Earned Media: Is it worth all the trouble?

Generating media coverage in today’s fractured media environment is getting more and more difficult, especially for automotive suppliers and vehicle technology providers.


  • There are fewer reporters covering the supplier beat, and those that do seem to have less time yet more demands placed upon them;
  • Dwindling advertising spends tends to mean there is a smaller news hole to compete for in your key target media outlets; and
  • The constraints imposed by the pandemic and supply chain shortages seem to continue to stifle travel, reduce attendance at industry events, and generally make every activity more costly, more cumbersome and more time-consuming.

It’s no wonder marketing communications and PR professionals are frustrated.

Amidst this environment, you must ask yourself: Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier and more predictable to put earned media on the back burner, and rely much more heavily on paid and owned media, where you can control the message, the timing and the frequency?

YES, it might be easier … but it’s not more effective for your brand. And it’s not just us saying that.

In a recent piece in PRWeek, a panel of senior communications executives at some of the world’s top brands talked about the unmatched power of earned media

The panelists overwhelmingly agreed that earned media – particularly on traditional outlets’ platforms – is tremendously valuable and perhaps, more valuable than ever.

Here are some key points those top-brand executives made:

  • The average time someone spends on your social post is less than one second, while the average time someone spends reading an article in a trusted publication is more than 90 seconds.
  • For your story to resonate, there’s really no other channel like organic news outlets to generate message pull-through.
  • Traditional print titles, who now also have large online audiences, still have tremendous power and credibility. For example, a typical news story in the Wall Street Journal may be read by up to 100,000 C-suite executives.
  • Online search is everything these days, and a news story run by a valued, trusted media outlet not only ranks higher in Google searches than your own content, but it also keeps adding SEO value for a long, long time.
  • Not only does your company gain credibility by news stories appearing in trusted media outlets, that credibility can be amplified and its reach extended as those placements are shared by others – on the reporters’ social media, the publication’s social channels and your own social outlets.

For these reasons and more, giving up on earned media is a big mistake.

Sure, earning media coverage is more difficult. It’s more trouble and more risk, but ultimately, it is also more rewarding, by adding crucial credibility and trust to your message.  

To make earned media easier, make sure you pick the right agency partner – one that has proven capabilities in earning media coverage, is recommended by top editors, and doesn’t shy away from the challenge.

Pick one that knows your industry and the media that cover it, so has the relationships and hacks that can increase the odds in your favor … one that knows the pitfalls and can mitigate the risks.

If you need help finding such a partner, check out: 8 Questions to Ask in Your PR Agency Search and 8 More Questions to Ask in Your PR Agency Search.

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Author: Jim Bianchi

Jim is president at Bianchi PR with 40+ years of B2B PR experience in corporate and agency settings across multiple industries.

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