by D&E Staff

October 6, 2021

How’s anyone supposed to get their bearings in an industry that’s (cliché incoming) “changing at a faster pace every day?” How can anyone truly get a foothold on the “next Big Thing” when we’re not even sure if the current Big Thing works or is still relevant?

While we didn’t pose these exact questions to our panel at our most recent Brainfood, those themes did crop up (Brainfood is our quarterly thought leadership event focused on the latest trends and developments impacting our clients and their businesses). The discussion centered on what we’re observing as paid and earned media continue to converge, and a few threads started to form a yarn.

Let’s weave a few together, shall we?

  1. Attention spans are increasingly shortening for most types of media, but longform content is growing concurrently (think podcasts, Netflix bingeing).
  2. Everything’s virtual, or has to learn to become virtual to some extent, to succeed — even newsrooms. Recorded videos and interviews take on new significance
  3. In the past, reporters had to dig for every story. With social media, the stories are now coming to them (make your media pitches count!)
  4. With myriad paid and earned ways to get stories to a target audience, the story itself and how it’s told matters more than ever.
  5. The right story shared in the most appropriate format by an outlet consumed by the target audience can live in several places, and for much longer periods of time than just a weekly paper or nightly newscast.
  6. The line between paid and earned media is still there, but it’s blurry. Integrity and truthfulness are hallmarks of outlets that will stick around.
  7. Paid media (you can call it advertising, but it’s still storytelling!) is a great force multiplier when it’s planned in conjunction with other earned media expected to make waves in your space.

Barely squinting at these bullets reveals three things:

  • Stories and why they matter still — and will always — take precedence.
  • With so many ways to disseminate a story, you need to find the right mix of paid and earned outlets to match your intended outcomes.
  • Quality relationships are a MUST between those with stories to tell and those with platforms to share them. Get to know your agencies, reporters, news hunters, and social media curators!

If you’re looking around at the mediascape and scratching your head about how to approach your next news release, ad campaign or just have a story you need an audience to know, we can help with that. Connect with me to start the conversation.