Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) 2024 Pollie Conference in Washington, D.C. and speak on a panel with other experienced political communicators about how you can elevate your strategy through earned media.

If you haven’t attended a Pollie Conference before and you work in politics, I would highly recommend getting a ticket to their next one! It’s not only a great opportunity to expand your network, but you can also participate in breakout sessions to learn more about how some of the best and brightest in our profession make all the magic happen (and win elections)!

During our breakout session on earned media, we focused on how to create a powerful narrative that resonates with your target audience, how to influence news coverage, and how to leverage social media to boost your campaign. We highlighted different strategies, tips and tricks and advice that you and your campaigns can use to elevate your earned media strategy.

One particularly important part of earned media is social media. Why is that? Well, almost half of Americans use social media as a news source. No longer are the days where people are opening the newspaper, turning on their television, or listening to the radio during their drive to work each morning. People are turning to Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, so campaigns have to use social media to enter the chat. If your candidate wants to be a part of the conversation, you have to be engaging in the conversation in a place where everyone can see it – on social media.

I understand – some people might not like social media – but it has its benefits. It’s free, it can help you build your audience, and it can help you build your authenticity. Through social media, you can reach different audiences on different platforms that you might not have otherwise reached if you are only getting your message out through television, radio, or the newspaper. Nowadays, you can share your campaign’s latest op-ed as a screenshot and pull text from the piece and share it on multiple social media platforms to maximize views.

Another way to elevate your earned media strategy is to maximize your capabilities. What does this mean? At K2, we draft, oversee, and execute social copy everyday for our clients. But in order to get our clients’ message out to the right audience, at the right time and help them become part of the conversation, we have to be quick, post regularly, show the candidate’s expertise on particular issue areas, and create interesting and engaging content. If you continually post boring commentary – it’s most likely not going to gain as much traction as posts that have pictures, videos, links to articles, and hashtags.

Remember, if you want to get your message out to as many people as you can and target the right audience, it’s imperative that you utilize social media in the right way to help elevate your earned media strategy and here at K2, we can help you do just that.

-Brittany Yanick, Senior Communications Director