Public Relations Help — Earned vs. Paid Media

public relations help

Looking for public relations help? Buckle up and join us on this tutorial of PR basics. One of the fundamental concepts to understand when new to PR is that there are two types of press your company can attain are: earned media and paid media. In this article we’ll talk about the differences between the two and how it benefits you to include both forms in your press strategy, especially if you’re looking to increase brand awareness and grow as a company.

Paid Media — a.k.a Advertisements

What first comes to mind when you hear the term “paid media” is probably a classic digital advertisement. While some are more apparent than others, paid media can take on a variety of forms.

To name a few, some options you have include: social media ads, Google ads, banner ads on popular websites, and even commercials on radio, podcasts, or television. Paid media sometimes also appears in the format of a sponsored article in a blog or magazine; called an advertorial. An advertorial is an authentic opinion-based article that recommends your product or service to the reader. Advertorials, when done well, look and feel like organic.

These are just a few types of paid media and that really only skims the surface of paid opportunities in today’s market. The thing to keep in mind is that each of these paid media efforts will cost a substantial amount of money if it is to reach a significantly sized audience.

Studies show that it typically takes seven times of being exposed to a brand for people to be able to recognize and recall it. So if you think just one or two paid spots will be enough, think again.

Don’t lose hope yet though. An external agency is there to offer public relations help so that you get the most bang for your buck with authentic earned media press placements. Earned media offers your brand an invaluable amount of exposure. Here’s how it works.

Earned Media — Your Brand’s Secret Weapon

An earned media placement is when a journalist, influencer, or press outlet decides to feature your company in a story they’re writing (or post they’re posting, in the case of influencers). This is usually achieved via a pitch from your PR team to the writer or influencer. Depending on the size of outlet, the views on earned media can be as high as several millions of people. That’s millions of consumers seeing your product and learning about why they should choose it over your competitors.

As the marketplace becomes more and more saturated with advertisements every day, many brands are seeing that audiences prefer an authentic product review to a paid media placement. Organic earned media features are able to better help consumers put themselves in the shoes of the writer and imagine life as a patron of your brand. The voice seems less “salesy” or pushy and more like a trusted friend simply sharing their own experience.

Although an external PR agency does charge a retainer fee, you can work with your local agency to find a package that suits your needs and budget. The growth that earned media can offer your company is worth the monthly cost.

To summarize, if your budget allows for it, your brand can definitely benefit from public relations help in both paid and earned media strategies. Paid media can be helpful in creating a name for your company and increasing brand recognition among the public. However, earned media has value in a society that craves more honest, authentic content.


For more tips and public relations help, check out our other blog posts or set up a consultation with us!