STUDY: Earned Media Still Matters…a Lot

New research via Ogilvy PR.

In a world ruled by social media, a new study from Ogilvy PR reminds us that traditional media outlets have not, in fact, gone the way of the Dodo–and neither should the earned media portion of your marketing plan.

In fact, the survey reveals that earned media is still, by leaps and bounds, the most powerful resource for influencing purchasing decisions and business outcomes.

According to the study, traditional media outlets are still the most trusted sources of news, followed by influencer-driven news. News generated by companies themselves, however, ranked as the least influential. Further, The majority of journalists surveyed (65%) agree that the more the (traditional) media covers a brand, the more credible the brand appears (within reason, of course; they also cautioned that too much coverage looks suspicious).

Some other key takeaways from the study include:

  • 44% of respondents feel that today’s campaigns require a combination of traditional, social and paid media.
  • Almost half of respondents (47%) consider earned media the most influential medium of all when it comes to view earned media as most influential medium for driving purchasing decisions and business outcomes.

Jennifer Risi, managing director of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of media relations for Ogilvy North America, said:

“While social media revolutionized the way we communicate…The results give a clear indication of the critical role that public relations—and earned media in particular—has to play within the integrated marketing model….Today, the power of earned media for the strategic communication of a brand’s key messages should not be underestimated—it often lends brands the third-party credibility and validation today’s savvy consumers seek out prior to making purchasing decisions,”

So, by all means, keep aiming for meaningful interactions via social media, but don’t make the mistake of tossing traditional press releases and strategic PR efforts into the trash bin with other obsolete things like the desktop rolodex.