Media coverage plays a quintessential role in public relations (PR). It not only enables you to heighten your brand awareness, but also your credibility. The very first step to getting media coverage for your business is to decide who your target audience is and which media type you should use to reach them. Amongst the wide ranging types of mass media, ask yourself: where do you want your message to appear? Is your target audience more of a social media crowd, or do most of them consume TV and radio? If you’re unable to answer these questions, it’s probably worth reading on.
Amplifying your earned media strategy
Andy Warhol predicted that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” These days, with everybody vying and dying for attention, fame rarely comes unsolicited. To stand out, businesses need to work harder than ever to find the right media type for their brand.
The first step is to align your content strategy with your earned media strategy. In other words, post great and valuable content on topics which you’d like to be viewed as an authority. Then, reach out to journalists and influencers who might be interested in your work, and see if they’re willing to supplement their pieces with it (or amplify it in other ways).
Factors determining media selection
When selecting the media type that best fits your brand, there are a multitude of factors that come into play. First, analyse your brand: what is the nature of your product? Is it tangible or intangible? Is it separable or inseparable? For example, if your products are each individually unique and tangible, you might want to market it in a more personal platform such as social media, or through an influencer who has already gained trust with a sizable audience.
Next, ask yourself: what is the nature of your message and it’s appeal? For instance, if you are a fresh startup hoping to establish brand worthiness, the best media type to target is one that has already long-established its credibility, such as the traditional print media.
Lastly, take a look at the current existing market for your product, including your competitors. Competitive research is the backbone of a strong PR strategy. After all, if you can’t identify your competitors and their PR strategies, you’re unlikely to differentiate yourself from the rest!
Other factors that go into selecting the most appropriate media channel for your brand’s PR strategy include media availability, your content distribution strategies as well as your market penetration.
The 4 broad media types
Here then, in no particular order, are the 4 main media types which you can target for your PR strategy.
Type 1: Print media
Despite it’s apparent dwindling popularity, print media is still one of the most prevalent outlets for receiving news or messages. Comparatively, the print industry has been around for the longest time, and has long established credibility worldwide.
Examples of print media are newspapers, magazines, books and so forth. It is primarily for establishing brand worthiness & value in the marketplace. Through a single article or print advertisement alone, you are able to communicate very broadly, with broad reach, to a large target audience.
Print media is often considered extremely useful, having arguably the broadest reach within a reasonable cost. However, given its diminishable nature, the short life span of print media is also something that brands should take into consideration.
Type 2: Broadcast media
Broadcast media refers to television (TV) advertising, radio, etc. This media type is often the principal source of entertainment for the masses. Broadcast media holds an air of excitement, and is believed to be the most influential and persuasive medium for reaching a wide audience.
Since it stimulates multiple sensory receptors, broadcast media is a highly powerful audio-visual medium. Furthermore, this is spectacular media type as it allows for the most bandwidth for creativity. That, and, it is without the constraints that are prevalent in print or OOH media.
On the flip side, this spectacle also comes with a high cost. Furthermore, for instance when it comes to TV adverts, audiences often tend to “zap and zip”; in other words, change channels or fast-forward past the commercial. In those cases, the utilisation of the media type becomes rendered ineffective.
Type 3: Online media
The term “online media” can refer to anything on the internet – that intangible, ever-expanding thing that affects everyone and everything. But for our purposes, we specifically refer to blogs, news websites, podcasts and social media marketing.
With its exponentially rising influence on individuals and economies alike, the internet has become a part of our daily lives. As of 2020, there are at present over 4.66 billion internet users worldwide, accounting for close to 60% of the global population. This means that your PR outreach could possibly target more than half of the global population. Of course, that is highly euphemistic, but the undeniable appeal of online media is evident.
Online media is not just a global medium, it is interactive and has the ability to generate immediate response. It is frequently accessed, and by trend, it’s audience is only looking to be growing in the undisclosed future.
However, the downside of this high traffic medium is the high targeting and research costs that comes along with it. Putting your brand message out on the internet won’t do anything unless you accompany it with the right targeting and analytics.
Type 4: Outdoor or Out of Home (OOH) media
Despite what you may have heard, Out of Home (OOH) media is still essential. Sure, physical transit and traffic has reduced largely due to COVID-19, but given how lockdown restrictions are loosening and the world is slowly opening up, OOH advertising is gaining traction again.
In short, OOH media can refer to outdoor advertising, transit advertising, cinema and video advertising, and so forth. It is usually utilised as a supportive medium by marketers and PR professionals, and is not a primary PR outreach tool.
Common advantages of this media type are it’s long and large exposure, relatively low costs and geographic selectivity. However, because space limitations, messages spread via OOH media are often brief and has an inability to add depth or substance.
All in all, engagement begets engagement, which begets credibility and, ultimately, trust in your brand. Each media type has its own advantages and the one which is best suited for your brand’s PR campaign largely depends on your own brand, product and market. Ultimately, targeting your media coverage to the specific types of media that best suits your brand’s PR strategy can go a long, long mile.
If you wish to learn more about which planning for your brand’s PR strategy, feel free to drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.