Fact. Not all coverage is created equal.

Paid media is like that outfit you splurge on for a special event, owned media is your reliable daily wardrobe, but earned media? That’s the killer vintage find you stumble upon, making your friends go, “Where’d you get that?”

Simply put, earned media is the PR equivalent of someone else singing your praises, without you having to prompt them. It’s that Instagram shoutout, the rave review, or the media feature that happens organically. It’s like someone else noticing how fabulous you are without you even trying. Not because you’ve slipped them a note (or a few bills), but purely because your brand has the X-factor.

Here’s why everyone’s chasing earned media:

It’s all about authenticity: In an age where consumers are inundated with ads, there’s something refreshing about a genuine shoutout. According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, a whopping 83% of folks trust peer recommendations over ads. No surprise there!

Your wallet thanks you: While laying the groundwork for earned media can require an investment, the coverage itself doesn’t come with a direct price tag. In other words, more bang for your buck!

A gift that keeps on giving: A digital feature or a rave review sticks around. It’s the online PR gift that, thanks to the magic of the internet, doesn’t stop giving.

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What is earned media? We’re so glad you asked. Let’s break it down:

  • Reviews and testimonials: Platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews and TripAdvisor have given power to the consumer’s voice. When someone takes time out of their day to sing your praises, that’s pure, unadulterated earned media.
  • Social media mentions: From Twitter shoutouts to TikTok features, if someone’s talking about your brand on social platforms without a sponsored tag, that’s the earned media bell ringing.
  • Guest features: Being the highlight on someone else’s platform, be it a podcast episode, a YouTube interview or a magazine column, showcases your brand’s expertise and appeal.
  • Media coverage: When a journalist picks up your brand’s story for a feature in an online article, magazine, newspaper or TV segment without any direct payment involved, it’s a significant earned media win.
  • User-generated content (UGC): This includes unsolicited content created by happy customers. Think Instagram posts featuring your product, TikTok challenges revolving around your brand, or even fan-made videos.
  • Word-of-mouth: The age-old, ever-effective method. When people talk about your brand at dinner tables, parties or casual meet-ups, recommending you to friends and family, that’s golden earned media.
  • Crowdsourced content: Inviting audiences to contribute content can sometimes be a mix of owned and earned media, especially when it goes viral!
  • Awards and recognitions: Winning an industry award or even being nominated can serve as powerful earned media, highlighting your brand’s excellence and credibility.
  • Event coverage: If your brand hosts or is part of an event that gets covered by media or bloggers without a direct pitch or payment, that’s earned media.
  • Brand advocates and ambassadors: While some brand ambassadors are paid, many do it out of sheer love for the brand, amplifying your voice without any financial nudge.

Here’s a beautifully simple diagram to show the difference between earned media and other media types – paid and owned.

Different types of media, earned, paid, owned

Earning that media attention is a blend of strategy, storytelling and a sprinkle of serendipity.

Hoping for spontaneous media love? Here’s your game plan:

Tell a killer story: Make sure your brand has a narrative that’s worth sharing. And no, it doesn’t always have to be groundbreaking. Sometimes, relatability wins the day.

Mingle, mingle, mingle: Relationships in PR are everything. Wine and dine (or Zoom and online chat) with journalists, influencers and the movers and shakers in your industry. Learn how to build and maintain media relationships.

Stay in the limelight: Keep updating, evolving and giving the media fresh reasons to chat about you.

Flaunt with Flaunter: Flaunter isn’t just a PR platform; it’s a network of brands and media. Showcase your brand, press assets, media releases, showrooms collections and brand assets to 1000’s of media. With access to a plethora of media and brand profiles, being here is like having a VIP ticket to the best PR gig.

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Let’s flaunt it, shall we?

Bringing brands into the media spotlight is what we’re passionate about at Flaunter. We understand the inestimable value that media features offer to brands, especially in industries like fashion, beauty, home, wellness and more. Connecting brands with the right media outlets is an art, and when done right, it’s a win-win for everyone.

So, to all the brands out there looking to make a mark: Get out there, share your story and watch as the world sits up and takes notice. And remember, at Flaunter, we’re always here to help you shine the brightest!