Many people still have a lot of questions when it comes to using public relations and earned media strategically.
- Does PR and earned media drive business outcomes, including qualified lead generation and bottom line growth?
- How do consumers respond to earned media?
- Is the press release dead?
We compiled some of the most recent research to help answer these and many other questions. Here are the top findings from three studies we evaluated (spanning 2016 and 2017):
Public relations is rated more effective by both B2B and B2C marketers for lead generation than push tactics such as print, TV and radio, including mobile and native advertising.
Public relations was also found to be most effective in achieving brand awareness. Consistently true for both for-profit and nonprofit brands.
After owned media (the company website, email list, brochure, and other collateral), both B2B and B2C pros now say earned media is important for success, placing growing emphasis on earned media vs. paid. Marketers site increased cost and reduced performance of paid media as the top reasons for the shift, alongside the value they place on thought leadership.
Here are some top findings:
- 75% of marketers plan to increase spend in earned media in the next 5 years. And, nearly 50% increased PR/earned media spend in the previous year.
- 80% of the time, earned media is more effective than branded content in influencing a consumer that's considering a purchase.
- 81% of senior marketers think earned media is more effective than paid media.
- 90% of journalists still want to receive a quality pitch via email, and about 75% say they count on press releases to help develop content for their audiences.
- 96% of the largest companies regularly issue press releases.
- Millennials favor earned media over paid media hands down, finding it to be more authentic, more trustworthy, and more personal.
- All audiences view earned media as the most authentic form of marketing.
When it comes to social media, content driven by news, share-worthy stories, helpful tips, and testimonials earns the most engagement.
Bottom line? As human beings, we are hard wired for stories. Public relations and earned media strategy and tactics are a vital part of the mix.
Marketing and communication pros are using earned media strategy to achieve top-level outcomes like:
- Brand positioning
- Reputation management
- Customer relations and retention
- New leads or referrals
- And, business growth (conversions and revenue)
These outcomes are measurable, using metrics across a number of touch points from increased website visits, downloads, and email signups to testimonials, new referrals, volunteers, and new revenue or donations.
Whether for profit, or nonprofit, B2B or B2C, products or services, public relations and earned media deliver measurable results.
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Copyright 2018, Tracy L. Teuscher, APR