What is Earned Media?

September 3, 2021
September 3, 2021 Sally Dee

What is Earned Media?

What is earned media? The PR experts from Playbook Public Relations explain all you need to know about earned media and its importance. Read more.

Your public relations and marketing efforts can pay off nicely when you score earned media. Earned media – also known as earned content, publicity, or organic media – happens as a result of a third party promoting your business or organization. This type of media is not paid for, in contrast to a paid ad, and your actions earn you this type of attention. 

Main Types of Earned Media

Brand mentions and awareness are increased by these types of earned media:

  • Article mentions, quotes or feature stories
  • Interviews (TV, radio, podcasts, and beyond)
  • Public-generated videos
  • Social media mentions, including reviews
  • Word of mouth

Every business touchpoint is an opportunity for earned media, even the traditional word of mouth that still remains as impactful as online or printed mentions. When you make customers or the media happy, the more positive earned media you’ll gain when their friends, contacts, or audience asks who’s top of mind and your name comes up.

Why Earned Media Is Important

When news outlets, influencers, fans, the public, or another third party publicizes you, this increases your stature as an authority and helps brand awareness grow. This helps give you more credibility as your target audiences trust these sources more to believe in your product or service, insights, and branded content. You can reach bigger audiences faster with earned media, but you do not have as much control over what they say. 

Part of Your Marketing Strategy

While earned media does take more work and time to cultivate, it is an essential, major component of a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan. Playbook PR helps clients create relationships with the press and influencers, and these groups can be regularly pitched to so you can get earned media when the message and content is a win-win for everyone. Influencer marketing goes beyond celebrities to connect with industry thought leaders and organizations, target audiences’ leading influencers, and other noteworthy third parties that can elevate your brand online and offline. Mining your LinkedIn contacts is a great place to start to show you who knows who and what shared connections they can introduce you to in an effort to further business relationships.

Attending or organizing events and distributing your content in person or online depending on the event’s format is a great tactic for earned media. Presenting on a topic that will be helpful to event attendees and gain you media mentions helps you go even farther. Pre-show opportunities and social media promotion on the event channels can be a great place to expand your brand awareness through social conversation, email marketing, links, and visuals that elaborate on your key messaging. Be sure to include all your relevant social media handles, hashtags, and links to help keep attendees focused on your top platforms to engage in.

Tap into your fan and advocate base by sharing news with them in tandem with the media, so they know they are VIPs for being loyal to you. Keeping a separate list of these VIPs helps in combination with a media contacts list as this fan list is more apt to share your news word for word and add their positive viewpoint to create even more respect and interest in your brand. Employee advocacy programs can also fit within this category as a low-cost distribution network to share the latest news on their own social media networks.

Get Extra Mileage Out of Earned Media

Plus, when you receive earned media, you can share it with your fans and social media networks to remind them that you are a quality brand and third parties recognize your value. You can also choreograph earned media to get more mileage out of it by:

  • Reprinting the earned media for distribution at events, on displays, or as mailers
  • Publishing snippets of the earned media in blog postings or testimonials
  • Including it in sales presentations or scripts
  • Sharing it on social media with reposts
  • Sharing it in award nomination submissions

Be sure to get permission for any earned media content you want to use to keep the relationship with the third-party above board. Some organizations have republishing or logo use guidelines, so contact the person who first published the earned media to ensure compliance. 


With a great service or product and content worth sharing, it is possible to get more earned media regularly. Working with Playbook PR will help you create engaging, timely content, more social media engagement, and connect you with tools such as social media monitoring to jump in when breaking news or a special event makes your brand even that much more relevant. Like you, we are here to exceed expectations to help your brand get more longevity and success. From media relations to event management and content creation, Playbook PR is known for its comprehensive results-driven campaigns, ROI, and helping your bottom-line results. Contact Playbook Public Relations at (813) 789-7122 or online to elevate your media strategy and brand.

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