It is called “earned media” when you get publicity through promotional efforts. You know, the reporter shows up at your business and does a great job in sharing your message/brand/effort. It happens every day right?
It does but the promotional effort has to be something amazing.
While you think your promotion is really cool and fun and interesting you need to understand media outlets get pitched all the time and they only have so much inventory. And, remember, media outlets survive on “paid media” or advertising.
Some Tips on Scoring Earned Media
- Think and Plan – Sure, sometimes a promotional event goes viral on its own but to get to that point there must be some serious planning. You must take into consideration not just “the event” but how it will play with the public. Will they get it and will it make for a good “news bite”?
- Wacky Works – Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014? It was wacky, different and fun. The ALS Association scored international media attention and even offered up Ice Bucket Challenge 2.0 in 2015;
- Celebs – Hooking your promotional event around “a name” is always a great way to induce the media to your cause. Some celebrities will pony up their time because they have a relationship to the cause or event but you need to know not just ask;
- Broad Appeal – Even though your promotion is meant to drive your brand the event needs to be broad enough to garner wide appeal. Otherwise media outlets will ignore you;
- Social Media – If you fail to get social with your promotion hoping the media will carry the ball for you…forget it. At the same time if you are not NOW working social media for your business but ramp it up for one event…ain’t gonna work. You must be in the space before, during and after;
- Keep Pitching - Once and done is not a good media plan;
- Be Timely - If you can tie your event to something that is already hot or something that is starting to bubble up, so much the better;
- It’s Not Free – Getting earned media is not free. It takes time, talent, planning, execution and a relationship with the media. All of those factors cost money…
- The Relationship – I can’t stress this enough…if you and your business has created a media relationship either through paid advertising or personal it is golden. Likewise if you and your business is already seen as a leader in your vertical so much the better.
The bottom line is that earned media doesn’t “just happen”
Now, go think and plan!