Pitching out stories to the press in the hope to gain a great piece of coverage for our clients is something we do as a B2B PR agency on an almost daily basis. We call it ‘earned media’ – coverage gained in a publication based on its editorial merits, as opposed to ‘paid media’ which sees brands pay for their space on the page. There’s a third one added to the mix – ‘owned media’ – which given the changing media landscape is coming more into the forefront.
Owned media refers to any content that brands create themselves and are in control of, including their website, blogs or social media platforms. Historically PR pros wouldn’t necessarily be involved with a clients’ owned media, as typically it would be something the business would take care of themselves. However, today PR pros are increasingly involved in the creation of owned media content to help their clients shape their content for an increasingly digital audience. For example, here at Skout, we’ve become more involved with our clients’ own blog pages in recent years and now, we rarely approach campaigns without considering digital content too, e.g. infographics, videos and social media content; all of which are ‘owned media’ and used on our clients’ own platforms.
This change in approach can’t come as any surprise. The death of the press release is a hot topic for the PR community, and we’re all working to respond to the changing way people consume media. Creating digital, shareable content that promotes your client’s brand not only helps build brand awareness, but also feeds into how today’s audiences want to access the news and brand information.
Thanks to digital media, the definition of ‘media relations’ is now shifting away from purely focusing on earned media. But that’s not to say that achieving press coverage has become any less important. Infographics and videos are in demand from the media who are too looking for ways to tell their stories to their digital savvy audiences. An integrated campaign that considers both earned and owned options can be a fruitful approach.
Alex Brown enjoys being one of the Skout blog’s most regular contributors.