If you’re just getting started in the PR world, you have probably heard the terms paid, owned, and earned media, and you might be wondering what the heck they mean. Here’s a quick guide to what each type of media means and how you can maximize it for your PR efforts.
- Paid media. Paid media is just that – media exposure that you pay for. You can leverage paid media in the form of banner ads, sponsored blog posts, event sponsorships, paid search, social media ads, automatic press release distribution,… the list goes on.
- Owned media. Owned media includes all the media properties that you own and control. This includes your website, social media profiles, your blog, as well as any content you create. White papers, slide decks, infographics, and (online)press releases also count as owned media.
- Earned media. Earned media happens when your customers talk about you, whether in the form of retweets, social shares, press mentions, blog posts, or old-fashioned word of mouth. It’s the hardest kind of attention to get, and arguably the most valuable, because you can’t buy it and you can’t create it for yourself.
How to maximize it ?
- Paid media. Paid media is often very expensive, and if you aren’t careful, you can wind up spending a lot of money for minimal (or even negative!) return on investment. To make the most of your paid media buys, be very targeted with your spend – choose your audiences and publications carefully, put tracking mechanisms in place so you understand your cost per new lead, and most importantly, make sure you have a solid strategy in place to follow up with any leads you collect.
- Owned media. There are two big advantages to owned media. First, you have complete control over the content. Second, it’s usually more cost-effective that other forms of media. Use your owned media presence to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Create helpful, high-quality content on a regular basis (a blog is one of the best and easiest ways to get started), and use both owned and paid media channels to distribute this content to your target audiences. If your content is truly valuable, it will also help you gain earned media.
- Earned media: Leveraging earned media is actually pretty simple – do a great job with your owned and paid media properties, and the earned media will take care of itself. I said simple, not easy ! It takes time and resources to build a brand worth talking about, and you can’t rush it or force it. Start by investing in delighting your customers (underpromise, overdeliver). Build a reputation for solving problems and creating valuable resources, and over time, happy customers will evangelize your brand to their friends and colleagues, and ultimately impact your bottom line.
How do you leverage paid, owned, and earned media to help your business? How does that affect your PR strategy ?
Aaah, good old urls. We use them daily, we all know how they work. But seldom do we take the time to reflect on how important they actually are.
Every url is a key that opens one specific door. Behind that door you’ll find a certain bit of content, this can be an article, an image, a video or in our case a press release. If you don’t have a url, you don’t exist on the world wide web. It all starts with that.
So you can’t take this lightly, having an url for your online press release has many advantages:
Your press release instantly becomes part of the world wide web and will be findable. If we take a look at all the Prezly press releases we see that 40% of traffic comes from a search engine.
People can refer to your press release in a conversation. This reference aspect is quite important, especially since social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin are doing so well. 30% of traffic on our press releases come from external sites mostly Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
A permalink never changes, never breaks. You can bookmark it, you can link to it. As long as you have the URL you’ll have access to the content.
An archive is only important in the future. If you don’t see the need for it now, it will be important in the future. You can read the history of a brand or organisation by looking at their press release archive.
A url is something all devices understand, almost all new devices shipped these days have some kind of browser integrated into its systems. So once you have a url it will be accessible on most devices now and in the future.
That’s why we’re going further than press release distribution via e-mail with Prezly. That’s just one channel. At the core of our service is the social media press release with it’s own permalink. It’s shareable via any channel you can think of and will be there till the end of times.
In the past, many of our press rooms using a custom domain have encountered issues with multiple versions of the same content on different URLS. For example Proximity/BBDO is using a custom press room domain press.proximity.bbdo.be, at the same time Prezly still hosts the “normal” press room url (proximity-bbdo.prezly.com). This creates two problems:
- Search engines don’t know which version to rank (trust, authority, link juice,…) for query results. It just keeps it separated between both of your press rooms
- The same content is available on two different locations, making it hard to give credit (rank) the “real” owner
When all of this happens, our customers suffer ranking and traffic losses, ultimately resulting in decreased visibility of your press release. Based on findings while monitoring the effectiveness of your Prezly press release in the search engines (read: google) we have decided to come up with a solution for that.
From now on all press rooms that use a custom domain are only available on the primary press room url. We will make sure all distribution of your release using prezly contains that same link. To make sure all “old” (already indexed) PR’s remain active we will redirect traffic to the corresponding pages (using a 301 redirect).
The influence of traditional media and advertising continues to decline, while consumer-driven communications show no sign of slowing down. In the midst of so much change in the world of PR, one thing remains the same – great PR is about telling great stories. How do you tell great stories in the 21st century? With great content, distributed across a variety of channels.
Chances are, you’re already producing more content than you realize, especially if you’re using Prezly to create multimedia press releases. Here are seven ways you can turn a single press release into seven distinct, highly sharable pieces of content to support the story you tell in the release.
- Create an infographic. Infographics are especially good if your press release contains an original study or a lot of data. Don’t just regurgitate the text of your press release. Take the opportunity to visualize and expand on the data to draw new insights.
- Conduct an interview. Your press releases should have at least one supporting quote from a customer or industry expert. Why not take that one quote and turn it into an interview? You can then publish the interview on your blog or share it as a video.
- Make a slide deck. Translate your story into a slide deck, and share it on SlideShare to get even more mileage out of it. Don’t just paste blocks of text from your press release, though – make it reader-friendly with lots of images, large text, and bullet points.
- Write a blog post. Better yet, write a series of blog posts. Your blog is a great place to expand on the story you tell in your press release. Identify the three main points in your press release, and create a blog series that explores each point in greater detail.
- Publish an ebook. Take the blog series from point #4 above and turn it into an ebook. Make sure to write an introduction and a conclusion, and edit the posts for a more formal tone.
- Film a video. If you’re using Prezly to create social media press releases, you should already have this one covered. Distribute your video on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, your blog, and any other channels you use.
- Host a webinar. Remember that industry expert you interviewed in point #2? Why not turn that interview into a live broadcast? Make sure to let your audience chime in with questions, too.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the content possibilities. Remember, though, your ultimate goal isn’t just to create content. Your goal is to tell a great story. Focus on the story first, and come up with the content second. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with a bunch of disjointed content and no common narrative to tie it all together.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. How have you creatively repurposed press releases into other types of content? Please share your ideas in the comments.
We live in a world in flux, and nowhere is that more evident than on the social web. But that doesn’t mean you should make up your social PR strategy as you go along. Here are three tips to help you think before you actually distribute your next release:
- Build an editorial calendar. It might be tempting to simply respond to news as it comes up, but it also pays to plan ahead. An editorial calendar will help you stay true to your brand and your message, and it will ensure that you always have something relevant to say. Plan your calendar around industry events, upcoming company releases, and seasonal trends that you can predict with relative confidence (everyone loves year-end forecasts), but also leave room for breaking news and unexpected announcements. Which leads us to our second point…
- Ride the wave of breaking news. Whether an event that you’ve known about for months or a sudden announcement by one of your competitors, breaking news can give your social PR an unparalleled boost… if you know how to ride the wave. It’s easier to join a conversation than to start one, and breaking news gives you an opportunity to:
A) Capitalize on the conversation
B) Position yourself as a knowledgable and reliable source of information
Just make sure to think carefully before you post. It’s easy to get caught up in the wave and say the wrong thing, which could lead to lasting damage. As much as you can, try to not only report accurately on the news, but to offer insightful and unexpected perspectives, as well.
- Give more than you take. Don’t treat social PR like just another megaphone. Overt self-promotion might earn you a quick buck, but over time, it will erode your credibility and compromise your brand. Instead, follow this general rule: for every 1 self-promotional thing you say about your brand, say 5 things that are relevant and valuable to your audience. Need some ideas? Highlight customer successes, offer your perspective on industry news, recap a recent event, share great content from industry thought leaders, and develop some thought-leading content of your own.
Do you have a social PR strategy? What other tips would you add to the list?