Earned Media Success
Earned Media: you may have heard the term thrown around often, especially if you’re in the process of hiring a public relations agency. But what exactly is earned media? Earned media comes when you earn media attention and coverage without paying for it. It is essentially the opposite of paid advertising and it is often considered far more valuable because the audience knows you actually received the media coverage for your skill, expertise, or story, which was validated by that media outlet by selecting you to interview and feature.
While earned media coverage can certainly result accidentally, it is far more effective when you can play offense vs defense in the media world; proactively earning media coverage versus responding to ad hoc media requests. In one scenario (defense), you are at the mercy of reporters and when they may or may not land on you to be their source for a story. In the other scenario (offense), you are in the driver's seat; you are the one working to create a set of circumstances that will make you more likely to earn media coverage, and ideally the type of coverage you want.
So how do you gain more control over the process and play offense? There are actually a set of core elements that work together to make it more likely to receive positive earned media coverage. These are:
The news cycle
You, the client!
If you are proactively interested in earning media attention, you would be remiss to enter this world without the expertise and experience of a publicist by your side. Not only do publicists bring meaningful media relationships to the table, they also bring a deep well of industry knowledge on how best to navigate the dynamic and ever changing world of media. Publicists understand how to craft pitches that present you in the best possible light, who to send them to, and how to facilitate the opportunity on your behalf once there is interest.
It’s important to understand that choosing a publicist is a little like dating - it should be a choice made by both parties and a good match. We often say that we choose our clients just as much as they choose us. If we don’t feel we’d be a good match for you, we’ll share why and happily refer you to a better fitting agency.
We are most successful at representing one of the following: experts who can provide commentary on headlines and newsworthy events, or brands with unique and compelling founder stories. You can learn more about some of the types of clients we work with by viewing our Case Studies.
It cannot be emphasized enough - no matter how interesting and dynamic your expertise or story may be, the cadence and rhythm of the news cycle have to coincide with that in some way to earn the coverage you desire. This is the idea behind our slogan Don’t Miss The Moment.
We make it our priority to make sure our clients never miss their moment to fit into the news cycle. You see, no one is relevant at all times. Understanding the news cycle’s cadence and rhythm, all while guiding our clients to make the most of the times when they can add value to it, is what makes our agency so good at what we do.
Of course, we cannot forget the most important piece of this process: you, the client! Successful clients bring forth a compelling story or area of expertise, a level of comfort in sharing that with reporters, and availability to respond to media requests when they are presented. It may seem so obvious, but if you cannot make the time for TV appearances or reporter interviews, you will be less successful in your earned media efforts than, perhaps, a person with a lesser story or expertise, who consistently avails themselves to the press. Before you begin working with a publicist, make sure you are in the right mindset and place to make yourself a reliable, interesting, and compelling source. We can help you accomplish a lot of this, but we can’t force you to prioritize it. Only you can do that!
To make this easier for our busy clients, we aim to limit meetings for the sake of having meetings. Once we complete our initial period of discovery with a new client, we work to limit the time we ask of them for anything other than direct media response and interviews. Be wary of agencies that spend time on lots of meetings to go over their outreach and unsuccessful attempts to secure coverage for you - they are filling time and delaying what should be the priority: earning media coverage for you, your expertise, your thought leadership, or your brand!