How to Build an Earned Media Strategy for Your Business

Dec 13, 2023

In the bustling world of marketing, standing out is like finding a needle in a haystack. Yet, it’s not just about being louder or flashier; it’s about being smarter, especially when it comes to earned media. Whether you’re launching a brand in Naperville, stirring up the Chicago scene, or making waves in Des Moines, a well-crafted earned media strategy is your golden ticket. Let’s dive into the quirky yet effective ways to secure that coveted positive media coverage.

Understanding Earned Media: The PR Holy Grail

At its core, earned media is like the cool kid in school everyone wants to hang out with. It’s genuine, organic, and oh-so influential. Earned media is the coverage you gain through word-of-mouth, whether that’s a feature in a newspaper, a shoutout on a popular blog, or even a mention on social media. It’s the stuff you don’t pay for, yet it pays off in building credibility and a strong brand presence.

Now, let’s not confuse this with its cousins, owned media (like your website and social channels) and paid media (think ads and sponsored content). Earned media is unique because it comes with a stamp of approval from external sources – journalists, influencers, and the general public. It’s a nod to your brand’s authenticity and value.

Step 1: Set Your Sights – Define Your Media Goals

Before you jump into the deep end, know what you’re swimming towards. Are you launching a new product in Chicago, aiming to boost your brand awareness in Naperville, or seeking to establish thought leadership in Des Moines? Your goals will shape your strategy. It could be increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Clear goals will not only give you direction but also a way to measure success.

Remember, a good strategy is like a map; it shows you where to go and how to get there. So, buckle up, and let’s get your brand the exposure it deserves!

Step 2: Know Your Audience – Who Are You Talking To?

Imagine trying to catch fish in the vast ocean of Des Moines (quite a task, right?). It’s the same with earned media – you need to know who you’re trying to reach. Are you talking to tech-savvy millennials in Chicago, eco-conscious families in Naperville, or maybe fashion-forward Gen Zers? Understanding your audience is crucial. It’s like knowing what bait to use for what fish.

This knowledge will not only help in crafting messages that resonate but also in choosing the right media outlets. A tech innovation might be a hit in a Chicago startup blog, while a family-friendly event could be better suited for a Naperville community magazine.

Step 3: Scout for Allies – Building Media Relationships

Now comes the exciting part – finding your media champions. These are the journalists, bloggers, and influencers who can help paddle your boat into the limelight. But remember, it’s not about sending a barrage of press releases. It’s about building genuine relationships.

Start by making a list of media outlets and influencers that align with your brand and audience. Attend events in Chicago, network at Naperville meetups, or join online forums. The key is to engage with them authentically – comment on their articles, share their content, and maybe even offer some expert insights on industry trends.

When you do reach out, tailor your pitches. A one-size-fits-all approach is a big no-no. Show them you know their work and audience. It’s like saying, “Hey, I notice you and I think we could create something cool together.”

Step 4: Craft Your Story – Be Uniquely You

Now, to make the magic happen, you need a story that captivates. It’s not just about what you offer, but how you present it. What makes your brand stand out in the crowded Chicago market? How does your product change lives in Naperville? Or why is your event in Des Moines the place to be?

Your story should not just inform; it should inspire. Think about what makes MACLYN different – maybe it’s your quirky approach, your commitment to community relations, or your innovative solutions. This uniqueness is your ace in the hole.

Step 5: Amplify Your Voice – Leverage Social Media

In today’s world, where even a tweet can make headlines, social media is a powerhouse for amplifying your message. Whether you’re launching an experiential event in Chicago or showcasing a new product in Naperville, social platforms can be your megaphone.

But don’t just post for the sake of posting. Create content that sparks conversations and encourages sharing. Think of creative hashtags, engage with your followers, and perhaps even collaborate with local influencers in Des Moines or Chicago. The goal? To get people talking about your brand in a way that feels natural and authentic.

Step 6: Measure, Learn, Repeat – The Cycle of Improvement

Ah, the beauty of analytics – it’s like having a crystal ball. By tracking how your earned media efforts are performing, you can see what’s working and what’s not. Are your stories getting picked up? Is your social media strategy leading to more website visits or higher engagement in Naperville and beyond?

Use these insights to refine your approach. Maybe you need to tweak your story angles or target different media outlets in Chicago. The key is to stay agile and always be willing to learn and adapt.

Wrapping It Up: Be Patient and Persistent

In the bustling landscape of public relations and media relations, the path to success in earned media is paved with patience, creativity, and a dash of quirkiness. As you navigate the streets of Chicago, the neighborhoods of Naperville, or the avenues of Des Moines, remember that building a robust earned media strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.

Stay true to your brand’s unique voice – whether that’s hosting an offbeat experiential event, crafting a heartfelt community story, or launching an innovative product. It’s about making your brand not just seen, but remembered and cherished.

For a versatile and creative agency like MACLYN, these steps are more than just guidelines; they’re a reflection of your dynamic approach to marketing and public relations. By embracing these strategies, you’re not just casting a net in the vast ocean of media; you’re navigating with purpose, ready to make a splash in the world of earned media.

Remember, in the world of PR, every story told, every relationship built, and every strategy tweaked, adds up to a narrative that sets your brand apart in a sea of sameness. Keep sailing with confidence, creativity, and a bit of that MACLYN magic!

Share this:

Discover the power of effective digital marketing

Get professional advice from our team of experts. Contact us for your complimentary consultation now!