Many business owners can feel discouraged by the small return on investment they may be getting from traditional media forms. It’s expensive, time consuming and overwhelming for many. However, there is hope! There are many different ways to advertise without spending a dime by using the media that you already own and turning it into media you earn.
Let’s consider some local examples of earned media, shall we?
Riverstone Dental Clinic turned a need they could fill into some good ol’ fashioned earned media. Last December, over 50 people lined up and braved the cold winter temps for a chance to do something most of us with benefits take for granted – see a dentist. Hygienists and dentists at the dental clinic spent their Saturday cleaning, filling and pulling teeth all for free. While the gesture was of course a welcome Christmas gift, the media gave them some free advertising in return! The story was newsworthy and got people talking about the generous dental clinic in town.
Or how about a more recent example – the Air North impromptu pizza party. Earlier this month, 199 passengers aboard a Delta airline flight headed to Anchorage were stranded in Whitehorse’s tiny airport over night. Air North, seeing an opportunity to be hospitable, ordered pizzas and provided fresh coffee and muffins in the morning. While the news didn’t quite make national headlines, from a local perspective, Air North was able to build on their brand promise – providing The Yukon Experience – and get some free publicity out of the whole thing. At least one story about Air North was shared over 93 times on Facebook alone.
These are just two examples of local companies being authentic to their brand and getting some earned media in return. Getting picked up by the local newspaper isn’t the only way to earn your media however. Earned media is any type of free media that you get just for being you. You can earn media simply by scoring a 5 star review on Trip Advisor (but…you can also earn media by getting a 1 star review on Trip Advisor). As soon as someone talks about you to their friends, their mom or their grandma, that’s earned media and you can help ensure it’s benefiting you by being true to your brand in everything you do. Thanks to the rise of social media, you can facilitate your earned media by generating share-worthy content online. Each repost, like, re-tweet or share is earned media working for you. Plus, this type of word-of-mouth helps generate credibility and relationships with other businesses and journalists, which might mean more good press for you!
So get out there! We’ll see you in the news.