed by the public was the ‘side hustle’ — with Exploding Topics reporting that searches for this term had risen by 1533% since 2017 in October 2021. Side Hustle Economies looked at the careers that allow for a moonlighting role, top 10 ranking of said roles, and the ones that command the highest fees.

5. Social Salary Calculator — Lickd
In addition to the side hustle, in October 2021, Exploding Topics also reported that searches for ‘virtual influencer’ had increased 99x since 2017. But just how much could an online career earn you? In terms of topical digital PR examples, Lickd’s Social Salaries Calculator was another insightful campaign that seamlessly tapped into the public conversation. Using the median US and UK salaries as a benchmark, its interactive layout allowed people to calculate the number of sponsored posts on Instagram, and views on TikTok and YouTube required to earn the average annual salary.

6. The Most Expensive College in Every State, in One Map — Yahoo! Finance
We’ve already mentioned how much us digital PR professionals love lists and rankings, but there’s one more thing we unfailingly fall head over heels for — data maps. And with its colourful graphics depicting the most expensive US colleges in each state by emblem, this data-led campaign made it straight onto our list of good-looking digital PR examples — before we clocked the prices of the colleges, that is! But don’t worry, we’re not about to ask this map out on a date, we just know a good, digestible dataset when we see one.(Image source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/most-expensive-college-every-state-141300439.html)

7. The Scariest Movies — According to Science — Broadband Choices
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again — nothing beats evergreen content. While a Halloween-related campaign is technically seasonal, Scariest Movies According to Science made our evergreen digital PR examples cut because it can be relaunched year upon year. Same methodology… different results… even more links. Looking at the films that get people’s hearts hammering the most, this campaign crowned Rob Savage’s 2020 release, Host, as 2021’s scariest film of all time. But what will next year’s winner be? We can’t wait to find out.

8. Beauty Around the USA — Cosmetify
They say beauty is all around us — and in the 21st century, so are beauty products — not to mention beauty YouTubers, Instagrammers, TikTokers… you get the gist, it’s a trending topic. But which foundation will give you the most effortless glow? Which blusher works its magic to transform even the most sallow skin into a rosy tint? How can you sketch your sparse brows into the bushy beauties from your Pinterest boards? Through examining annual searches for a range of beauty brands, the Beauty Around the USA report successfully ranked top beauty brands like Glossier, Morphe, and Maybelline — helping people paint the perfect picture.

9. The Most Fun Cities to be a Student in 2021 — Study Inn
Along with the degree that could determine the course of, well, the rest of your life, university is crucially an experience. So, which university should you attend if you’re looking to make the most memories? Using the Guardian’s university league table from 2021, Study Inn scored the locations of top academic institutions based on the level of fun offered, average pint prices, and the proximity of bars and clubs to their sites — among other factors. Our only criticism: where was this list when we were selecting our uni courses?!

10. The Most Popular Brand in Every Country, Mapped — Business Financing
Yet another example of a digital PR campaign that tapped into new trends brought about by coronavirus — in this case, streaming and online shopping — Business Financing explored the varying preferences of consumers across the globe. Analysing each continent and every country, the results were made accessible to the everyman in a colour-coded map — very easy on the JBH eye. Predictably, consumer giants Google, Netflix, and Amazon made the podium for the World’s Most Popular Brands.

(Image source: https://vividmaps.com/most-popular-brands/amp/)

The digital PR campaigns we did do

Now, onto the digital PR examples we did work on — from the campaigns we thought would never land, to the ones that made us do a little post-outreach hair flick (you know the one). In a year that’s proved especially challenging, we’re giving ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for the following campaigns.

1. Why Can’t I Sleep at Night? — OTTY
“Why Can’t I Sleep at Night?” — it’s one of the world’s biggest questions, and as digital PR examples go, this is an ideal representation of when the most obvious ideas make for the best performing campaigns. For award-winning mattress brand, OTTY, we saw an opportunity to tap into a universal experience — sleep. After all, as the campaign itself states, sleep is essential to human survival. This campaign gained some amazing coverage in UK and US nationals — like the US Sun and the Mail Online — plus a high DA international link in the India Times.

2. The Most Colourful Places in the World — Uswitch
In the golden age of Instagram and its users’ competition over who can create the most beautiful grid, we looked at The Most Colourful Places in the World. Using colour dropping assessment, Google searches, and Instagram hashtags, we were able to determine the most vibrant destinations for people to holiday in, and set up home — and the results were stunning, if we do say so ourselves… not to mention the coverage! We achieved multiple links from top publications above DR 70 — including GQ Italia, Popular Photography, Digital Camera World, and Sapo.

3. The Most Successful NBA Wives and Girlfriends — SlotsUp
The wives of America’s NBA players aren’t just known for being uber glamorous arm candy, they’re also highly successful in their own right — in fact, some of them are even more affluent than their basketball beaus. But who’s the most successful of this brand of WAGs? From Kendall Jenner to Teyana Taylor, our data analysts crunched the numbers to see who sets the score off the court. In total, this campaign generated 25 links across five different countries — including spots in the Scottish Sun, and Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

4. Decorated Dates: Is Your Birthday Linked to Award-Winning Success? MyHeritage
What if no matter how many diplomas you achieved, or crosswords you completed, your birthday was the real secret to success? We analysed the birthdays of 1000 recipients of prestigious prizes to establish which due date hopeful parents should aim for if they want their offspring to become the next Einstein, Michael Phelps, Lizzo, or Emma Watson. On the whole, April took the most successful birthday month title, which makes July the best month for all the hard work. If you know what we mean. This campaign achieved notable global coverage — collecting 33 links throughout 16 different countries — including links in the UK Mirror, and French publication, Femme Actuelle.

5. The UK’s Best Cities for Bottomless Brunching, Ranked – The BottleClub
If we were to categorise our digital PR examples into the best proactive and reactive campaigns, then the UK’s Best Cities for Bottomless Brunching, Ranked study we completed for Bottle Club would definitely be a top scorer. Due to the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic, and the ensuing ever-changing rulebook for socialising, we did a lot of thinking on our feet this past year. While it was sometimes equal parts thrilling and chilling —it did help us produce some stellar reactive content. This campaign achieved a whopping 35 links in tons of leading UK news outlets — including The Independent, The Mirror, and MSN.com.

6. The UK Drug and Alcohol Use Survey 2021 – Delamere
Primarily, digital PR is about raising increasing brand awareness and boosting brand credibility — and this includes creating trust between business and user. Of this year’s digital PR examples, The UK Drug and Alcohol Use Survey has proven to be a great example of championing client expertise and inspiring consumer trust. Within the survey, we examined the rate of alcohol use in 2021, how many people use drugs throughout the UK, and the impact drug use can have on people’s lives — in addition to more promising stats like the rate of recovery. This campaign achieved 21 links in total — including highly relevant links in publications like Men’s Health. Even better, the survey was such a trusted source that the UK nationals began citing it without our even having to pitch. Remember that outreach hair flick we mentioned?

7. The ‘Dirty Delivery’ Report 2021 — money.co.uk
This is another perfect campaign to add to the list of evergreen digital PR examples that can be relaunched to boost your client’s brand awareness. In 2020, we analysed the surge effect the pandemic had on internet shopping, and the consequences for the environment. 2021 saw us revisit the issue just two weeks before the COP26 summit — and the results were just as shocking. This campaign proved to be particularly successful when Black Friday rolled around — with leading  publications like Country and Townhouse drawing on our stats to promote ‘Green Friday’, and Dazed using them to dub fast fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, ‘Big Ugly Thing’.

8. Sin Cities — The World’s Wildest Party Destinations Ranked — SlotsUp
During the very first lockdown, back when we were confined to four walls and consequently spending every minute of spare time fantasising about our next getaway, we tapped into the public’s subconscious with a definitive ranking of The World’s Wildest Party Destinations. From London to Las Vegas, our research outlined the perfect place to paint the town for every partygoer — we recommend having SkyScanner opened while you read this one. In terms of links, this campaign gained 150% on KPI — with domain authority links as high as 61 and 81.

9. Revealed: the world’s most popular condiments — money.co.uk
Condiments — they’ve ruined relationships and divided nations. Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration… nonetheless, the decision of whether to douse your chips in ketchup or mayo, or top your nachos with guacamole or salsa, is a tough one — but it was no match for our data team! We crunched the numbers to break down the most superior sauces — and we couldn’t resist popping the results in a colourful map. This campaign was a slow burn — but in true JBH style, we kept pushing, and our efforts paid off! Our tastiest, highly relevant links included spots in Delish, The Takeout, Delicious Magazine, and Eat This, Not That!

10. The Inclusive Index: The ultimate plus size fashion guide – WeThrift
The average woman in the UK wears a size 16, so you’d think that the fast fashion world would reflect this. Sadly, this doesn’t tend to be the case, and shopping for true-to-size clothes tends to be an exercise of pure frustration. But what if there was another way? Turns out, there is — at least with our Inclusive Index. We crunched the data to rank retailers in order of inclusivity — with Chinese fast-fashion brand, Shein coming out on top. We then went on to analyse the least inclusive retailers — with Spanish brand, Pull & Bear taking the lesser title. This was another topical campaign that took off — generating 32 links in total, with an average DA of 74. That’s in addition to links on Wales Online, Woman & Home, and a brand mention in The Guardian.

There you have it — join us in raising an ice-cold glass of Bailey’s to the best digital PR campaigns of 2021 — according to the JBH team, anyway! Any we missed? Let us know on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We’ll see you there!

 

Post published on Friday December 24, 2021

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