Friday, July 29, 2016
Businesses tend to know about paid advertising. They buy an ad, people see it, and then they come and do business with them. But that is a greatly simplified explanation, and doesn't tell the full story about what advertising is, what it can do, what it often CANNOT do, and what can help supplement its shortcomings.
Ads are paid for, by their very nature. Even if those who see them don't consciously think it, they know it's been paid for, and that the buyer (you) has an agenda: that you want them to see it and feel good about your business or the product being advertised.
Unsurprisingly, this tends to undercut the message you're trying to convey. Sure, your product might be good, but the fact that you paid to tell them this fact actually decreases its effectiveness.
Earned media can help solve this problem. Exposure for your brand, business or products can be "earned" from newspapers, magazines and online media sources without the costs associated with paying for an ad.
This is usually accomplished through news releases - documents prepared by public relations professionals who understand how to write about news-worthy items that will attract the attention of the media, and be placed where readers see them usually without changes. Sometimes, the news release sparks the interest of reporters to do a more in-depth story about your business, product or cause.
And while paid media - advertising - is blatantly paid for, earned media carries with it the credibility of being freely chosen by the owner of the media source. Again, almost subconsciously, the fact that the paper or magazine is doing a "news story" on your product or business is seen as far more credible than if you had paid for it.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Paid media makes sense when you want 100% control of your message - and a PR pro can make sure that your advertising is consistent with all your other messages. But seeking earned media makes sense when you have something new, unique, and interesting that sets you apart from competitors or other similar businesses, and want greater credibility by getting news coverage to promote them.
Contact Abbott Media Group if we can help create compelling messages!
By Stephen Abbott, Principal of Abbott Public Relations, a division of Abbott Media Group, which creates written messages which inspire, inform, educate and engage, in mass media, publishing and public relations. On twitter and Facebook.