Five Tips About Earned Media

In Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Survey, 55% of respondents surveyed said they consider earned media a critical part of their marketing program.

earned media
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Earned media is something that requires a public relations professional to execute. Earned media is publicity, and that’s best done by a media relations expert.

When we (yes, media relations is my very first expertise in public relations) launch a campaign to earn coverage or stories in any type of media (print, broadcast and digital, too), there is a strategy, there is integration with marketing, there is content, there is specific tactics to execute, and there needs to be news.

The biggest factor why earned media is unsuccessful is due to the fact that a company has no news but requires the agency or expert to execute on the story anyway.

Social media has forever altered how we do media relations as public relations professionals. Most journos insist they don’t need PR people; in fact, PR peeps beg to differ!

5 Tips About Earned Media

Here are considerations for your better understanding about earned media:

1. Got news? Hire a senior media relations professional to make sure you do. The addition of a board member to the advisory group isn’t news; whereas, the replacement of a CEO is (especially if the company is publicly traded).

2. Use a news release. News releases are not dead. This vehicle packages the news into the appropriate and customary format for all journos to read. It’s also the approved method of communication required for any wire service.

3. Buy a media list service. I use Cision and love it; I’m a former Bacon’s girl (nope, you can’t eat that, you Baconators!) I have also used Vocus, and have also considered every other free service or more pricey. Nothing competes with Cision; it’s tops.

4. Hire a media relations professional. (See? I repeated that!) I don’t say this lightly. It’s one thing to draft a news release with the proper style, but it’s entirely another to know where to begin to pitch media and how. The very first thing is knowledge of how and where to find that media and whether to create a list. Then, you need to know how to pick up the phone and sell the news…yes, media relations requires selling.

5. Adjust results’ expectations. As said, social media has forever altered how publicity is earned. There are many ways to get coverage for news in social channels and via online news releases, like PR Web. Getting that ultimate hit — the story in the national print newspaper, is the Holy Grail, but you can’t get there alone.

What are your tips about earned media? Please leave a comment below!
Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati is a public relations marketer and message mapping master. She blends content marketing, digital marketing and social media with core PR. She is president of Soulati Media, Inc. and an award- blogger writing at She is author of "Message Mapping: Why You Need It and How To Do It" available free on her website. Trained in Chicago's PR firms, Jayme is a media relations veteran and a past president of the Publicity Club of Chicago. She plays competitive tennis player and wants to connect with you on any social media channel!
Jayme Soulati

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3 Comments on "Five Tips About Earned Media"

Jayme Soulati
April 22, 2013

Hi, Steve:

You're so right…a professional who understands how to integrate the various marketing disciplines is a better professional for companies interested in more than just a story in a newspaper.

Thanks for commenting and so sorry for my late response!

April 16, 2013

Many entrepreneurs are still under the impression that just to get to Page 1 on Google means automatic sales and profits. We like to look at our company's day-to-day growth as newsworthy on some level: Whether it's blogging, event announcements, or internal company news through social media, and big announcements to the Press. It takes someone that knows the company to do it,however, not a 'mercenary' that does their job well but for many businesses. Check our blog page attached for our system.

April 15, 2013

Hi Jayme!

Earned media is so close to our heart and you have defined it well in this post. We couldn't agree more with #1 and #4 – a lot of people can write well, but PR requires several skillsets – from networking to solid verbal and written communication skills, social media, reporting – a trained media relations professional is the best fit for the job and will get the best return.

We also are swooning over the mention in #3 – we appreciate your business and the shout-out! Did we mention we love you too :)

Thank you for representing the industry well, for the link & mention, and for pushing the industry to think broader and do better; we're all wiser for it!