What We Learned About Earned Media in 2023

As a part of the Public Relations Global Network, (PRGN), we regularly collaborate and exchange knowledge with the best-in-class communications professionals from 56 member agencies across the globe.

With the media landscape continuing to transform, Buchanan Public Relations, our PRGN partner agency based in Philadelphia, conducted a survey within our network to break down current perceptions and trends regarding earned media from the perspective of communications professionals. You can download the survey report here.

Among key findings from the survey is the unanimous sentiment that generating earned media coverage is more difficult now than before.

There are many compelling stories to tell, and as newsrooms are getting smaller, it’s impossible for them to cover everything. As PR professionals, we must think about how we can rise above any clutter and effectively reach the media. This means making stories media-friendly by identifying the correct place for it before pitching and in broadcast media’s case, pitching full story ideas that outline the key details, visuals, and spokespeople that you have available for an opportunity. Set the stage for the media to get the most return on your media outreach.

As for earned media in connection to trade media, your success heavily depends on the industry you are pitching, according to PRGN members. Niche industries or industries facing consistent regulations changes will offer the best coverage opportunities.

One standout from the challenges of securing trade media is the need to prioritize content generation. Connecting with trade media in today’s world means providing contributed pre-written content on a compelling topic from a thought leader in the industry. Think about how you can lend an expert source’s voice to a relevant topic in their industry.

Another finding from the survey was the increase of paid media opportunities and their impact on earned media. This push for paid models from media outlets has encouraged businesses to introduce paid strategies to their communications mix to ensure coverage.

Competition from other stories remains the top obstacle for securing earned media, closely followed by client stories not being strong enough and lack of interest from the media. Almost 60 percent named print media as one of the most difficult mediums to secure coverage, and 46 percent said television.

Almost all the survey respondents agree that media relations is just one piece of the puzzle. Other marketing elements and platforms should be considered and used to tell your story including newsletters, podcasts, influencer marketing, paid ads and more.

As you build your marketing budget for 2024, think about how you can benefit not only from earned media coverage but other integrated communications strategies.

And contact us to find out how HMA can help build your strategy for the year ahead!

Written by
at Nov 22, 2023

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