Earned Media and the Need for Holistic PR Engagement

hands holding a world of public relations efforts

Ah, the good old days of public relations, when a well-crafted press release was your golden ticket to media coverage. But let’s face it, the media landscape has undergone seismic shifts that have turned traditional PR strategies on their head, and require holistic PR engagement. And as someone who’s been in the trenches of communications for years, I can tell you that navigating this new terrain is a communications challenge that requires more from your PR agency than media outreach alone.

Shifting Journalistic Realities

Remember when journalists had the luxury of time to sift through press releases and pick stories that piqued their interest? Those days are long gone. Newsrooms are shrinking, and the journalists who remain are juggling multiple beats, leaving them little time to give your story the attention it might deserve. It’s like trying to catch someone’s eye in a crowded room where everyone is shouting.

The Commercialism Conundrum

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room—the commercialization of editorial content. Financial pressures are driving many more media outlets toward advertorials and paid opportunities. What was once the realm of pure journalism is now a marketplace, and your compelling story might just need a price tag to be heard, as has specifically happened to me in a media interaction recently.

The Digital Age and New Media Players

The digital age has democratized media, giving voice to bloggers, influencers, and citizen journalists. While this has its merits, it’s also muddied the waters of what constitutes earned media. Many of these new-age media folks charge for what they call “collaborations,” making the landscape even more complex.

So, where does this leave us, the communicators, the storytellers? It’s clear that the old playbook won’t cut it. We need a holistic communications strategy, one that goes beyond the press release and the media pitch. We’re talking multi-channel approaches that leverage social media, influencer partnerships, and even community engagement. It’s not just about getting your story out through the press; it’s about creating a narrative that resonates across multiple platforms and touch points – both through media and directly to the audiences you’re looking to reach.

Redefining PR in the Modern Era

And let’s dispel the myth that PR is just about earned media. In today’s world, PR professionals are jacks-of-all-trades. We’re not just storytellers; we’re brand ambassadors, crisis managers, and much more. Relying solely on earned media is an insufficient and outdated strategy that misses the huge opportunities that savvy PR can bring to your organization today.

So, what’s the game plan? First, let’s embrace data-driven decision-making. Analytics can offer invaluable insights into audience behavior and preferences. Second, relationship-building needs to be at the core of our strategy. A strong network can amplify your message and open doors that you didn’t even know existed. Third, let’s focus on quality over quantity. A compelling, newsworthy story will always find its audience. And lastly, let’s be adaptable. The only constant in the media landscape is change, and our strategies need to be as dynamic as the environment we’re operating in.

The rules of the game have changed, but the game is far from over. As communicators, it’s up to us to adapt, innovate, and find new ways to tell our stories. Get in touch to get started today.