We have a lot to thank the web for as a B2B PR agency. Not only do we have another platform for our communication, but the likes of social media and search engines have upheld the very purpose of PR.
As the Huffington Post tells us, the advent of social media as a marketing mechanism made many fear the end of earned media. Brands were now able to communicate through non-paid channels, and their complete ownership of the platforms meant that they were autonomous in their communication. But as the masses signed up to social media sites, earned media began to take the form of ordinary people posting about their positive experience of a brand. And the power of the internet helps things go viral easily, meaning that earned media on Twitter and Facebook can be read by many.
It’s not just social media that’s driven earned media. As search engines become cleverer at spotting duplicated content, they’ve begun to value genuine news and ranked brands higher that score good news content. Coverage authentic to a brand is now one of the key factors to SEO.
Part of PR is about driving authenticity. Our role is to generate organic coverage that tells the true story. Earned media is one thing that sets PR apart from marketing. While marketers gain coverage largely through paid media such as adverts, PRs strive to win coverage through generating relevant stories of interest. Social media and search engines mean that PRs can reap even more benefits of organic coverage. It’s reassuring to know that earned media is still rife, and that the mighty web will keep it alive.
Alex Brown has just started his career at Skout PR and will be a regular contributor to the Skout blog.