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Earned Media: What is all the hub-bub?

In Definitions on November 21, 2016 at 7:00 am

This post was written and posted as part of my new role with PRgloo. I’m posting here for anyone who may not be familiar with PRgloo and is missing out on the easiest public relations software out there today.

There has been a recent surge touting Earned Media as ‘The Thing’ public relations professionals and communicators need to be focused on as if it’s the newest thing. Fact is, it isn’t new at all.

If you follow the public relations and communications industry you may have noticed a serious uptick in the term Earned Media.


  • “Track your brand’s paid and earned media!”
  • “Earned Media is back in the driver’s seat!”
  • “Check out our new Earned Media Cloud Platform!”
  • “Monitor your Earned Media with <PlaceNameofProductHere>”

Earned media is often the goal of media strategies.  It is one of the most relatable measures of success by the executive level (or most significant) of a public relations team’s efforts. Unfairly so, but that is another post altogether…and let’s not talk about AVE’s right now.

Is Earned Media always Good Media?

By definition, YES, yes, it is. Ask 4 communications professionals and you will get 5 different visions of earned media. But they will all agree that earned media is always good media.

Successful communicators work on a balanced PE(S)O strategy.  The S is often included in this acronym to represent Social Media. While it can be pulled out on its own it can also be considered part of the each of the other three depending on how it is utilized.

Paid Media – provides a guaranteed way to get in front of an audience. It is a paid placement; for example: Google Ad, Sponsored Twitter Post, Boosted Post in Facebook, Pre-Rolls on YouTube, Paid ads in Apps and so on.

Earned Media mentions your company, brand, product, research, webinar or any other asset in a positive light. Earned Media are those mentions your brand/product/<Insert Item Of Importance Here> receives coverage in a medium (television, radio, all things digital) without payment. It is the polar opposite of advertising in a manner of speaking.

It can be any one of, or combination of:

  • organic content in traditional and digital news media
  • posts that are shared on various social channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc.)
  • Positive comments on news articles, blog posts
  • Unsolicited reposts of content
  • Even, some would argue…word of mouth

Owned Media – provides a channel within which to craft your messaging on your own sites to include your website, microsites, product app, all your social media channels, videos on YouTube and so on.

They all work together. Focusing on just one aspect will not yield optimal results.

Paid, Earned and Owned media together help develop a recall of your brand, it’s messaging and thought leadership.

Remember Earned Media is not new

…tracking it, is not new

…praying for your audience and influencers to provide earned media is not new.

Building relationships with influencers, reporters, your customers and audience are the seeds of earned media. Tend to these relationships and the earned media will grow organically.

Organic growth is the power of earned media.

We are PRgloo. We help you manage your public relations efforts so that all aspects of your strategy stay organized and demonstrate your team’s efforts and contributions to earned media (amongst other things).

Keep it all organized in @PRgloo for we are #PRMadeEasy.

MarmiteGate…How Not to Implement a Price Hike

In Customer Service, General Analysis, Relationship Management on November 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

This post was written and posted as part of my new role with PRgloo. I’m posting here for anyone who may not be familiar with PRgloo and is missing out on the easiest public relations software out there today.

marmiteIn 1902 the Marmite Food Extract Company was formed with Marmite as the main product. Marmite is concentrated brewer’s yeast, invented by accident as a by-product of the beer making process.  It has become part of the culinary fabric of Great Britain.

Marmite is beloved. Say Marmite to most Britons and the response is “Yum” or some other happy place response.  So don’t mess with the Marmite.

Brexit did not get that memo and messed with the Marmite.

Earlier this month Unilever let retailers know it was raising prices on common consumer products including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, shampoo and Marmite. While some retailers are still in negotiations with Unilever it ended up in a deadlock with Tesco.  In response Unilever pulled its products from all Tesco stores.

As you might expect this did not go unnoticed by the media or the public…and soon #Marmitegate was trending.

Here is where Unilever lost favor with consumers. Social media exposure supported Tesco and revealed how price hikes are passed on to retailers. In their anger and disgust consumers threatened to boycott Marmite.

Unilever pointed to the fall of the pound negatively impacting their profit margin. The competitive British consumer market means Tesco can’t afford to alienate consumers with significant price increases. Tesco took a stand and refused to pass on the price increase.

Tesco and Unilever have since come to an agreement and prices of the products are not going to change, right now. However Tesco’s John Allan has warned that prices overall will rise 3% in the near future.

This is one example of the outcome of the Brexit decision, but it also highlights the power of social media and consumer relationships with brands. In this case Tesco appears to have taken a stand for its customers and won. Prices remain the same.

Unilever comes out of this with a bloody nose appearing to be purely profit driven. Could this have been handled better? Definitely. Basic communication with consumers would have avoided the sting and what appeared to be an attempt to strong arm consumers into a price hike.

The reality is Brexit will impact prices, but for now Marmite is safely back on the shelves at Tesco.

We know change is afoot with Brexit. What brands should be hyper-aware of is that a lack of transparency and poor communication will boomerang. Get your communications plan, messaging and lines-to-take in order: there is a rough road ahead.

PRgloo can help you stay organized. And remember….

Don’t mess with the Marmite.

Our Phones Catch on Fire? Shh… don’t tell anyone

In General Analysis on October 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

This post was written and posted as part of my new role with PRgloo. I’m posting here for anyone who may not be familiar with PRgloo and is missing out on the easiest public relations software out there today.


galaxynote7cnnSuccessful communicators know having a Crisis Communication plan is essential. Their plan is reviewed regularly; talking points/lines to take are vetted and approved for different scenarios.

The team, even if you are a team of one, all know their role and the process that has been defined.

A prepared team collaborate, and are able to manage their communications in real-time.

My Phone is On Fire!

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 started to catch fire and explode early in September 2016 just two weeks after being rolled out on August 19th. (Not to be confused with the Galaxy S7 which is not catching on fire.)

The cause was thought to be a faulty battery. A recall was issued for 2.5M devices (updated recall notice and sales were halted.

The hazard the product presented to consumers initially was handled with what seemed to be a structured response. The public was informed and a clear call to action was issued.

A Sterling Brand Reputation

The standard bearer for crisis Communication and response in product recall is Johnson & Johnson and how the Tylenol tampering issue was addressed. Johnson & Johnson had a sterling reputation before the crisis hit.

Even as a child I understood that the brand was in danger. My biggest worry was that my mom would not buy BAND-AID® bandages any longer. (Oh the worries of a child)

However, the brand survived and came out stronger for several reasons:

1.  A clear recall plan with a level of transparency that had not been seen before.

2.  Investment by the brand to fully understand the issue before putting a remediation plan together

3.  A comprehensive plan to address the issue in the short and long term

4. A marketing strategy to rebuild brand trust and loyalty

Johnson & Johnson set a standard for crisis communication that will continue to be referenced, but they did something else as well. Their response also created a new standard for product safety measures.

This was all happening before the advent of social media where rumors and news are near real-time. Johnson & Johnson demonstrated crisis does not need to equate to ruin for a brand. Tylenol is the third most popular over-the-counter pain reliever with over $203M in annual sales.

What happened to Samsung?

After the new phones were issued to customers exchanging their ‘old’ phone new reports of the same issue were reported.

Here is where a swift initial response did not benefit Samsung. Engineers did not fully vet and test the new product to ensure safety. It seemed the goal was to get the product back on the market as quickly as possible.

What really hit Samsung in the gut though was not communicating that the new phones are having an issue immediately.

There is no room for procrastination in crisis communication in the always on world we now live.

Here is where the swift response has left Samsung

  •  Last week Samsung announced it will discontinue the Galaxy Note 7.
  •  Last week Samsung’s stock has taken a hit and dropped nearly 8%.
  •  Last week Samsung has provided competitors with the opportunity to snap up 2.5 million customers.
  •  Last week Samsung said it expects to remove $5B off of its operating profit through March 2017.
  •  Last week the execution of a crisis communication plan appears to not to have been employed.
  • This week airlines in Australia, Europe and Asia have banned the device due to the fire risk it presents to the safety of the plane.

Don’t let ego and the bottom line dictate a protectionist attitude.

Own the problem. Take the time to find the root cause. Offer a solution. Test, test and test again.

Be transparent and communicate with your customers

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