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What is Earned Media?

  • Posted December 2, 2006
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  • in category PR

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If you have read about public relations or publicity before, you have probably come across the term “earned media”. You might have wondered what this meant and the term is quite simple. Earned media is, quite obviously, media that you earn rather than buy.

Advertising is paid media and you are charged for the space that you buy according to a number of factors. Earned media is sometimes referred to as “free media” but this is often inaccurate. The media will rarely give you publicity if you do not first earn it, so there is expense or time, energy and resources when your business attempts to gain earned media.

If you are attempting to place a news story about your business in a certain publication or television show, you will have to earn it by coming up with a good story to pitch to the media, writing a press release, sending it to the media outlets and making sure to follow up. If you do not complete all of these steps, you will find that your story is often left uncovered and you will lose out on potential sales.

Still, while you must earn publicity from the media outlets, it often comes at a lower cost than advertising does. You may spend $1,000 a month on advertising in a certain magazine but you may be able to get the same exposure in the same magazine by using only $50 to write and distribute a press release.

When you are looking to use earned media to expand your business, it is first recommended to find out how hard it would be for you to earn that exposure and how much your time is worth. Most times, it is best for your business to use earned media to increase sales, so earned media is definitely something to look into.

Bryan Thompson is a young entrepreneur and President of PR Writing Online. In his experience as a freelance publicist, writer and entrepreneur, he has worked with dozens of small, mid-size and large companies. He is currently writing a book on using the internet to generate free publicity for small and mid-sized businesses. You may contact him at


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  • Posted On December 2, 2006
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