This is number 6 in the Earned Media Series
Tapping into a community that supports your activities, aligns with your mission, or uses your product, is an obvious way to increase earned media mentions.
Rosetta Stone did it very successfully with AARP. After doing a social audit Rosetta Stone discovered that people over 50 regard learning a new language as a way to keep mentally alert and fit. And there is indeed scientific evidence to support this idea. Rosetta Stone commissioned science writer Sharon Begley to write a whitepaper titled The Positive Effects of Bilingualism in the Adult Mind and Brain. AARP was the logical community to reach the over 50’s demographic: they have publications, they have a website, they do events. Other senior-focused sites and blogs republish AARP content. It’s a match made in heaven for earned media mentions.
HerRoom has a section on their website where they tested sports bras. It’s called the Bounce Test. They conducted an interview with Dr. Joanna Scurr of Plymouth University, who has done studies on the health effects of breast movement while running and exercising, and then connected with communities of women interested in exercise, running and sport. The supporting interview made the Bounce Test relevant for these communities of women and gave them a reason to publish and share the content.
Always Offer Content that has Value
Just connecting with a community is not enough – the message has to have value for them. Figure out what will get their interest and attention. What problem can you solve for them? That’s what makes them open to hearing your message and they’ll be eager to post, publish and share that message.
If Rosetta Stone just thought that partnering with the AARP was a great idea, it would have gone nowhere. But because they have a solid reason for over 50’s to learn a new language it has been a stellar partnership and, in fact, has become a major focus for the company.
Before they did the interview with Dr Scurr, HerRoom had that content about sport bras on their site for quite some time. No-one paid much attention. As soon as they had a reason for women athletes to pay attention, they got the earned media mentions.
Earned media still depends on delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. But it certainly helps to have a relationship with a community of the right people who will be eager to forward your message.
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