Is Earned Media Dead?

Our world and everything in it is spinning at a million miles a minute. It’s hard to keep up when things are moving so fast and aspects of our job are constantly evolving. In the public relations world, we are always trying to look for ways to grow brand awareness for our clients.

One particular area that is a staple for public relations is earned media.

But with the evolution of social media and emerging outreach options, does earned media still have a place?

We’ve heard over the past decade that the print industry is declining…thanks, NO THANKS, millennials! If people are deciding to forego their subscription to local newspapers, then it takes away the option for citizens to submit their thoughts and concerns to the opinion sections. We’re seeing more and more papers turning to paid earned media for business purposes.

What does that mean for regular people? If you want to send a letter to the editor or opinion editorial to your local paper, many papers are now asking you to pay for the post. We understand the rationale, which is to save the print industry, however we wonder if it’s deterring regular people from sharing opinions on matters that impact their community?

Another question is even if these posts are free, would people even read them? We live in a world that demands news to be front and center on our mobile devices. We don’t like to involve a lot of searching.

As a public relations professional, I know there are benefits to earned media. For example, normal people have a voice where they otherwise wouldn’t on very important issues. When a letter to the editor or opinion editorial run it can be used to direct people to a message or issue instead of just talking about it.

As much as I’d like to believe that earned media isn’t dead, the future is looking pretty bleak. But all of us have a role in how we get our news.

Let us know what you think! Do you read the opinion sections in papers (print or digital)? Tweet us @k2andcompany

-Mary