Learning the particulars, especially the basics of Nielsen DMA rankings, is an essential tool for helping clients achieve maximum exposure and ROI.
How the PR Industry Uses DMA Rankings
One of the primary goals of public relations is to distribute a targeted, controlled message to its widest possible audience without losing cost efficiency or diluting the message. The modern PR pro uses social media, broadcast and print to disseminate messages. Radio Media Tours (RMTs), Audio News Releases (ANRs) and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are just a few of the tools which are critical to the success of many campaigns.
To maximize the use of these radio tools, targeting the proper media outlets is a vital component of PR campaigns. The route to optimal placement goes through Nielsen DMA rankings more often than not, as DMAs gives the PR pro an inside look at the population of an area. The 2020 Nielsen DMA rankings provide the most accurate and up-to-date portrayal of current radio and television markets.
Nielsen’s DMA rankings are based on the population of each surveyed market region. Sometimes, listenership may overlap in selected areas. For instance, some people in Milwaukee may be able to pick up the same radio stations as residents of Chicago. However, the DMAs themselves consist of whole or split counties that do not overlap, covering the entire continental US, Hawaii and portions of Alaska; usually focused on the specific region containing the largest city and branching out from there. This is because that city is usually the most populated area of the region, making it important in terms of media buys and PR campaigns.
Do you want to more accurately target regional campaigns across multiple markets?
The Importance of the DMA
Having access to the Nielsen DMA rankings 2020 is important because it will help PR professionals more accurately target regional campaigns across multiple markets. The DMA has a very important role in localized campaigns as well. Radio stations that are in large markets are often saturated with pitches, so they can be more difficult to penetrate than medium and small markets. By effectively pitching stations that “ring” the metro area of a DMA, you can successfully get your message into the metro market and include it in your results.
The proliferation of streaming and digital devices has brought new listeners to stations that in the past were accessible only by terrestrial signals. Agencies have to constantly update their methods of reporting in order to properly consider and include these listeners, who in some cases are people that are nowhere near the market that generated the content. For example, it’s easy to access a Los Angeles radio station from anywhere, as long as you have a computer or mobile device that can stream their signal on-demand.
Even if your campaign focuses on small and medium-sized markets, the primary goal is still to reach as many (relevant) listeners as possible. To do this within the constraints of time and money that often accompany campaign plans, PR professionals must understand the underlying geographic and demographic benefits of accessing DMA information. Limiting a campaign’s outreach parameters by using DMA data can actually strengthen it — the demarcation lines serve as a focal point that makes a campaign more precise through targeting high quality leads.
What is a DMA rank?
DMA stands for "designated market area," and may also be known as a media market, media region, broadcast market or a few other related names. The DMA rank is a metric that is used to prioritize media markets by the size of their TV and radio audiences. The data helps marketers justify how and when to purchase ads and PR professionals to target specific geographic regions for news and awareness related outreach.
What are the Top 5 Radio Markets?
The top 5 radio markets in the United States by population are as follows —
- New York, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Philadelphia, PA
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Other cities that have found themselves in or near the top 5 in recent years include Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose tri-city area.
DMAs and Your Campaign
DMAs can be a very useful tool in planning a PR campaign. MediaTracks Communications has long been a provider of radio services to public relations professionals. We know how to best target and utilize the nation’s DMAs to ensure that your message gets to the right audience at the right time.
Please don't hesitate to call us at 847-299-9500 for your next PR campaign. You may also email us at [email protected] to ask any questions that you may have about DMAs, Nielsen DMA rankings or the particulars of radio in the United States.
Looking for better results with your client’s radio campaigns?
See how we increase your reach while targeting the right audience across
the entire country.