Trends such as brand journalism, content marketing and social media are more present than ever in PR plans.
This shift has some communicators questioning the need for traditional media relations and earned media coverage. Here are five reasons why you should take an integrated approach to PR and not ditch the pitch.
1. Earned media is still king. Promotional efforts waged without advertising—also known as earned media—still reign as the top consumer influencer. A new survey from Ogilvy PR suggests that traditional media coverage remains the most powerful method to influence business outcomes and purchasing decisions.
2. News coverage amplifies brand journalism. Companies that produce content marketing and brand journalism are missing out if they don’t take advantage of earned media distribution of their content. In addition to publishing stories on your own brand journalism website, pitching and distributing your news to reporters can amplify your message. If your content is appropriate for journalists and bloggers, be sure to have an outreach process. This can mean rewriting and taking a different approach to content for professional news organizations, which will pay off when coverage comes rolling in.
3. It’s cost effective. Earned media coverage isn’t free; ideas, time and pitching come at a price. However, it can be an efficient and affordable way to gain brand visibility. A media relations pro can create and pitch a story that gets coverage for a fraction of the cost of advertising.
4. Media exposure makes you an instant expert. High-quality earned media exposure can quickly boost a brand’s credibility. Identify your company’s key areas of expertise, then monitor the news for opportunities to present a fresh angle that connects to your product or service. When a journalist seeks an expert, be the first to pitch your organization, positioning your brand or spokesperson as the solution to the reporter’s or segment producer’s need.
5. News coverage provides content for social media. A placement about your organization can provide additional content for your company’s social media channels. Identify the best coverage featuring your business, and share those stories from your organization’s own media channels. Most journalists appreciate the extra effort—and the added exposure for themselves—and will remember it the next time you pitch a story.
The volume of content created by brands and news outlets continues to grow. Content-driven brands of the future will need pitching pros to promote their stories for maximum exposure.
Media relations is alive and well.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.
This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.