Earning Media in the Digital Age

With the advent of digital marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing, some people have given up on one of the staples of media relations: earned media. That’s a huge mistake. No matter what’s happening in other areas of the industry, earned media is still a hugely valuable commodity.

And, for PR professionals, earned media is definitely something your client will expect. That’s not to say it’s easy. After all, even though news is 24-7 these days, and there are more outlets than ever before, there are certain topics that always seem to grab headlines. With these popular topics crowding the news cycles, getting noticed takes the right message, a winning strategy, and precise timing. Here are a few ways to win some earned media even in the breakneck pace of the Digital Age.

Maintain Relationships

You may hear this described as the “non-pitch.” It’s an intentional connection with a media contact without actually asking anything of them. This is vital in a world of shrinking newsrooms and tighter windows of opportunity. You need to become the person reporters can depend on to feed them great stories… and the occasional birthday or holiday card. Find ways to stay connected. Discuss hot topics of interest to them on social media, and don’t be afraid to ask what they’re chasing lately. You may just have something that fits their needs… or you may be able to put it together quickly.

Stay Informed to Be Topical

If you make a pitch that runs counter to the hot topic of the day, it’s likely to be stuck in the stack under all the stuff that may actually be published. However, if you stay on top of trending topics – and not just on Twitter – and can send reporters stories that fit the current cycles, you have a better shot at earning media.

Expand Your Net

While getting earned media in one of the bigger outlets is a huge win, it can be an even better win to get a story in a smaller, but more targeted, publication or outlet. You need to have an up-to-date list of many different publications, websites and other outlets that are directly connected with your business or industry. Your primary question really shouldn’t be “how many people” you will reach, but, instead, “how many potential customers” will you connect with.

Deliver Topical and Timely Content

Never underestimate the power of delivering great content to the countless websites out there that are always looking for fresh, new voices in their niche. Help them feel their publishing schedule as they connect you with readers who love what your brand does best. Do that, and they may ask for more. They may even share that content with other affiliates or outlets, spreading your message with an even wider net.

5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian, Founder of 5W Public Relations.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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