The public relations industry continues to evolve rapidly and the balance between earned media and paid media continues to shift as new technology emerges. How can you use earned media and paid media to stand out in a crowded field?
Let’s break it down. Earned media is gained through promotional efforts and community relationships. Although earned media has a lower overall cost to the client, there is less control associated with the campaign. Alternatively, paid media will cost more, but provides greater control over the campaign and message. The tradeoff for less control with earned media is third-party validation. When you tell your target audience your company or your product is great, they think, “Sure, of course you would say that.” When a journalist or third-party says you or your product is great, that’s noteworthy. What if you could get the best of both worlds?
Traditionally, public relations firms typically excel at earned media. At Novitas, earned media is a large portion of our public relations efforts. For example, during our campaign, Spot the Pot, Smart Colorado founders appeared on local talk radio shows as well as television networks (e.g. HuffPost Live, The Today Show, and others) to talk about the dangers of edible marijuana lookalikes.
Paid social media is a booming aspect of public relations and Novitas is no stranger. We take social media campaigns to the next level by developing creative sponsored content campaigns that produce strong metrics through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google AdWords.
Through these platforms, firms and companies have the opportunity to create a target audience based directly on the consumer. For example, a company wouldn’t target vegans with a fast food campaign – but hey, that’s just our professional opinion. With paid media, you can create content specifically targeted for a consumer audience and develop campaigns with your desired metric in mind, whether that be lead generation, link clicks, or website conversions.
PR pros combine earned media and paid media to create a lasting effect. During our Spot the Pot campaign, Smart Colorado invested in two billboards, costing $4,000, that displayed pictures of normal candy and candy infused with THC and asked passersby if they could “Spot the Pot,” to garner earned media. These efforts combined with earned media efforts translated into more than $1.2 million in total earned publicity value over a period of two months as our interviews were picked up by media outlets – talk about wow! We combined paid and earned media to not only launch a successful PR campaign, but to raise awareness about a health concern in Colorado.
The future of PR stands to blend these skills to create campaigns that provide the strongest results for companies. The most successful PR firms will use earned media and paid media to stand out and make a strong name for themselves.
If you have questions about how your brand can grow by leveraging earned media and paid media, reach out to Carson Denbow, at firstname.lastname@example.org