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Earned Media is Not a Thing of the Past

March 31, 2016
byLaura Van Eperen inPublic Relations
Earned Media

Constant changes in the media have been a hot topic in our industry for the past few years. We’ve all watched as news teams in both print and broadcast continue to either sink or swim in the digital age. Many of them are shaking up their old business models and are offering services beyond the traditional advertising space. Now, it seems that the “pay-for-play package” is the new life raft.

Just last week, I pitched a TV producer and wasn’t surprised when the sales department informed me I’d have to purchase a package in order to book my client with the producer. The package not only included advertising spots, but also video vignettes for the station’s online audience. With a yearly commitment and hefty price tag; it was not something I felt comfortable recommending to my client, especially given their business goals, market reach and budget.

Earned media, which consists of unpaid endorsements, includes feature stories, expertise quotes, organic traffic from search engines, online reviews, word of mouth and organic social media. And guess what? It’s more valuable than ever.

The proof is in the pudding:

  • Brands relying on earned media marketing save more than $14 dollars for every new customer acquired (Hubspot, 2014).
  • 70% of people want to learn about products through content vs. through traditional advertising (Inc., 2015.)
  • Lead generation driven by earned media out-performs lead generation driven by paid media by a delta of 10-15% (Conductor, 2014.)

Although the media are constantly evolving, companies and organizations should not discount the power of earned coverage. The value of earned media is too high to ignore. Organizations need media relations professionals to help them navigate the changing environment and get their message and brand in front of the right audiences.

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