It’s one thing to tell your own story, it’s completely different to have a third party tell your story, which is one reason why earned media is more important than ever.
What exactly is earned media and why is it so important? Earned media is “free” exposure for your brand using public relations to reach out to the media to tell your story, whether it’s company news or newsjacking a trending topic.
The strategy of earned media is not new, but it is more relevant than it ever has been. Here are three reasons why:
When a media outlet writes about your brand, it gives you credibility that is more valuable than any advertising you could purchase. For example, Nielsen reports that 69 percent of people have some degree of trust in editorial content (i.e. earned media) versus 33 percent who trust online banner ads. The bigger and more credible the news outlet you are featured in, the more amplified the reach and credibility is for your brand.
- Staying power
When you purchase advertising, the campaign runs for a set amount of time and then it disappears like it never happened. With earned media, the exposure your brand receives can live on forever. Most news outlets archive content indefinitely, and it is almost always discoverable through search engines. So, months or even years after it has been posted, your target audience can still be discovered with earned media.
Using tools like Cision or Meltwater, it’s possible to measure the impact of earned media. The two key metrics public relations professionals look at are publicity value (how much the hit was worth in ad dollars) and reach (potential audience). These metrics can help put your public relations efforts in context.
If you’re trying to develop an earned media strategy one of the best ways to get started is through a process called newsjacking. Be on the lookout for our upcoming eBook on newsjacking that will offer you the essential keys to success.