Which one is best: paid or earned media? Let’s just start by saying this; Not many people buy from a company they’ve never heard of, especially in today’s crowded market. And there is no doubt that the most credible marketing is the type that others do for you.
According to a Nielsen study, 83% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know or can relate to, which is a big motivation to invest in earned media.
At Mynewsdesk, we know from our 20 years of experience that for companies that have come a bit further on their communications journey- working proactively with PR is an absolute must!
While paid media will help you get short-term results (like you finding this blog, for instance), your PR work will help you build trust and buzz over time. Simply because you are making others spread your message for you, and in today’s fragmented media landscape, where everyone is swamped with content, building trust in your brand is everything.
Get the PR you deserve – try Mynewsdesk today!
Public Relations helps build trust
PR falls into what is referred to as ‘earned’ media. This means publicity or attention that your company or brand receives as a result of what you say or share on your official channels. And when others speak well of you or your brand, it is a lot more powerful than when you do it yourself.
Thought leadership matters
Building your company’s image requires some effort on your part. But fear not.
PR can simply be keeping your audience up to date with what your company is doing or commenting on what others in your industry are saying. The first step to getting noticed is to speak up! And when you know what you are talking about, your audience will notice and start viewing you as a knowledgeable and trusted player.
It is a marathon. Not a sprint.
Now that we’ve got the basics squared away, let’s get one thing straight:
PR work is a Marathon. Not a sprint.
And to get the results you are looking for, you need to be patient and spend wisely. The good thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot because smart PR is extremely cost-efficient. And doing smart PR, Mynewsdesk is a very smart platform, doesn’t have to be hard either.
Some tips on how to work smarter with your PR
Knowing how to spend wisely can be tricky; as always, some variables differ.
1. Budget and expected goals
Start by setting a rough budget; according to webstrategiesinc.com, the average marketing and PR budgets range from 5-12% of your company’s revenue.
Then decide what your PR and communication goals are. Some examples can be:
- Increased leads- being visible within your industry is a great way to attract new customers.
- Personal profiling– perhaps you have some great people on the team that should get noticed?
- Improved domain ranking– climbing up the google results list is on most companies’ wishlists, and good PR work can help a lot.
Tip 1: Knowing WHAT and HOW MUCH is the starting point for most successful investments. Your PR work is no exception.
2. Be patient, Rome was not built in a day
Successful PR is a long game that requires patience and perseverance. What you do today will set you up for tomorrow’s successes (sometimes the day after tomorrow). It takes some time from the moment people start to notice you until you can share a bunch of impressive press clippings with your management team. Something they will love when it happens by the way.
Tip 2: Manage your expectations. Good PR work takes time.
3. Basic PR hygiene kit
There are a few fundamental areas you need for your PR and communication work; we can call them “basic PR hygiene”:
- A dedicated channel for the press and stakeholders,
- The ability to send out press releases,
- Access to relevant journalists and being able to answer press inquiries
- A smart way to monitor your results.
When done manually or through an external agency, these are all time-consuming (and expensive) tasks, but there are some smart options to do it within your own team.
Tip 3: Consider using a PR platform, like Mynewsdesk, that collects all these tasks in one place. It will automate and manage your ongoing PR work with minimal effort on your part. Spend your budget on purpose-built content and strategic advice instead.
4. Data is key, make sure you own it
Information is power. You need up-to-date information to keep track of your performance and competitors. This shows you what works and isn’t, but it helps you finetune your efforts to where they are needed. Direct access to this information will be a game changer.
Tip 4: Owning your tracking and performance reporting is essential and will save you a lot of time. Don’t rely on external resources to send that information to you.
5. Make sure to have somewhere where you can publish
Not knowing where you should publish news and PR-related content can be challenging. But by setting up an online pressroom, you automatically have a place to publish and make sure to keep all your content in one place. Plus, journalists and relevant target groups can easily access your content and know where to look for updates. Make sure to choose a reputable provider for your online newsroom so that you can also benefit from that provider’s SEO. Why is that important? Because it means higher Google rankings for your website.
Tip 5: Having a virtual pressroom keeps all your content neat and tidy. Plus, it’s an excellent resource for journalists proactively looking for information. The positive effect on your SEO is a great added value.
6. Be consistent
Once you have your PR platform (pick one with access to a journalist database) and newsroom set up, the last question will be how frequently to publish or send something out. That depends but a rule of thumb should be once per week. There will always be something going on within your company or industry worth mentioning. And it doesn’t have to be big news to be of interest to your audience. Learn more about building strong media relations in our guide.
Tip 6: Keep the conversation going- one-hit wonders won’t take you far.
7. Get to know your audience
Getting noticed is one part of PR. Building and maintaining relationships with journalists and other important stakeholders is another. When you know who is interacting with your content, creating more engaging content for your audience’s needs and interests becomes easier.
Tip 7: By tracking your audience’s interests, you can stay more relevant, which helps you build stronger relationships.
“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR.”
See what we did there? We are letting someone else (Bill Gates) tell you why PR is important.
Why PR beats paid media- in summary
When earned media works, it works big. If your content gets picked up by the media or other relevant stakeholders, you’ll drive brand awareness and increase content visibility without any additional effort on your part.
So it isn’t about creating more content but rather having your content picked up and reproduced by third parties. Paid media tends to focus on immediate results, while earned media requires wholehearted and long-term focus on generating attention with results that paid media could never compete with.
An article about you in an industry magazine, or an influencer giving your product or service the big thumbs up, will generate more trust and credibility than any ad ever could.