Apr 11, 2017

4 Tips to Earn Media in a Difficult Industry

Not all industries create eye-catching news and headlines. As a public relations professional, that doesn’t mean your job is obsolete, it’s just a little harder. But gaining earned media — the publicity or free media gained through promotional efforts — is still possible. Here are four tips to help increase your company or client’s brand awareness.

1. Remove Your Emphasis on Press Releases

You want to make an announcement and a press release seems like the tried-and-true way to do it, right? Not quite. While press releases provide a quick means to send an announcement to targeted media members, press releases are often ignored in inboxes and do little to pique a journalist’s attention. Keep in mind, you can always draft and publish a press release internally for your employees, shareholders and website. When you’re ready to reach out externally, turn to content marketing.

2. Shift Your Focus to Content Marketing

Savvy public relations professionals focus on creating, publishing and amplifying content marketing messages by way of blogs, videos, social media and more. This type of messaging provides actual value to your target audiences and the media, which will help your brand build credibility and harness the power of influencers and trade publications. Set yourself up for success by researching and targeting influencers and publications just like you would with buyer personas. Next, illustrate how your content is valuable and helpful to their audience. Finally, share the content marketing materials.

3. Strategize an Editorial Calendar

Knowing who to pitch to is only half of the job. The other half is knowing when to pitch to them. While your company or client probably has its own production/publishing content calendar, it’s important to align that calendar with the editorial calendars of the publications you respect and want to target. Tailored editorial pitches will increase your likelihood of getting media pickups. An editorial calendar is a weekly, monthly or annual schedule that outlines the upcoming themes or ideas for that publication.

4. Author Guest Blogs

One of the easiest ways to become an industry thought leader is through guest blogging. This earned media technique builds credibility for your brand and can establish strong backlinks, which ultimately drive targeted audiences back to your company or client website. Unsolicited blogs are rarely printed by publications, so do your research first to determine who is accepting submissions. Look for publications that focus on your niche industry — meaning one your team members can successfully write to the audience.

Follow these tips, and with a little hard work, your company or client will be earning media pickups, backlinks and article mentions in no time.

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