Here at Darby, we live for the next great media coverage for our brands. Nothing makes our day better than receiving a glowing review for a client’s product, compelling brand story article, inclusion in a “best of” roundup or buyer’s guide, or the best–a coveted cover shot! It’s certainly a win for us, but more importantly—it’s third-party validation from trusted sources that helps consumers better understand our brands and make informed decisions before they buy. These placements help our clients reach wider audiences, grow their website referrals and social channels, share information about new products and initiatives, and yes—sell more product.
Obviously media coverage wouldn’t be possible without our incredible media partners who tirelessly test gear, conduct interviews, and research, research, research. So… without further ado, we look back on some of our favorite PR “wins” from 2020 and the writers/teams that made them happen.
When it comes to outdoor gear, it doesn’t get much better than an Editors’ Choice award from Backpacker. This venerated outlet is renowned for putting the gear they test through the paces, so when they say something is the best of the best, they know what they’re talking about. This recognition for the All-Paca Sleeping Bag Liner brought serious credibility (and of course, serious impressions) to the brand and the product.
Astral’s TR1 Mesh was named one of the best water shoes of 2020 by Outside magazine, with Jill Robinson saying “Here’s an ultralight hiker that’s as comfortable as a sneaker but performs like a water shoe. The TR1 is great for everything from river romps to long hikes…” Astral then took it a step further and featured this coverage in a series of successful digital ads; a great example of how brands can strategically leverage their media coverage.
Newcomer Blyss Running was featured in GearJunkie’sEmerging Gear column twice this year! This small-but-mighty brand is bringing comfort and style to women’s running gear in sizes 4-20, and it’s awesome to see them get the recognition they deserve for their new designs!
Our newest client BRANWYN currently only sells direct-to-consumer. That means they rely heavily on digital coverage to build their backlinks, boost their SEO, and ultimately drive sales. That’s why digital coverage, like this YOGA+life review, are crucial to their e-commerce success. This particular hit checks a lot of the boxes that our media relations team looks for in our clients’ PR coverage: a direct link back to the brand’s website, our client’s name in the title, personal testimony from the gear tester, and more. Plus, the outlet reaches one of BRANWYN’s key target audiences: yoga enthusiasts and fitness gurus.
Running Insight is such an important trade publication in the running world. It was great to connect Patrick, the Founder of FitRankings, with Editor Michael Jacobsen for a Q&A. Patrick and Michael discussed in detail how the FitRankings platform can ultimately help businesses in the race and running industry navigate this difficult year and the wake it’s leaving behind.
Feetures is well-known and well-respected in the running world, so when they launched a new cycling collection this fall it was extremely important that we secure coverage in reputable cycling publications to earn the trust of cycling enthusiasts. Cyclists depend on Bike Rumor for industry updates and the latest and greatest product releases, so we were very happy when they included Feetures new cycling collection in the Fall Gear Roundup saying, “The 7″ height is sure to attract the cycling crowd along with ultra-thin levels of the sock available for hot summer riding.”
Every year, Hyland’s Powered names an incredible team of athletes to represent their brand at the Boston Marathon. While we didn’t get to see these community-building powerhouses actually gather at the Boston starting line, since the marathon was virtual this year, it was fun to see the spotlight on athlete Sasha Wolff and the work she is doing to build community around running and mental health.
To be included in a “best of” list from a respected outlet, like Sunset, highlighting a product as one of the best innovations of the year is pretty much a dream hit for a brand-new product. In addition, this media coverage has been the number one source of referral traffic to Ignik’s site since it was published – so we consider that a double win!
As spring turned to summer, interest in camping hit an all-time high due to cooped-up quarantiners itching to get outside safely. Our friend and freelance journalist, Clint Carter, was invited onto the TODAY show to show off all the gear camping newbies would need. He featured UCO’s classic 3-candle Candlelier lantern on the live TV spot and UCO’s Flatpack fire pit in the online roundup, introducing the brand to a massive, non-endemic audience of first-time campers.
It is always a win when a PR hit achieves a specific client goal. The Jerrycan’s inclusion in Backpacker’s water filter roundup accomplished just that — 1) To be included in more roundup style coverage with key competitors and 2) Differentiate the product for its standalone quality and technology. This hit was a big win for developing brand awareness and trust for LifeSaver in the North American Market.
It’s always fun to coordinate something a little bit different. And it’s always fun working with Eric Pickhartz, Editor in Chief of Wide Open Spaces. Eric hosted Ombraz co-founders Jensen & Nikolai on a Facebook Live for an in-depth discussion on their brand journey, the armless sunglass revolution, and their Ombraz Shade Project initiative. Eric did a great job throughout this 20-minute interview, asking interesting questions and going deep with the always entertaining Ombraz team. It was a lot fun to watch!
This beautiful print piece was a labor of love. It required a lot of collaboration and coordination, with a few hiccups along the way. I’m so pleased with how it turned out, and really appreciate all of the hard work from everyone involved. Editor-in-Chief Ellen Carpenter was amazing to work with, along with the awesome prose written by Darrell Hartman and the beautiful photography captured by Greta Rybus. The piece does an incredible job capturing the push to balance 122-years of heritage and craftsmanship with constant innovation.
Our partnership with Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn this year was focused on top-notch Holiday Gift Guide placement. There are two reasons this media coverage was so important — it sent Poppy a ton of referral traffic and it is exactly the way many of us think about Christmas shopping! LOL!
With Sierra Designs’ release of a new product line and collaboration with Target in 2020, the brand was introduced to a new audience of entry-level adventurers, thereby shifting our PR focus to non-endemic media sources. The Adventure Out Double Hammock feature on both CNN Underscored and Better Homes and Gardens is a great example of this targeted approach to reaching a new and widespread audience.
Back in August, we got the right story in front of the right audience at the right time. RV travel was booming due to travel restrictions, and people across the country were exploring options for hitting the road. We wanted to introduce SylvanSport’s GO to folx who were researching how to travel by RV and show them why the GO is a great alternative to traditional hardside campers or multi-axel RVs. Simkins liked the GO and wrote a great story for Sunset listing all the reasons why it was a great option for RV travelers. Sunset’s affluent, travel-minded audience responded well and SylvanSport saw a major surge of referral traffic to their GO landing page as a result.
Thanks to Clint Carter, again, Tarpestry was featured on back-to-back episodes of the TODAY Show in May as host Craig Melvin and his family went camping in their backyard. This hit was very successful for Tarpestry as it became a major traffic referrer to their site. Tarpestry maximized this media coverage by including it in their newsletter to subscribers. Read more about this success story in our case studies HERE.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances of COVID closures and lockdowns, Wildwater’s top hit of the year comes from sharing their experience in a syndicated article from the Greenville News. Former digital marketing manager Trey Barnett was interviewed for this piece, which undoubtedly introduced several readers and new audiences to Wildwater.
These are just a few of the media coverage pieces that we were excited about this year, but there were many that we had to leave off this blog. To see our rolling feed of media hits, visit our Twitter page HERE. Learn more about our PR services HERE.