How to Advance Brand Perception and Relevance With Earned Media

Published on 30th September 2022

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This insight post summarizes the original blog post published by Angela Leon of Airfoil Group. View the original, full-length post: Advance Brand Perception and Relevance with Earned Media

While brands understand the importance of earned media, it’s a strategy that often sits on the sidelines because most don’t know where to start. Keep reading to get tips from our partners at Airfoil Group to see how you can go the extra mile with your earned media strategy to advance brand perception and relevance.

While paid, owned, and earned media each play a vital role in a successful public relations campaign, many professionals credit the latter with going the extra mile in advancing brand perception and relevance.

Earned media is not secured through payment or operated by the brand – it is organic coverage written and published by a credible 3rd party media outlet or platform and usually the result of a great story, well told.

Earned media coverage can be a valuable tactic to shift public perception of a brand. On top of establishing credibility, these stories can help boost a client’s relevancy to a particular topic or narrative.

So – how should your brand go about exploring earned media opportunities?

Find a great story – and tell it well

Whether working with an internal team of media relations specialists or collaborating with an agency partner, the path to earning organic media placements requires a great story. Simply boasting that you have news to share won’t get the job done – you need a hook that will grasp attention, convince people to care, and provoke them to remember.
Your storytelling efforts should never begin and end with a press release. While it may be one tool in your arsenal, a good storyteller will go deeper. In the case of a new product or service announcement, for example, consider what else you can do to set your story apart by asking yourself the following:

  • How did this new product or technology come to be? Is there some novel innovation story behind it?
  • Is it new or interesting? Why is it different than anything that has been out there before?
  • Where and how will you make this announcement? What are the dominating news events or narratives among your audience?
  • Why do people need this? What problems is it solving?
  • What data do you have to support your story? What have been the reactions from early users or clients?
  • Is there an executive you can offer as a source to give perspective? What about an engineer that can share a fascinating account of accidentally coming up with the concept?
  • If it’s a physical product, you might grant an opportunity for a reporter to use it – unbox it, feel it, try it out – which could ideally inspire a product review. If you’re unveiling a new IoT solution, you may be opening yourself up to debate surrounding the level of privacy, security, and compatibility with this piece of technology. There are so many directions you can take your foundational story in, and the press release is woefully unprepared to do all of that exploring for you.

Once you’ve identified a story worth telling, you must make sure it’s falling on the right ears. Be smart and strategic about which media outlets you target – who is going to be interested in this story, and where can you meet them?

From here, you can further zero in on your desired audience by tailoring your story to appeal to whoever it gets in front of. After all, the version of your story that fits the bill at a trade publication like Automotive News isn’t as likely to speak to viewers of The Today Show in the same way – but it’s very possible both audiences could be receptive to the right angle.

Want to learn more about how fostering media relationships and utilizing earned coverage? Check out the full blog post:Advance Brand Perception and Relevance with Earned Media.

Interested in this topic? Find more PR Strategy and Storytelling insights from our partner network.


Airfoil is a brand growth agency based in Royal Oak, Michigan, specializing in PR, marketing, creative and logistical challenges that impede business growth. Having been in the business for 20 years, Airfoil is a woman-owned agency that Advertise Age has dubbed as one of the best places to work.

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