Earned media is a common public relations term that is thrown around but businesses need to understand the importance of this term. Earned media is media coverage/publicity that is gained through promotional efforts, such as advertising. One can obtain their own earned media or they can hire a professional, like a Public Relations professional (like myself, *cough, cough*), to help you do this. A few things to keep in mind when trying to get media coverage is:
- Have a compelling story. Obviously, you will think that any story about your brand is compelling but make sure that it is compelling to the masses. You want a story that will turn heads, make jaws drop and create the conversations around your brand. If you are not sure that your story is compelling enough, ask you friends, family or even clients for their opinions (in casual conversations). Put your story into a press release and send it to the appropriate media.
- Invest time on social media. This is a free tool that will require your time. By creating a social media tactical plan that reflects your key messaging and is intriguing, you will get people talking. Figure out what social media platforms you know how to use, which ones you want to use and begin implementing a strategy. The world of social media is a fantastic place to create conversations about your industry and brand. (Tip: You can also tweet out your press release but make sure it’s posted on your website or blog)
- Network and build relationships. This involves human to human interaction. Get out there and meet new people. Find events to attend that are industry related, educational or of interest to you. Always have business cards and make sure to meet as many people as you can. A suggestion would be to find out who your new connections are and figuring out a way to help them (who do they need to meet? What are they looking for?). Always follow up with new connection on the phone, email or social media and if you see a potential business relationship, arrange a one on one meeting. Not sure where to do? Check out Meetup.com for potential networking opportunities.
- Provide valuable and sharable content on social media. People do business with people they like, know and trust and YOU want to be that person. It’s okay to provide information to your network that is sourced for other companies. You will been seen a curator of valuable and informative content. You can even provide your followers incentive to share and like your online content by having a giveaway, which is also a great way to grow your online community.
- Make your customers happy! Always be friendly, provide great service, have fantastic products and resolve all issues. A happy customer will be some of your best publicity because they will tell the people in their life about you. If you are lucky, they may even write a testimonial or review for you (which is appropriate to ask for).
If you are passionate about your profession and your brand, there is a great chance that media will find you. Always love what you are doing and always be stoked about what you are promoting. Walk the walk and talk the talk. Not every trick works for everyone but if you are consistently doing the 5 things mentioned in this post, earned media may come your way!