06 Jun 2023

What works when it comes to winning earned-media coverage?

Over the last two years we tracked the media and business performance of 73 innovative early-stage tech firms. Our analysis suggests that particular approaches and story angles earn more attention than others.

Bringing those approaches and angles together in a considered strategy is vital.

There are two key components in any successful strategy: drumbeat coverage and seminal stories.

1. Driving a drumbeat

Successful companies create a steady drumbeat of coverage in titles their audiences go to most often. Consistency and repetition are key. Few buyers act on first exposure to a new brand or product. Studies suggest that people need to see or hear a message at least seven times for it to sink in.

While a single piece of coverage can be game-changing, that is often down to luck and timing. The right person needs to read the right article at the right time (when looking for a new solution) and then feel motivated to act.

Similarly, for potential investors and employees, sustained and repeated brand exposure is generally required to drive action.

Relatively few people in any given target audience are at the right stage at any given time. It is therefore very challenging to build a sustainable growth strategy without regular coverage.

An effective drumbeat repeatedly exposes target audiences to a brand and its capabilities in a memorable way. This approach helps prospects remember the company when they are ready to assess options and take action.

2. Securing seminal coverage

The second necessity is to secure seminal pieces of coverage in high-impact, agenda-setting media outlets that reach beyond your core audience to a much larger group of people.

Depending on your audience, this may include international business and technology media, or national news publications.

Achieving coverage in this kind of media takes time and focus, but the rewards can be substantial. It exposes a business to a much broader audience, putting them on the radar of many more people, and shows they are a credible player, tackling a significant problem, and worthy of mainstream attention.

The best PR campaigns generally blend both strategies: the drumbeat and the big seminal pieces.

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