When it comes to your public relations strategy, earned media is essential for building stakeholder trust, growing your brand, and reinforcing the value of communications. From setting objectives early on, to developing an impactful content strategy, to measuring the KPIs that matter, earned media and measurement will ultimately be the key to your PR success.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through some earned media strategies and measurement tactics that help drive business impact and success.
Set the Right Earned Media Objectives for Your Brand
While earned media strategies and their effectiveness can be measured in a number of different ways, at the end of the day both strategy and measurement need to be based on your specific objectives and also be tied to your overall organizational goals. So how can you ensure you’re setting the right goals for your business?
First—you’ll need to answer a few questions. Are you running a startup that needs to establish itself in the marketplace, or are you focused on growing your market share in a mature market? Do you have a new product or service that needs exposure? A new story that needs to be told? A new message that you’d like to introduce to your key audiences? The answers to these questions will guide your earned media objectives. It’s also important to be clear in how you define your objectives and key results. For example, if one of your organizational goals is to be first in the market, how do you actually define that? Are there specific parts of the market that you’re focusing on? How will you know when you’ve achieved this success and how will you be tracking the performance along the way? It’s important to be clear when defining what success means to your company—and that you have a way to measure it.
Generate Valuable Content & Execute a Comprehensive Distribution Plan
To create impactful content that resonates with your company’s key audiences you need a roadmap for making sure your communications efforts are efficient and effective. The ultimate outcome of your content strategy should be positioning your company and its spokespeople as the key subject matter experts or reliable sources of information in the eyes of the media.
When developing your content strategy, start by identifying the audience. Knowing your key audiences, their pain and passion points, what they need to move them along in their buyer journey, and how you can add value will determine the rest of your strategic plan (i.e. the most effective channels, the right messaging, and the best distribution approach).
Next, determine what type of content your audience is interested in and what worked successfully in the past. This is where earned, owned and social media monitoring really comes into play. To really know your audience you must also understand what type of content they find most useful and compelling. Is there content that already exists that can be repackaged and promoted through new or additional internal and external channels?
What assets do you have that can position your brand as a trusted authority for the media? Do you have SMEs or other spokespeople who can provide information or opinions no one else can? Start by establishing just one to two key spokespeople who are each a clear expert on a specific topic, have garnered visibility within your industry, and enjoy being active on social media.
Which Metrics Matter?
When it comes to PR, quality is king. So although a competitor might be putting out more press releases, and seemingly earning more media coverage, that doesn’t mean your company is falling short—and it’s important to prove that to the C-suite. Some examples of metrics worth measuring are:
- Power of Voice – one feature article in a target publication is a lot more valuable than coverage driven by syndications and passing mentions.
- Sentiment – how is your company or its spokesperson positioned compared with others in an article? Are there articles with positive sentiment and did they drive engagement?
- Message Performance – is your coverage driving the narratives you want?
- Social Media Amplification – are employees, customers, industry partners, fans, influencers, and media sharing your content?
- Influenced Visits – is your content driving engagement and revenue?
Don’t settle for the KPIs that your C-suite or leadership might be used to seeing (e.g. share of voice, impressions, reach) if you know that you’re doing something well and it’s not coming through in your metrics. Figure out a way to create metrics that will show how you’re moving the needle.
When most people think of PR, they primarily think about storytelling, media relations, crisis communications and other obvious aspects of the PR craft. However, in today’s landscape, PR professionals must also embrace data and measurement to develop effective strategies and transform the perception of communications from a cost center into a revenue-generating function.
While earned media is one of the core pillars for content distribution, other methods include a robust social media strategy, relevant blog posts to improve SEO and informative landing pages to house your communications and PR activity. UPRAISE clients that have had the most success with their public relations program engage with the entire spectrum of services and tactics that we offer. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us.