While paid media refers to advertising businesses or individuals pay for, including television or social media ads, earned media, on the other hand, refers to the attention given to your business without a financial investment. All you need to do is send in your pitch to establish your presence with the media. Earned media is highly sought after because it has a reputation of increased credibility; At the same time, anyone can compose their advertisements. Earned media is like free attention granted to your business. Earned media is something every brand would love to receive, but how do you achieve it? Here are proven strategies for earning media placements from top business owners.
Create an Impossible to Ignore Pitch
To receive media placements, you need to first pitch your brand to various media outlets. This means you need to create a pitch that is impossible to ignore and sets your business apart from others. Explain the vision and passion behind your work and why it will change the industry. You will want to think boldly and dramatically when structuring your pitch to make it stand out from all of the rest. Do not be afraid to confidently sell your business’s strengths.
Anthony Puopolo, CMO REX MD
Go Above and Beyond to Sell Your Pitch
Sometimes success comes down to how much effort you put in. You need to spread word of your business to the media to receive earned placements, which means starting with a pitch that represents all your business has to offer. With the media receiving dozens of pitches daily, you should go above and beyond to sell your pitch and ensure it gets an audience. Contact the media in creative ways to grab their attention, rather than just through the typical digital outlets. Research where your pitch would best fit and focus your energy on the journalists at that location. Follow up with journalists to confirm they’ve received your outreach. Whatever it takes, you need to be willing to offer 100% effort to “sell” your business to the media.
Mike Pasley, Founder Allegiant Goods
Engage with Journalists and Media Presences
Journalists are bombarded with businesses and individuals who want to be featured, so they’re constantly wading through large amounts of pitches to decide between. Engaging with journalists and other employees of media organizations is a stand-out method to draw attention to your business. Put yourself out there and get to know the people whose job it is to gather pitches. Suppose you can establish your name with the media presence, your chances of being remembered and thought of during the advertising selection increase significantly. A good rule of thumb is that to be known by journalists, you need to know them too. All relationships are two-way streets, so foster a connection on your end and try to get to know people. While it is a professional connection due to your desire for your business to be featured, don’t forget about the human aspect and remember that everyone wants to feel respected.
Jason Wong, CEO Building Blocks
Condense Your Pitch
Work on condensing your pitch down to the smallest possible amount of words. Why? Because if you can’t explain the core of your business in a few words, how deep is your understanding of your mission and goals? And how can anyone else who is impartial understand or care either? When your pitch is viewed, it only has a few moments to create an impact before it is decided for or against. So get down to the heart of your brand quickly; filler information is unnecessary and detracts from the message. Let your business speak for itself in its pitch–in as few words as possible.
Matthew Mundt, Founder and CEO Hug Sleep
Tell A Good Story with Your Pitch
Think of your business pitch as a good story that draws in people’s attention and makes them care about your brand. This looks like telling them why they should care and why your business is essential. So start with the “why” and build off of it with a storyteller’s focus. The journalists who will be analyzing your pitch are in the business of telling stories themselves, and they will appreciate a well-structured pitch that gets them to care.
Remon Aziz, Chief Operating Officer Advantage Rent A Car
Communicate in More Personal Ways
There are standard, easy ways to communicate with the media, such as sending your pitch over email. However, this is the bare minimum of effort put into trying to earn a media placement. Instead, if you genuinely want to spread information about your business, communicate with journalists in more personal ways. Don’t be afraid to try multiple methods of reaching them. Calling them on the phone, connecting with them on social media, sending voice messages, or even arranging to communicate face to face are all much more effective methods of getting their attention. Remember, when you send your pitch out, you send it to the humans behind the screen, so don’t be afraid to communicate with them in real ways.
Seb Evans, Co-Founder Banquist
Do Whatever You Can to Stand Out
The best advice I can give to anyone working to gain earned media placements is to stand out. This may sound easier said than done, but it mainly involves thinking creatively about bringing attention to your pitch. Firstly, you should present your business in a memorable, accessible way, but you should be memorable too. You can also take measures to be noteworthy, such as following up after your pitch and reaching out to journalists on multiple platforms.
Cody Candee, Founder and CEO Bounce
Learn Your Journalists
If you want your journalists to learn about your business, first learn them. Understand the company they work for and what type of placements it shares and supports, then target your pitch to fit their structure. Know the people in charge of sorting through the pitches, and I genuinely mean learning anything you can about them. In a sense, you want to view the journalists through their own journalistic eyes. Do your research and know how to best get a hold of and communicate with them. It’s all about establishing genuine connections, so you need to understand the heart of who they are.
Hector Gutierrez, CEO JOI
Follow Up After Your Pitch
After your pitch, remember to follow up with the people you communicated with. Ensure they received your messages if you didn’t meet with them face to face, and thank them for their time. Just as you would follow up with an employer after a job interview–to thank them and essentially remind them who you are–follow the same tactics here. This step will help you become a little more present in their minds when choosing media placements.
Noura Sakkijha, CEO Mejuri
Provide Lots of Information In Your Communication
When you are communicating with members of the media to pitch your business, send them as much information as they would possibly need. The journalists will need to conduct research on you and your business before offering any media placements, so this step saves them time and will certainly be a gesture they appreciate. Send links, photos, further information about your business, and any relevant information. An advantage of this action is that the angle you choose to present your business with is often more likely to be followed.
Jessica Herrin, Founder Stella and Dot