What Is Earned and Owned Media? And How Can They Serve Your Business?

Reach new audiences by making these separate styles of publicity work simultaneously (and seamlessly) for you.

learn more about Emma McKinstry

By Emma McKinstry

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A well-rounded communications strategy includes activities aimed at generating earned and owned media content. On their own, each option can be tremendously valuable for businesses at all stages of their lifecycle. But when used in conjunction with one another? The two can truly catapult companies to new levels.

What is earned media?

It is simply content about you, or your company, that is created and published by an independent third party. Publicity created by clients, customers, social media fans, journalists and influencers all fall into this category.

Related: 6 Strategies to Maximize Earned Media for Your Brand

What is owned media?

It is content that your team creates and publishes on your website, social media outlets or newsletters.

Related: Why Your Brand Should Double Down on Owned Media

Promote earned media through owned media

Earned media gives you unique credibility in the eyes of consumers. It tells outsiders that someone outside of your company deems you relevant enough to give you public attention. It's for this reason that you should promote each piece of earned media that you generate about your company. Properly run owned media channels make it easy to do just that.

For example: Develop a series of social media posts you can share over several days surrounding a piece of media coverage's run date. Build out a case study about how you secured the media coverage by posting it to your blog or talking about on your next podcast episode. Include a "media mentions" section in your company e-newsletters. Rocket science, it ain't.

Share owned media with influencers

Forward your most informative content with the media contacts and influencers that you think might have a real need for what you've produced. Ask your contacts to credit your company, preferably with a link, if they do end up using it.

Certain media outlets regularly run "how to"-styled stories designed to help readers learn from those who have gone before them. These outlets could quite likely be interested in the specific steps your company made to get to where it is today.

Coordinate the timing of all content

Let's say you're planning a new product launch for your company. Part of your strategy will be to contact journalists in advance of the launch. You might also tease your debut in your e-newsletter and social media. Make sure to synchronize the timing of these activities to generate greater consumer awareness of your product. When a potential customer reads about your new, must-have item, you must greet them with more content about said product when they pull up your Instagram profile.

Start making earned and owned content work for you and you'll quickly find yourself reaching new customers, growing your business and maximizing the impact.

Related: 3 Qualities Your Content Needs to Earn Media Coverage

Emma McKinstry

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Founder & CEO

Emma is the founder & CEO of 418 Communications, a Lexington, KY-based boutique PR firm. Her work regularly results in coverage in top national, regional, and trade outlets. In 2020, Emma launched the DIY PR Hub to help entrepreneurs and others plan and execute successful DIY PR campaigns.

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