Public Relations Is Still Relevant in the Age of Social Media Self-Promotion
We live in an age of endless self-promotion.
With instant access to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, brands have a multitude of ways to push out their own content in real-time.
There’s no denying the value of digital marketing initiatives like paid advertising, social media, and email. But in a world of self-promotion, there’s still so much value in traditional public relations strategies that rely on the professional media.
It’s the difference between promoting your own story and having a credible source tell your story for you—and in doing so, provide a third-party endorsement of your products or services.
The Value of Traditional Media
Think the traditional media doesn’t matter anymore? Think again! Here’s why news and journalism outlets remain relevant in an age of self-promotion:
Trust in traditional media has certainly declined in recent years. But people still rely on well-established media outlets to keep them updated on what’s happening in the world today.
Respected media outlets with proven staying power have managed to retain their authority, even amid accusations of “fake news.” Audiences continue to turn to these organizations for the truth about local and global issues. The authority these outlets have means that when one of them mentions your organization, people pay attention.
Established publications have higher readership and viewership than many brands. Although print readership has been on the decline in recent years, we’re still talking readership in the hundreds of thousands. Your email list will have a tough time competing with that kind of reach.
It takes a long time to build a large audience on your own, so why not leverage a media outlet’s audience if you have the opportunity? A single segment on the local news or a feature story in a popular magazine has the potential to reach significantly more people than an entire month’s worth of social media content on your brand’s account (and then some!).
Media features lend a tremendous amount of credibility to a brand. Audiences view the media as a source of important and topical news. Seeing your brand in the mix of content tells them that what you’re doing matters. And they’ll be less likely to dismiss the story as having a marketing spin when it’s coming from a credible third party offering external validation.
Media real estate is limited—and not every brand can make the cut. Just to give you an idea of how exclusive that space is, public relations professionals used to measure the inches of columns in a newspaper to determine the value of a media hit.
Some publications, like The Boston Globe, are a tough sell. Brands have to go above and beyond to gain a coveted spot. The fact that you can’t buy your way into its editorial coverage only adds to the exclusivity factor. Getting a story through a renowned media outlet’s sieve propels you to the ranks of the chosen few.
In order to gain media attention, a story must be unique and newsworthy. When you secure a feature in a media outlet, it shows people just how topical and relevant your brand is and helps you stand out against all the noise. Even if you aren’t promoting your latest product or service directly, you’ll still be top of mind for your audience.
For example, I recently helped a book author gain publicity for her newest release. We found a venue where she could get airtime talking about a completely unrelated topic, but she was able to plug the book release at the end!
The world may be changing, but media is here to stay. In a time when anyone can publish online content, there’s power in having a credible media outlet tell a story about your brand. And that, my friends, is why media still matters.
Want to create a pitch that journalists can’t resist? Let’s chat about media opportunities for your brand!