In today’s digital age, there are more ways to gain media coverage than ever. New online platforms, publications, and media outlets pop up each year. Cultural shifts like the growing prevalence of influencers have created new avenues to gain media coverage. Also, there are now wide-reaching platforms targeting more specific niches in business and culture, meaning media coverage is more attainable for lesser-known SMEs as well as larger corporations.

💡 Read Digital PR Explained: Best Strategies and Tools

However, in spite of there being more ways to get your brand out there, it’s just as hard to get noticed.  Online platforms are saturated, and media content is more disposable than ever. Without a coordinated response, whatever buzz you generate will quickly fizzle out.

So, how can you get media coverage that helps build your brand? What bases should 2024’s PR campaign cover? In this blog, you’ll learn about the different types of media coverage, and the steps we recommend you take to help your business get in the limelight.

What Are the Different Types of Media Coverage?

As a rule, a PR campaign should focus on three types of media to attain coverage: paid, owned, and earned media. The best way to generate media coverage is to use a combination of the three, as each has its own strength. 

Broadly speaking:

  • Paid media can help you reach a large audience quickly. 
  • Owned media can help you build relationships with your audience and keep them engaged over time.
  • Earned media can help you build credibility and trust.
paid-earned-owned media

Paid media 

This is coverage gained via paid advertising. You might pay for search engine advertising to drive traffic to your website, or perhaps for social media advertising to target specific demographics. 

Paid media is the quick, easy fix of media coverage. If you’re willing to invest a bit, it will immediately get your brand seen by larger audiences. However, it is not a sustainable approach. To get consistent coverage, you should see paid media as a supplement to other methods.

Read Optimizing Your PR Budget: 5 Ways Media Monitoring Tools Can Help 

Owned media 

Owned media is any type of content that you own and control. This could be a blog, newsletter, or a social media channel where you produce your own original content. 

Getting coverage through owned media takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. It can be difficult to get people to take notice of what you create with owned media. Nonetheless, maintaining a regular output of media will keep your audience engaged over time and help to build a relationship with them.

Read The Essential Guide to Content Marketing: Simplifying the Fundamentals

Earned media

Any publicity that you receive without paying for it falls under earned media. This can include things like press releases, product reviews, and social media mentions. 

Earned media is the most valuable type of media coverage because it is seen as being more credible and trustworthy than paid or owned media. The obvious drawback, however, is that it can be difficult to earn and is often out of your control.

Tips On How To Gain Media Coverage

Regardless of which type of media you’re aiming for, the basic method of gaining coverage remains the same: create the story, identify your media outlet, pitch, then boost its reach using the means available to you.

Here’s each of those steps in a bit more detail:

1. Create newsworthy content

Media outlets want timely, impactful, relevant, and interesting content. Providing them with this is a surefire way to gain coverage.

This could be in the form of a video that explains a topic surrounding your product or service, an infographic with original statistics, or a well-written article on your blog; whichever form you choose, ensure to give journalists a reason to link to your website.

Creating engaging content might seem like a tall order, but remember, you don’t have to find breaking stories and insider scoops for content to be newsworthy. The best approach here is to find a niche and offer valuable detailed information on it. By exploring niche ideas, you can provide unique perspectives and insights that attract the attention of journalists and readers interested in that specific topic.

2. Identify media outlets to cover your story

Once you’ve created newsworthy content ideas, you need to find somewhere to cover it. This could be newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, a website, a blog, or a social media influencer’s channel. As we said, there are a lot of options out there these days.

A man giving a statement for television
Newsworthy content should be timely, relevant, and provide value to your target audience

Still, a more targeted approach is best and will prevent you from wasting time on dead-end pitches. Find outlets that cover stories like yours, then consider their audience. If it includes the demographics you hope to reach, then contact them with a pitch tailored to that audience. Not  only will this secure the most valuable coverage for your goals, it will increase the likelihood of your submission being accepted. 

A great tip here is to use social media for competitor research. This will allow you to find which of your competitors are getting the best coverage, what channels they focus on, and even the specific outlets they have relationships with.

3. Pitch your content 

When it comes to pitching to your chosen media outlet, you need to keep their goals and incentives in mind. Highlight the newsworthy angle and explain why it’s of value to their readers or viewers.

Also, note that we say journalists, not publications. Many publications will have open submissions for content pitches, but these will often be oversubscribed and highly competitive.  Targeting specific journalists, influencers, and content creators will help reduce competition whilst also building stronger relationships. This is how you get your brand appearing in the media again and again.

The best way to reach out to specific media contacts is across a range of channels, via email, phone call, social media, online conference. Managing these relationships can be a lot of admin. Our advice here: investigate types of office phones with features for integration with CRM platforms. You can use these features to keep on top of PR contacts too. 

4. Build relationships with journalists and content creators 

The more relationships you have in the media, the more likely you are to get repeated, consistent media coverage. 

Making media contacts can be done by attending events, reaching out via social media, commenting on articles or providing them with opportunities to create quality content. To maintain these relationships, you need to find ways of providing them with value.

Providing a journalist or blog writer with research or expert commentary will get your brand in coverage whilst developing a valuable relationship. If you’re targeting social media influencers, offer them discounted rates on your products and services for a review on their channel. If there’s a podcast that covers a topic related to your business’s niche, offer them a guest interview. In any case, the best way to keep hold of media contacts is to make it beneficial for them to keep in touch.

5. Make the most of online possibilities 

Don’t be a boomer. The ever-changing trends of the internet shape the way media coverage and all of PR is done. This applies to social media more than anything else, but there are other online and AI tools for PR that can give a huge boost to your online coverage.

Social media is a powerful tool. Obviously, it’s great for getting your content in front of a wider audience but also for connecting with journalists. Tagging specific journalists and content creators is a great way to get noticed by the right people. Even better, respond to one of their posts with information on your brand.

social media logos
In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, staying up-to-date with internet trends is crucial

Another thing people often overlook is that it’s the worldwide web. If you’re happy with your media coverage in your local area, consider trying international markets. You might be able to generate surprising amounts of coverage and leads by targeting countries with smaller or more active markets. For instance, Singapore has a thriving tech, business, and travel industries, and for the small price of an sg domain registration, you could be getting in on that action.

Read Media Coverage Reports: Guide for PR Professionals

Finding Media Coverage That Helps Your Business Grow 

Getting media coverage takes time and effort, especially if you want consistent coverage for your brand. Don’t expect to get a story in every publication you pitch to. Just keep creating great content, pitching it to outlets, and most importantly, building relationships. The coverage that will help your brand grow will come from outlets that focus on your niche and target the same demographics. When you find valuable contacts like this, keep a hold of them.

It takes a lot to get your brand in the media, but it is undeniably worth it. Media coverage is the best way to increase visibility and once your audience can see your business, it’s just a matter of letting your products or service talk for themselves. Follow the tips above and eventually, your hard work will pay off.

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