You have a hot piece of news that you want to get out into the marketplace; a new product, a successful solution, or a significant change to your team or business focus. In the past the way to get the word out about your business was to pay the media gate-keepers to advertise on TV or in magazines. Some companies would have long-term contracts with Public Relations companies to build relationships with editors, reporters and newscasters to get mentions of the company’s news in the press. A company’s relationship with modern media is much more nuanced and complex, requiring more energy and intelligence, than it was just a few years ago. The new environment creates opportunities to expand a brand, succeed against larger and more-established competitors, and create sales opportunities in a variety of ways.
Think of today’s media in three categories: Owned, Earned and Paid.
All three might play a role in a single event. Say you are presenting at a conference. The event itself – the speakers, the breakout sessions, the presentations – are yours. You are communicating to a group of people in a very direct way. The information in the presentation is also found on your website, and it is in pdf format to be emailed or shared with prospects. It’s Owned Media.
To build attendance for your presentation, you mention the upcoming conference on your Facebook page, your twitter feed and your LinkedIn account. Others indicate their approval by sharing a post, clicking the “like” button or leaving a comment. Someone who has his own opinion about the noteworthy nature of the conference will post his opinion about your topic and invite all his social media friends. You have written a press release and sent it to newspapers, where a reporter might write a preview. You also post the release with electronic news organizations.
As you introduce the keynote speech, you encourage everyone in the audience to tweet about the speaker’s ideas and their own reactions. Ideally, people not at the conference read the tweets and comment. Afterward, an audience member will write up the conference for her blog and remind everyone that you are already planning for next year’s conference.
That is all Earned Media — attention you created that carries the weight of an endorsement because others have expressed their approval. Even the newspaper, by writing an article before the event or reporting on it afterward, conveys approval.
Paid Media, or advertising, still plays a role in building an audience and you might buy ads on Facebook or Google or in print, radio or tv media, depending on the audience you want to attract.
The point is to create a buzz about what you are doing and where you are going. When you give the right people what they want, they talk about you. Your campaign might even go viral, today’s version of the huge headline on Page 1 of the big city newspaper.
If you have an event, a trade show or a public presentation in the works, and need to know how to get the most marketing bang for your efforts please give us a call about our marketing strategy services.