A Little Money Goes a Long Way
There has long been a belief that public relations is “free” publicity for an organization. Though hours of strategy and relationship building must be dedicated to achieving any type of publicity, the cost associated with this type of promotion is thought to be relatively low and economical.
While PR remains the most effective way to earn the public’s trust, there is now, certainly, a necessity for a paid component, which takes us away from the traditional views of what PR embodies.
Before everyone throws their hands up in frustration, let’s take a look at why it’s important and where it falls in a public relations strategy as far as earned, owned and paid media.
Earned media remains the basis of traditional PR and will always be the most important component in a campaign.
The importance of earned media lies in its unbiased nature. In a PR sense, the definition of earned media is that your organization or product was valuable enough, or impressive enough to receive coverage from an impartial media outlet.
Not only is that validation important in the eyes of your consumers, but it also serves as validation to other outlets to pay attention to you. By walking a fine line, you are often able to leverage the coverage you just received and turn it into additional coverage with another outlet. The trust that earned media brings to an advertising campaign is unrivaled in any other efforts.
The importance of owned media comes in the engagement with your fans. Owned media is where you really connect and make your followers feel as though they have an ownership of your brand.
Whether it is your blog, email outreach, or your social media channels, owned media gives you a chance to really ramp up the affinity with your audience. Owned media is where you turn your fans into advocates.
With the growth and necessity of a digital strategy in everything organizations do, the component of paid media has also become a necessity in a solid PR plan. With a sound paid digital strategy, your target audience will actually be delivered the content you are producing instead of having to seek it out – which people rarely do on their own.
Organizations are able to extend their reach and at a relatively low cost, which makes it a worthwhile venture for all organizations. The key with paid media is testing to see what approach is most effective for your goals.
The most important component in bringing earned, owned and paid outreach together and getting the most out of the plan is your content. All of these efforts will struggle without impactful content.
So, before you even start to plan, you must have an engaging story to tell. Storytelling and knowing how to deliver that message to your audience is the art of public relations – even if that means you have to pay a little for it.
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