An effective media relations strategy communicates an organization’s story in a newsworthy way via the appropriate media outlets. By serving as a credible, third-party endorsement, media relations is a powerful tool that can enhance your brand’s reputation and, ultimately, influence the perceptions and behavior of your target audience.
When coupled with a content marketing strategy, media relations can generate 10 to 50 times the conversions of a standard advertising campaign, according to a study by AirPR. And as audiences are increasingly demanding more authenticity from the brands they interact with, the practice is slated to become even more effective at communicating your brand’s story. That’s because earned media can help achieve specific business objectives, such as:
1. Building Brand Awareness
Media relations offers a unique advantage when it comes to building brand awareness—mass exposure to an engaged target audience. By strategically pitching stories to publications that serve your audiences, you can garner readers’ attention easily. Unlike paid advertising, your audience will be inherently interested in the content and more receptive to your message. As a result, your media relations efforts can elevate your brand through association with your audiences’ most trusted information sources.
2. Positioning Your Business Experts as Thought Leaders
Media relations is a vehicle for communicating the most innovative, forward-thinking ideas coming out of your business. Earned media give your business and its experts validation from a third-party source. This communicates that your message is authentic and credible, which distinguishes it from all the other sponsored and branded content competing for your audiences’ attention. After earning media attention repeatedly, your business will come to mind when customers need your services or if journalists require a trusted industry source.
3. Growing Your Brand’s Online Presence
Media relations can improve your brand’s SEO and provide you with content to feature on your website. After landing a media placement, online users will be able to discover the article on the publication’s website and through search engines. Furthermore, you can direct visitors from your own site to recent media coverage by developing a digital newsroom and sharing the articles across social media. Thinking of media relations as an extension of your content marketing strategy—as opposed to a separate marketing effort—will increase your ROI and further grow your brand’s online presence.
4. Attracting More Business Leads
Building a reputable brand through media relations will help establish and strengthen your relationship with stakeholders, customers and the community. Members of these audiences will become leads and offer brand loyalty that can further support the growth of your business. In fact, a Neilsen report found that content coming from an expert, third-party source lifts purchase consideration 38% more than branded content and 83% more than user reviews.
However, media relations is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It looks different for every organization. Media outreach for your brand should be targeted specifically to its unique goals and objectives. That’s why it’s important to understand the bigger picture of how media relations, as a tactic, fits into your overarching PR strategy.