Public relations professionals regularly educate their management teams on what a proper PR campaign can do for their brand or organization. This includes internal corporate communicators who work with their organizations’ thought leaders and stakeholders. Often, the right PR agency partner can add great value here in helping to demonstrate impactful ROI for this type of earned media.
Media relations form the core of what a PR communicator does, and audiences trust earned media more than paid-for coverage because of its penchant for third-party credibility. In an age of shrinking newsrooms, product or service promotion is becoming more valuable but clients are continually asking to see the value of PR.
Earned media is challenging to measure true ROI because it is difficult to see how a placement truly impacts an organization’s mission and bottom-line. Instead, specific metrics should be agreed upon to measure success. The number of links or share of voice over time against competitors, the domain authority of the site, social shares as well as views can be used to measure the impact of an earned media piece.
News has changed. It’s a 24-hour news cycle now, heavily visual, breakneck and the traditional newspaper are constantly in heavy decline. What kinds of stories do journalists in the industry want? Human interest stories or those based on proprietary data are in demand. Anything that can be easily shared on social media will be a success. Infographics or striking visuals, either images or video, will boost engagement on Facebook or Twitter. Thus, investing in producing these will reap rewards for any brand.
Human interest stories or those based on proprietary data are in demand. Anything that can be easily shared on social media will be a success. Infographics or striking visuals, either images or video, will boost engagement on Facebook or Twitter. Thus, investing in producing these will reap rewards for any brand.
Stories showcasing the social good a company does are also in demand. Many consumers want to read about brands doing more positive things in their communities, so it can lead to quite an impact to get such a story in the media.
There are plenty of online resources that can be used to compile lists of journalists, but relationships are still needed with reporters covering a specific topic. Once a journalist is identified, pitching a story today takes place mainly through email. Content, timing and spokespeople must all be considered when pitching. A new or contradictory story will be picked up faster than an old or tired storyline. Brands must always ask how their story is different from one that was previously reported on.
A plan must be in place before a media hit to boost its visibility. Distribution can take place on a firm’s social media profile, to employees through an internal newsletter or even with paid influencers. A media hit must be capitalised upon in a timely manner and failing to do so undermines a lot of earned media campaigns.
PR professionals agree that getting a feature written by a journalist about the company or quoting one of the subject-matter experts in a story can have great value. It’s also impactful to have a well-penned, thought-leadership-style opinion column written that gets the company’s message across in an informative way.
The authority from being quoted in a feature piece can easily transition into that person, say the CEO of a firm, writing their own opinion piece that could be featured in a newspaper.
A good public relations team must work hard to ensure that their clients understand the process of earned media placement and manage their expectations as the process moves forward. Does your senior leadership see the value of earned media? How can we help you communicate this value and then demonstrate great results each month so that your brand’s mission is reached? Schedule a consultative session today with Merit Mile’s award-winning PR team to learn more.
About The Author: John Sternal is a partner with Merit Mile, a full-service, integrated marketing communications firm that specializes in PR and social media, lead-gen and marketing campaigns, interactive development, and market research.
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