The term media coverage can be used in two different ways, depending on who you ask. The first refers to the actual physical media coverage you receive and the second refers to the value added information you are given as a result of this media coverage. The first refers to any news stories, features or reports that are created for your company and sent to you as a news story or report. The second would include any information published by other media outlets – both print and online – which contain information about your company. Both forms of media coverage are extremely valuable to your business, particularly if they relate to your industry trends.
The value of media coverage will be greater if it provides insight, context and explanation which enable you to make decisions about your product or service accordingly. For instance, if you were looking at the digital landscape and saw an interesting website designed by a creative firm, but were unsure whether this would connect with your audience or not, then viewing this website could provide you with some useful insights about your brand. You could then use this information to launch a social media campaign based around this particular website. Similarly, a traditional PR agency may want to launch a PSA or PR video campaign based around this information, helping them gain more visibility for their brand. This form of traditional media coverage tends to give a unique perspective about your company, helping you shape or form part of the conversation around your product or service.
Another benefit of traditional PR is the fact that journalists who work for such agencies have usually been in the industry for many years, providing an unparalleled level of experience relative to new practitioners. Many journalists who have worked for traditional PR firms have built up large reputations and are known within the industry, having covered a wide range of topics in a number of different industries, which means that they are well-reluctant to “play the hand” and publish an article or video without first ensuring it is suited to their platform. As many journalists will be aware, there are hundreds of stories that cannot be published due to format issues. Reporters working in the PR industry know that this holds true for many different types of media coverage. This gives them an enormous advantage over any start-up PR company, as they are already aware of specific requirements that must be met in order to publish a story of relevance.
Perhaps the largest benefit of media coverage for PR agencies is that it allows them to build a relationship with the different media outlets that they are seeking coverage from. It is generally accepted that social media outlets are much friendlier towards smaller companies that do not have a mass presence on the platform itself, and so any small PR firm can benefit from appearing on a platform like Twitter, for example, as a way of getting their message out to thousands of followers, as well as being able to build a positive reputation in the mind of these followers. As a result, any large PR company with a strong reputation in the industry can really dominate certain social media outlets, which allows them to build a powerful online presence and greatly influence the opinion and buzz about their brand.
Media coverage also offers another benefit for PR agencies; it allows them to offer their services to clients in other industries, in return for a fee. For instance, many PR agencies will offer their services to public relations firms, press agencies, and other industry professionals in return for a fee. This fee can be high, but if the firm knows that its expertise in one particular industry will help the client gain a strong foothold in that industry, it may be worth paying for that service. The same can be said for media coverage. If a company is confident that its expertise in a certain media outlet will allow it to gain the right kind of influence, then it may be worth paying for media coverage in order to gain that position.
However, what is often overlooked is the direct link between media coverage and press releases, both of which are essentially forms of advertisements. In the world of PR and advertising, the main goal is to drive traffic to an advertiser’s website. In doing so, the press mentions will gain the company publicity and it will be seen by a targeted audience. In turn, the traffic that is driven to the company website will generate revenue. With the amount of competition in today’s market, any edge is vital.
When considering your media options, you should keep the above-mentioned points in mind. When planning your media strategy, you should not only focus on driving traffic to your website, but you should also plan ways to create relevant content that can be used as advertisements. While digital media such as social media posts may seem like they do not have the same potential for advertising, this is not true.
Many companies have spent heavily in media coverage only to discover that their efforts were unsuccessful. If you are planning to make large media requests, you should first identify those journalists who will be the most qualified to provide you with a story. You should also hire a reliable reporter, as well as a variety of other professionals, to provide the needed media coverage. Although hiring a number of people may seem more expensive and may not be the best option, it is important to have a range of experts to cover any situation that may arise.