Types of Media
Media can be categorized in many different ways, including earned, print, broadcast, shared, and owned. Each type of media has its own guidelines, audiences, and timeline when it comes to sharing information with the public.
Earned media is anything that is written about your company that you didn't create or pay for. Newspaper or magazine articles, news stories, and even company reviews are examples of earned media. It is considered "earned" media because coverage is the result of your company's actions and efforts. Although earned media isn't owned by your organization, you can still use it strategically. Earned media can be broken down into two groups: print and broadcast.
Print media refers to printed materials, such as newspapers and magazines. Although they are called “print” media, many of these publications offer digital alternatives as well.
- Daily newspapers need a higher volume of stories to fill out space.
- Find the right department to pitch your story. Daily newspapers often have a wide variety, from news, sports, arts and entertainment, business, and recreation and lifestyle.
- Work with one reporter at a time; don't promise a story to multiple reporters.
- Most community and local papers are weekly papers.
- Although there is less space for content, stories that impact or relate to the community are often prioritized.
- Get to know the newspaper's readership. Past editions can often be found in a local library or online.
- Weekly newspapers can contend with larger publications for certain stories. Try to time press releases so weekly papers can release stories at the same time as larger media organizations.
- Staff are often overloaded in the days immediately prior to publication. If possible, send information a week or two in advance.
- Consider providing photos that supplement your story.
- Magazines are often characterized by topic, making them a great way to connect with an audience with specific interests.
- They also are printed much less frequently than newspapers, giving them a longer shelf life.
- When approaching a magazine with a potential story, contact the magazine's editor to explain why your story would be a worthwhile addition to the publication.
- Many magazine issues have themes; work to have your story relate to the rest of the publication.
- Keep in mind that content is often due a month or more before the magazine is released.
- Offer to provide related photos and graphics with your story.
Broadcast media includes information being transmitted across communication channels. Some common examples of broadcast media are television and radio.
- Television news stations rely on immediacy and shares stories in quick, succinct segments.
- Visual interest is critical for television. Compelling images and videos capture an audience's attention quickly and keeps them engaged. Demonstrating new equipment being used or showing a construction site are examples of what can be used for visual graphics.
- Have a spokesperson in mind who can convey key information effectively.
- Timing is everything. Events that happen in the morning or early afternoon allow for editing and can often be featured on the evening news. If your event is later in the day, the story may need to be pushed to the late-night or early-morning segments.
- Radio can be used to reach a wide audience with opportunities to narrow down your target audience through different stations and talk shows.
- The morning and evening commute are peak times for radio stations.
- Become familiar with radio stations that would share stories from your facility.
- If you want to be featured on a talk show, you'll generally need to contact the producer, not the host.
- When you call in, be prepared to be interviewed on the spot. Be accommodating and offer to work with their timeline.
- Avoid calling the station at the top or bottom of the hour.
- After you send in your press release, it can be helpful to follow up a few days before the event as a reminder.
Shared media consists of content about your brand posted to a social media platform. This can be content shared by the public or by accounts managed by your organization. To learn more about shared media strategies, visit the social media page of this toolkit.