The Power of Earned Media: What You Need to Know

It’s becoming more difficult in today’s media environment to generate coverage, especially for automotive and mobility technology suppliers.

Why is that?

With fewer reporters than ever covering the supplier beat, those that are left are being asked to do more in terms of covering broader beats, filing more frequent stories across traditional and digital platforms, doing social media promotion, and creating blog posts, videos, webinars and other content.

Plus, shrinking advertising spends usually mean there’s a smaller news hole to compete for in your key traditional target media outlets.

This situation is making media relations more difficult than ever for communications and PR professionals.

You might find yourself thinking that building awareness might be easier and more predictable if we focused more of our efforts and budget on paid and owned media, and put less effort towards earned media. That way we could control the message, timing and frequency.

And YES, it might be easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way to promote your brand.

Earned media is a key component of the integrated PESO model approach popularized and copyrighted by Arment Dietrich CEO and Spin Sucks founder Gini Dietrich.

This model consists of four media types, paid, earned, shared and owned, for a cohesive integrated effort to build authority and position companies as experts. And you need all four components to succeed.

A strong pro-active media relations component – earned media — can add:

  • Maximum credibility: Media coverage carries the authority and credibility of an implied endorsement from respected, objective third party outlets that readers follow and trust.
  • Qualified audience: You can target your message to a qualified engaged audience of readers or viewers that already follow existing independent media outlets. If your company operates in the B2B space, the trade media that covers your sector may have thousands of readers / viewers who already depend on their publication for the information they need to do their jobs. Even with the biggest budget in the industry, your company would be hard-pressed to build the same kind of qualified, engaged audience for your website or blog … and if you could, it would take years. Earned media can help you tap into that precious audience now.
  • Extended reach: Bona fide, respected, independent media outlets carry a higher authority ranking with Google. Online search is everything these days, and a news story run by a valued, trusted media outlet will rank higher in Google searches than your own content, and it also keeps adding SEO value for a long time.

Giving up on earned media is a big mistake.

Is earning media coverage more difficult? Sure.

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

The best way to win on the earned media front is to make sure to pick the right agency partner for your company: One that has proven capabilities and is recommended by industry experts and top reporters.

Choose a firm that knows your industry and the media that cover it, so you know they already have those media relationships in place to increase the odds in your favor.

Author: Jaclyn Bussert

Jaclyn is a senior account executive at Bianchi PR with 12 years of B2B PR experience assisting and supporting our account teams in a variety of public relations activities.

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