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What does a successful Earned media campaign look like?

By Jon Brown

Earned media – organic third-party endorsement gained through media coverage – is a core part of Inbound PR.

Known as the ‘traditional’ approach to PR, this approach is still widely accepted as one of the most valuable ways to generate trust in a brand as well as its people, products and solutions.

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Whether you’re focused on gaining traction in traditional print media or looking to move to the digital approach involving Inbound PR, we take a look at why Earned media is important to build trust and what businesses need for a successful campaign.


How Earned media can help build trust

Just like taking advice from family, friends and neighbours, messages taken from reliable sources with credible titles, such as a CEO, are more readily accepted. This also increases the reader’s trust in what the person is saying as the information would be seen as coming from an expert in their field.

Likewise, we trust the article and the person because of where it is published – in a reputable publication that holds long-standing values on journalism and reporting.

But it’s not just spokespeople that help build successful Earned media campaigns, it’s content. In Cision’s 2018 State of the Media report, UK journalists ranked press releases (44%) as their most trusted channel for news, followed by company spokespeople (23%), company website (23%), company blog (5%) and social media (5%).


Building a successful Earned media campaign

So, we’ve highlighted the importance of an Earned media campaign to build trust, but how do we implement it?

As we’ve seen, using Owned media channels like social media or a company blog can provide some context and useful information, but they’re not entirely useful bases for journalists to use to report on a story. Rather than just pointing a journalist to your website, get a journalist to speak to a spokesperson directly, because explaining and elaborating something verbally is inherently better than copy and pasting words taken from a product page.

Whatever your Earned media outreach plan involves – whether it’s a blog post, a press release or a spokesperson interview – you must put forward material that clearly explains what the business does, without the business jargon, and why it’s relevant to the respective journalist with a clear ‘hook’.

A successful B2B technology Earned media campaign will be made up of a mixture of the following content, with regular outreach to business, tech, channel and industry press contacts:

  • Press releases63% of journalists said press releases were the top form of content they want from their PR contacts, so make sure you give it to them! (Download a free template here)
  • Thought leadershipregular blogs and opinion articles act as a way to combine brand messages alongside industry hot topics that resonate with both journalists and their audiences
  • Interviews – whether carried out face-to-face or over the phone, interviews offer a great way to build relationships with journalists, they add a more personal touch and offer expert insights that readers can enjoy
  • Case studies – some interesting and unique examples to back up your claims will go a long way in building trust in your brand
  • Market research – independent surveys and studies can provide journalists with a better understanding of your industry as well as unique stats and facts

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Tags: Earned Media