Whenever the topic of earned media comes up, it won’t be long before the phrase “challenging media environment” is introduced into the conversation, and for good reason. Traditional media outlets continue to contract, newsrooms continue to downsize and the reporters that remain are asked to cover more areas, more often in order to provide content across multiple platforms. The result? Big challenges for brands looking for earned media attention. But Coyne PR is up to the challenge. The success we’ve generated on behalf of our clients is based on a number of factors worthy of consideration for your brand.
Tap Into Trending News
“Trending” reporters are, well, on trend. Social media has conditioned all of us to notice what’s trending, and reporters are no different. Coyne’s approach is to look at what’s trending and see if (and then how) our client can fit seamlessly into that narrative. My colleague, Stacy Bataille, has written an excellent blog post about this topic.
Novelty Gets You Noticed
People love cheese. They love bacon. Media love novelty. Timed to the launch of Einstein Bros.® new Cheesy Wakin’ Bacon breakfast sandwich, we developed the Cheesy Shampoo and Wakin’ Bacon Conditioner that tapped into people’s insatiable appetite for two of their favorite foods. The limited-edition shampoo and conditioner helped deliver maximum-level media coverage for a new menu item.
Another great approach is to consider brand collaborations. Perennial Easter favorite PEEPS® uses collaborations to extend its playful PEEPSONALITY® throughout the leadup to the holiday. Partnering with brands like HipDot Cosmetics and Crocs extends the media universe to different reporters and outlets while communicating the PEEPS® brand message to potential new audiences.
Paint a Picture
Storytelling is the name of the game, and you must paint a picture succinctly to be effective. We’ve told stories of the world’s only professional tailgater who travelled thousands of miles annually visiting NFL cities for Campbell’s® Chunky™ Soup, the legacy of philanthropic pioneer Paul Newman and his 100% profits to charity brand Newman’s Own, and the game changing throwing technique utilized by college students participating in the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway Program. Compelling, to the point narratives pique a reporter’s interest.
Make it Easy
If you offer a spokesperson, make sure they’re available. Have product samples, link to purchase, high-res photos and video at the ready. Fact check quickly. A great pitch gets you heard, great follow through gets you a story.
Be a Good Listener
PR people are trained to launch into a pitch, but unfortunately many aren’t encouraged to listen. Not everything you pitch is going to stick, but instead of simply moving on to someone else, take a moment to (politely) ask a reporter what types of stories interest them or if there’s anything you could offer for a story they’re currently putting together. That extra minute can strengthen media relationships and enhance your storytelling skills.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. There are many more elements that go into a great earned media strategy, but hopefully this provides you a window into what we do and how you can break through.