May 22, 2019 / in Comms Best Practices / by Sarah A. Parker

Earlier this month we hosted a webinar with our own SVP of Corporate Marketing, Jen Jones, and Joanna O'Connell, VP, Principle Analyst at Forrester to discuss how you can gain influence through earned media. Whether you were able to tune in live or you missed it (in that case, here’s a link to the recording!) we wanted to discuss the top three highlights here. 

One: The customer is in charge in a way they never have been before

Brands of all kinds should care about this because customer-focused companies perform better and they use their data to serve customers better. 

As customers become more aware of the data that exists around them and how companies use it, you need to be sure you’re absolutely transparent about how you’re using customer data and complying with all laws and regulations that affect your business. 

Speaking of data, that brings us to our next takeaway. 

Two: Everything is more data-driven

Technology is finally allowing marketing, PR and other comms professionals to show the hard data behind their efforts, but not every team has the ability to prove their value in this way. Many teams are more gut-driven, more art than science. And that has lead to many comms departments being chronically underfunded and undervalued. 

The good news is that this leaves comms departments with a huge opportunity: 

As teams are able to use more data to inform their strategies, they’ll be able to prove their value across the board. 

Data should also be tapped to inform strategies like influencer marketing (more on that in a moment) and knowing your audience at the deepest possible level (without being creepy). 

Three: This is the future of earned media

At Cision we’ve mapped out what we believe is the future of earned media, and it looks like this: 

Influencer graphs are the future of influencer marketing. They allow you to completely map an influencer, their content and the audience who actually consumes it. That ensures that what you’re investing in influencer marketing is having the greatest possible return, and that you can further invest in long-term influencer relationships that provide the maximum value to both parties. 

Smart Engagement is an approach to content and communications distribution that values a proper mix of both reach and relevance for each individual audience member. After all, audiences demand tailored content. Broad, shallow content isn’t going to resonate. 

True measurement ensures that you’re concentrating on the metrics that truly matter for your strategy. Just because you can measure everything doesn’t mean that you should; concentrate on what matters most and leave the rest behind. 

Finally, comms transformation is the unification of Earned Media Management under one team, workflow and platform (we humbly suggest our own), and includes the integration of earned media with other channels in the marketing mix (like paid and owned). The goal of comms transformation is to make it possible for comms pros to optimize campaigns, earn more budget and regain the prestige they’ve lost from constantly being undervalued. 

Forrester’s research informed today’s takeaways, along with some insights from our 2019 State of the Media Report

Take in the whole webinar here, and let us know what your top takeaways are! 

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About Sarah A. Parker

Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for TrendKite, a Cision company, where she can be found planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things integrated PR and social media strategy, and mastiffs.