Earned media (or free media) refers to favorable publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising – Wikipedia
Earned media is exactly what it sounds like. You’ve got to earn it. Public relations is earned media, but the scope extends beyond just the realm of PR. Word of mouth is also a type of earned media.
What makes your business unique? Why should the press or the public care about what you’re doing? Before you can generate organic conversations, you need to position the company appropriately. Instead of being just another small business or startup amongst the crowd of others, there needs to be an identifiable selling point. Is it your outstanding level of customer service? Is it an interesting story of how the business was founded? Are you trying to accomplish something out of the ordinary? Pinpoint what makes the company special.
Grab some attention
You’ve got to be able to sell others on how you’re different. Consider investing in an agency or PR professional who can help with some initial press. A well crafted press release can go a long way. Do you have a big product release coming up? Have you done something that could be considered news worthy? Does your business tie into a current event that’s currently making waves? Seize these opportunities as they arise.
Build organic relationships
A lot of earned media comes down to who you know and who knows you. Identify and start building relationships with the people who are movers and shakers within your industry. Find the bloggers that cover your niche and make yourself known to them. Don’t hard sell, but instead choose to be genuine in your communication efforts. Never underestimate the power of a single relationship.
Get in front of more people
Always be searching for new ways to get your company name in front of new audiences online and offline.
Offer to write guest posts for blogs in your industry.
Create a piece of “sharable” media – audio, video, Slideshare presentation, etc…
Consider having your company host an event.
Take advantage of interview opportunities when possible.
Earned media takes both a lot of work and a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Consumers trust word of mouth more often than paid and owned media. If done properly, almost nothing is more powerful when it comes to spreading a brand name.