What Challenges Are Faced in Generating Earned Media?

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    What Challenges Are Faced in Generating Earned Media?

    Generating earned media can be a complex challenge, but with insights from marketing managers and founders, we've compiled five expert strategies. From implementing storytelling in press releases to creating compelling story angles, discover how these professionals navigate the hurdles of media engagement.

    • Implement Storytelling in Press Releases
    • Craft Tailored Pitches for Journalists
    • Engage Journalists with Follow-Up Materials
    • Leverage LinkedIn for Story Sharing
    • Create Compelling Story Angles

    Implement Storytelling in Press Releases

    The main activity of the European Photonics Consortium, the non-profit association that I represent, is to organize networking events where members can foster collaborations within the community and with end-users. Prior to my involvement, the strategy was to send a list of upcoming events and invite the media to attend. However, upon joining, I implemented a new approach. I began sending press releases containing abstracts of the presentations delivered during the events, along with high-quality images of the speakers and the event itself.

    While not all the press releases I send result in published articles, this storytelling approach has strengthened my relationships with media outlets. As a result, when they require experts in a field that we have covered, they often seek my advice.

    Elisenda Lara
    Elisenda LaraMarketing Manager, EPIC – European Photonics Industry Consortium

    Craft Tailored Pitches for Journalists

    One significant challenge in generating earned media is ensuring that our content stands out in an overcrowded media landscape where journalists and influencers are inundated with pitches. The key to overcoming this was developing a strategy centered on crafting highly-tailored and newsworthy pitches that directly align with the interests and past work of the specific journalists and influencers targeted.

    For instance, when working on a campaign for a new sustainable clothing line, instead of sending generic press releases, we created personalized pitches. These pitches highlighted unique story angles, such as the innovative use of recycled materials and the personal journey of the founder towards sustainability. We also made sure to engage with journalists who had a demonstrated interest in sustainability and fashion innovation.

    This approach resulted in significant earned media coverage, as the content resonated more with the journalists' audiences and their personal brand. The tailored communication not only helped in gaining the attention of the media but also established stronger relationships with key influencers in the industry, leading to ongoing coverage and endorsements. This strategy underscored the importance of personalization and relevance in media outreach, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of our earned media efforts.

    Bruno Gavino
    Bruno GavinoFounder, CEO, CodeDesign

    Engage Journalists with Follow-Up Materials

    During one of the largest trade shows of the year, we secured multiple interviews between our industry experts and key industry outlets. When the event articles were published, most of the reporters who interviewed at our booth used messaging from our experts but did not include any quotes or attributions in their stories. The event articles were mostly listicles or summary pieces without mentioning any specific experts or companies. This was an unexpected challenge, as earned media coverage from key industry events plays a big role in our communications strategy.

    Reporters are being stretched more than ever to produce more content with tighter deadlines. This results in reporters publishing more summary content with less emphasis on attributed quotes and interviews, which are common for earned coverage.

    To overcome this challenge, we took a proactive approach to engage with the journalists and content creators. We followed up with additional resources and succinct supplemental materials to the topics covered in the interviews and connected with key industry trends. While we didn't secure the printed mentions in the articles immediately following the event, the opportunity wasn't lost, and reporters used our content for future articles that did mention their names and our company.

    By making those connections with reporters at the event and following up with pertinent materials, earned media opportunities are still possible even when reporters shift to more summary or listicle articles. Ultimately, it's all about being proactive, providing valuable resources, and fostering strong relationships to effectively maximize earned opportunities.

    Amy Gray
    Amy GrayCorporate Comms and Media Relations Specialist, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

    Leverage LinkedIn for Story Sharing

    We used to try to pursue the typical PR route for generating earned media, but this never garnered great results. So, we changed our approach. Now, we share our story, usually in the form of an infographic or an interesting consumer or data piece, on LinkedIn, and typically, if it's interesting enough, it'll get shared there thousands of times, which will lead to a decent number of backlinks from different media sites.

    Marc Bromhall
    Marc BromhallFounder, StorageBuddy

    Create Compelling Story Angles

    One challenge we faced in generating earned media was breaking through the noise in a crowded market. To overcome this, we focused on crafting compelling and unique story angles that resonated with journalists and audiences alike. Additionally, we built strong relationships with key media contacts, ensuring our pitches were targeted and personalized, leading to increased coverage and engagement.

    Madison T
    Madison TEcommerce Manager, My Supplement Store