Earned media, or earned content, is simply that – you’ve earned it!

Earned media is a new buzz word that reflects the hard work put into building relationships with key journalists, influencers and followers. Ultimately, they want to talk about your product or service not because you’ve paid them, but because they like it.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Nurturing relationships with journalists, influencers and followers takes time. Done well, the fruits of your labour will grow into media coverage in newspapers and trade media or interviews on TV and radio, as well as retweets and likes on social media.

PESO Model

Earned content forms part of the PESO model which covers four types of media:

  • Paid – from paid for adverts and advertorials to sponsored social media posts and tweets
  • Earned – anything secured for free, such as articles, guest blogs, retweets, likes or shares
  • Owned – this includes websites and blogs where you can post your own content
  • Shared – these are your social media channels, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc, where you can share your content.

How effective is it?

In an age where people care what other people think, earned media is really effective. Securing coverage gives your content gravitas. It’s a third-party endorsement, where a journalist, influencer or follower has deemed your service or product newsworthy and of interest.

People are more likely to be influenced by trusted information, so it can help position you as a thought leader. Not only that, it can help increase brand awareness and footfall to your website and boost search rankings and potential sales leads.

How do you get it?

Be creative in your content. It’s about creating content that’s worth sharing, content that’s going to ‘wow’ journalists and grab their attention, or that of your followers.

Nurture social media relationships. There’s no point posting on social media if you’re not going to engage with your followers. Interacting with them will increase the chances of them interacting back.

You can’t buy customers’ endorsement you need to earn it. Make it your mission to make your customers happy so they want to shout out about your product or service.

Combine earned media with owned and shared media. By sharing your earned media across your website, blog and social media channels will help maximise your PR and digital marketing strategy.

What are some examples?

 Here are just a few examples of earned media:

  • Articles online and offline – newspapers, trade media, vertical media
  • TV/ radio appearances
  • Profiling pieces
  • Social media engagement – retweets, likes, mentions
  • Organic traffic to website
  • Customer reviews or testimonials

Used wisely, earned media is a useful, effective and trusted tool used as part of a wider PR, digital and content marketing strategy.

Don’t forget you may need permission to share earned media, so make you sure you check out what licences you need to ensure you are allowed to share it.


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Abigail Henderson Account Manager
At Faith, Abigail is responsible for helping to manage client accounts and deliver communications plans, alongside crafting digital campaigns, designing client visuals, and landing features across a range of industries.