Within marketing industry media there has been much discussion about the value of earned media. This is the return on investment that companies receive from featuring in editorial coverage.
For as long as I can remember, the focus for a PR professional has been on securing good, quality coverage in relevant publications. This then extended to digital titles and has since moved to third party platforms.
Earned media in its truest sense relates to stories that hold credibility by association. The reason being they have been verified and shared by a journalist. The argument could be that working with influencers does the same. They choose what content to share, but for the purpose of this blog we will keep it simple.
Earned and owned
So, earned content typically features in newspapers and on websites owned by these publications. It may be that the media is digital and doesn’t have a print version, but the same theory applies. Owned content is the copy that is written by a brand and shared online and across social channels.
This is not editorial. It is dictated by a brand for an audience. That doesn’t mean it holds no value. It just means that there is no third-party providing governance over its credibility.
Securing earned media
This is the bread and butter of traditional agencies. Securing earned media is often the key objective of a client that has in place a press office function. It is out job to identify a schedule of stories, to research, draft and distribute to the right media.
Sounds simple. The reality is that the copy needs to be compelling, newsworthy and relevant to the audience. You also need to write for the publication, the audience and the client.
Collating a value to earned media
There have been countless discussions about the measurement of PR. It is a constant battle to determine the impact that regular earned coverage will have on a business. The reality is that people don’t always associate their decision to purchase with the profile of a brand.
We can assume that the more you hear about a brand the more likely you are to purchase a product or service but confirming this is difficult.
From years of working in PR, clients do receive feedback from associates and colleagues who will comment positively on press and broadcast appearances. I’ve yet to come across an organisation that has been disappointed to feature regularly within relevant media.
There are also ways in which measures can be set such as audience reach. Publications have ABC ratings or MOZ scores for websites. This gives an indication of the authority of that title, either by purchase or visits.
Using these metrics gives a clear indication of the value of earned media and what it will deliver for a brand.
The benefits of earned media for business
The simple fact of the matter is that when people read about a business, they learn about it too. There is always a key message within a story. Something the brand wants you to know and to take away. It could be the announcement of a new product or service, appointments to the team or industry insight. Whatever the angle, there is reason for that press release to be shared.
Having a strategic approach to PR means that earned coverage can support the objectives of a business. Stories can be planned and scheduled to ‘hit’ at just the right time. This then gives further value to earned coverage as a business-critical tactic.
Getting best return on investment from PR
PR is about more than earned coverage. Content is everywhere and managing the messaging for a brand has never been more complicated. That said, we are in exciting times and PR has had the chance to stand up and to be counted in recent years.
There are many tactics to creating a PR campaign that will deliver results and we ensure that our clients have access to them all. With a balance of earned, owned and social coverage we are able to make sure the brands we work with are in the right place at the right time.
For further information about our approach to PR and how we can add value to your business, please visit: www.opencomms.co.uk or call a member of the team on tel. 01924 862477.