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How has Social Media changed our ability to generate earned media?

As the saying goes, “A happy customer tells one friend, and unhappy customer tells everybody.” What happens when that unhappy customer has a massive following on Twitter, Facebook or Google+? Social media has super-charged earned media allowing your brand advocates or brand attackers to quickly promote or tear apart your brand or the branded content you’ve worked so hard to create.

“Earned (media) often requires a paid spark,” says Andrea Wolinetz, director of social media at PHD. “We have empirical evidence that a kick-start from paid media is often the difference between a cultural juggernaut and complete silence.”

By cstreet360

As a product marketing person, every piece of branded content that we put out for Cision has to be thought of in terms of how it could potentially generate earned media, whether it is positive or negative. How will an off-center blog post be received? How will our customers respond to an email campaign announcing a redesign of our media database? What happens if we announce in a pop-up ad that we will start charging for a service that was free before or vice versa?

Cara Stewart, Founder of Remarx Media, a business to business marketing agency specializing in social media and digital marketing, believes “Consumers and other decision makers are self-policing companies today so corporate marketers have to engage with their decision makers and with consumers”.

So, when we send out a new email campaign to our customers or prospects announcing a new product or a change to our media database, we think about the messaging we use and then we think about it some more. Every time you communicate with your audience, you have to think about the consequences of the campaign becoming viral on the social networks regardless of it’s sentiment.

“Working with a trusted and capable partner offers the fastest and best path to success” says Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3. “The important first step, though, is to stop thinking of earned, paid and owned as separate initiatives, and begin to think creatively about how you might integrate them together.”

So, how can the people responsible for PR, advertising and owned content collaborate more effectively and essentially eliminate the silos that tend to exist between these departments?

C.C. Chapman, Co-Author of “Content Rules”, insists “you need to mandate it and have the support from the very top of your organization. That way no one can question it and everyone realizes that it is important. Then, you can get all the teams together and start working together towards success.”

For further discussion on this topic, join Cara Stewart and C.C. Chapman for Cision’s upcoming Future of Earned Media Event on August 23rd.

This post is part of the Future of Earned Media series.


Tags : social media

About Laurie Mahoney

Laurie Mahoney is the Director of Product Marketing at Cision. She is a regular contributor to Cision Blog mainly focusing on topics like content marketing, social media and SEO. Laurie is a Chicagoan now, but spent her earlier days in the South where she attended the University of Georgia. She has a weakness for good TV, sushi and anything that mentions “salted caramel” in the name. You can find her on Twitter @channermahoney.

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