Earned Media vs Paid Media… But Beware of PR Puffery!

Using Press Releases for advertising purposes is considered earned media – but be careful to see that your PR is truly newsworthy.

Puff pieces” that have no valid news content will most likely be sent to the trash bin by any self-respecting news agency. However, if you have a special event, a workshop, a new publication, an expansion or if you have earned an award or honor, completed some advanced level of training – anything that might make up an authentic news story – then it deserves to be circulated in the media. A well-written press release should get picked up as news by all types of media including: print, TV and radio broadcasters, Web publications, bloggers as well as throughout numerous channels of social media.

Stephen J. Kastner
Stephen J. Kastner

Having been a professional photojournalist for the New York Times papers in Florida and having written hundreds of news columns and press releases for the print media for over three decades, I know how to write newsworthy stories. Maintaining an extensive set of media contacts and having professional experience helps me provide my clients with an advantage over their competitors who try to create do-it-yourself, in-house PR. Since we only create and distribute valid, newsworthy PR, we are known and respected by media “gatekeepers.”

Earned media vs paid media (advertising) may also include live appearances on radio, television and streaming Internet broadcasts, as well write-ups in letters to the editor, editorials, and polls. The bonus in using PR over paid advertising is not only the price (even if you hire a person to write it professionally, it’s usually cheaper by the square inch than a display ad of the same size), but the credibility factor. A news story is assumed to be truthful and not seen in the same light as an advertising pitch.

With the rapid evolution of social media wherein authentic “conversation” between friends has become the new advertising norm, the following comparisons between earned media and paid media may be valuable:

Earned media fosters customer engagement.
Paid media is based on the old-school, top-down method of tell-and-sell.

Earned media engenders conversation.
Paid media merely pushes information out.

Earned media conversations that foll0w …are organic.
Paid media, is merely sending out a marketing pitch and is often the mark of failure when trying to use that approach in social media .

Earned media enables interaction between the customer and the provider of goods or services.
Paid media offers a pitch to sell goods and services.

Earned media is targeted.
Paid media casts a wide net.

Earned media is distributed and often shared throughout numerous channels and if truly successful, may go viral.
Paid media is distributed over select and limited pathways.

Earned media is highly ranked by search engines and greatly benefits SEO.
Paid media is of low priority in search engine indexing and has a low impact on SEO.

Earned media is positive news coverage that you actively work to get.” – NHTSA

Please, contact me if you would like to learn more about how I can provide you with a means of generating effective earned media…

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