You get what you pay for, as the saying goes. However, in the world of marketing and public relations (PR), that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s the exposure that you don’t pay for that is the most highly valued and respected. In our opinion, you don’t want to lead your efforts with paid media. Earned media through PR efforts should be the first step in pursing exposure in desired outlets. While paid media is by no means bad, earned media secured through your PR channels is best!
Earned media is exposure in those outlets that are covering you or your brand because you have something exciting to say or something important to contribute. This includes news stories, featured stories or profiles, and even shares and reposts of your own content. A PR professional can help you get these placements by cultivating the right message for your social channels and brand outreach, pitching editorial contacts, sharing news through social media posts or press releases and following up with those contacts to secure earned exposure.
Paid media is what you would consider traditional advertising. This could be a print advertisement, television placement, or in the digital world, sponsored/promoted posts or pay-per-click (PPC) placements. This also includes “pay to play” placements where you purchase the opportunity to be featured in a spotlight or in a specific publication. This isn’t a bad way to go depending on your objectives and budget, but it’s not what you want at the forefront of your marketing plan.
There’s trust and transparency associated with this type of exposure, and the kind of authenticity that is so coveted and desired in today’s communication landscape. Leading with earned media shows your followers that it’s not just about a large advertising budget, but that your company has an important message and deserves their attention.
If you’re looking to boost your earned media presence, it’s ideal to start first with your own content. What do you have that is exciting that you can share with others? This doesn’t have to be new products or services; it can be blogs about your industry or insights that you want to share. Take time to create content that would interest your audiences. Not only will this get you the likes, follows and reposts of earned media, but it will also give your PR agency a place to start crafting their own strategy for more earned placements.
A PR agency can not only help develop your content strategy, but they can also put together a plan to get you in front of larger mass media outlets. They’ll spot the opportunities that will pique the interest of reporters and other content creators. They’ll also have cultivated relationships with these contacts and will use these connections on your behalf. PR professionals help communicate what your company has to offer and use their expertise to create story-catching press releases and pitches, all while following up with editorial teams to secure those stories that will generate the most earned media.
To learn more, contact Beyond Fifteen today.