What Is Earned Media and Why Do I Still Need It?

In the age of cheap online advertising and fancy websites you may have overlooked good old-fashioned earned media. Some may call it free media because you don’t have to pay for it, but its better known as earned media because you do have to work for it.

Michael Brito, Senior Vice President of Social Business Strategy at Edelman defines earned media in this day and age on the Hootsuite blog in “Your Content Strategy: Defining Paid, Owned and Earned Media”. According to Brito, “Earned media is the natural result of public/media relation’s efforts, ad campaigns, events and the content that you create within your owned media channels.” In other words, if you are doing interesting, newsworthy things you should talk about that to reporters, on your website, through your social media and in your advertising, and just maybe it will earn you a little free media.

And while earned media is as old as the printing press, the ways and places you can get earned media has expanded beyond just newspaper articles to blogs, online communities and reviews, even YouTube videos. Earned media has become more than just a news story about your company or your product – its become what is known as buzz. In this article Mashable talks about how social media has changed earned media and how its more important that ever to work for those “free” stories on whatever platform you can get them.

This is exactly what we strive for at Minerva – strategically using all our owned and paid for media to create the largest buzz for our clients. And a combination of interesting stories, well placed advertising, strong public relations and interactive social media is sure to produce some well-earned free media. So while you may overlook something that isn’t on your balance sheet, earned media is well worth the time and effort. You can’t buy a great news story, a viral YouTube video or positive word of mouth recommendations but you can earn them.