Today’s public relations firms are under pressure to deliver much more than paid media, awards and press releases. Here’s what one should expect today from a high-performing public relations firm in this new era of digital media.
Your Firm Designates Between Paid, Owned and Earned Media
Paid media is exactly what you think it might be – a paid placement in a publication. Paid media carries less credibility with readers and can be extremely expensive, which is why earned media is the target desire of every public relations firm.
Earned media describes the authoring of a story by a journalist, who objectively covers what you or your PR firm is pitching. While the results, or the coverage, could be exactly what you’re looking for, like a glowing, positive review of your new product. The result could also be an investigative piece that shines a negative light on your company. That’s simply the risk one takes when pitching traditional, objective journalists.
Owned media might be a Medium blog your firm sets up for you or content produced by your firm for your company blog. It often also includes social media messaging as well. In any case, this message is easily controlled but not as credible as earned media stories.
Medium is also a great owned media tactic because of the ability to tag articles by topic or industry. Medium can also be used to tease the public about your company or product in the event a website has not been created yet. Also, it’s a great place to make your press kit easily available to the public.
A common owned media tactic today is blog posts or articles that are ghost written by a talented writer at your PR firm on behalf of your CEO, who actually gets the byline. In many cases, this is a great way for your company’s leadership to get a byline in the case when he or she isn’t a strong writer or they simply don’t have time to produce a blog post or article.
Why Third-Party Sources Boost Content Credibility
Your future customers and those considering purchasing more from you in the future consider content with third-party data, such as independent research or surveys, as more credible compared to content that attempts to sway the reader.
Many companies hire an independent company to conduct the research or survey, who simply supplies those results to your company or PR firm. Hopefully, the resulting information sheds a positive light on your company or product and can be used to support arguments within your content.
Also, survey or research results make for great headlines, which is why third-party sources are often used in public relations. If your product is more effective or higher-rated than your competitors, it’s a great story that can be told through objective reporting and with your survey or search results.
Video as a Key PR Strategy
Today, many of us expect to consume the information and media we want in the format we want. And, with public relations, the expectation is the same. Today’s media-rich press releases now include video, links and are optimized for SEO.
Because many people today consume their news on a mobile device, video is more popular than ever and should be a part of any public relations campaign today.
A Modern PR Campaign is Multi-Faceted
Today, a strong PR campaign includes all of the aforementioned tactics. Your PR firm should work to ensure that a wide range of media and tactics are used and the results should point to the same.
If only paid media are gained by your firm, it might be time to move on. A successful campaign is far reaching and tracks not only publications that write about your company, but leads that result as well, if that is the goal.
Your firm should present you with results on each campaign, with a strong focus on earned media and analytics.