Don’t send a Press Release, send a check

Does that sound crappy? Does it sound like we media folks just want you to “Pay to Play”?

It might, so lemme state for the record: Any GOOD media outlet, publisher, blogger, vlogger, influencer or content creator (together, “Media”) worth their salt will cover ALL of the products, ideas, and technologies that serve their readership.

If not, they’re doing their readers a disservice. If they are reputable, you should not have to pay for coverage on any media outlet.


(you knew there was a but coming)

All media need advertising support to exist. It’s not just banner ads. Support can come in many, many forms, which I’ve discussed and will continue to expand upon in future newsletters.

But right now, just think big picture.

If you rely on the media to help spread the word, then you need to support the media that help spread your word.

Sounds intuitive right? Maybe you think you already do this. Keep reading.

Why are you telling me this right now?

Because many of you are likely procrastinating working on your 2021 marketing budget right now.

You’re probably (hopefully) looking back on this past year’s ad buys and paid marketing and trying to figure out which ones performed.

Comparing Click Thru Rates, Conversions, Engagements, etc.

Which are all valuable metrics… for the places you’ve already advertised.

Here’s a new metric

While you’re compiling your data, make a list of ALL of the media that have consistently covered your brand, product, etc.

Make a note about how long you’ve been sending them PR, and how long they’ve been covering you.

Now make a note next to each one listing how much you’ve advertised with those media.

My hunch is there are a lot of “media” out there that have consistently helped tell your brand story that you’ve never advertised with.

In other words, how long have you been abusing them as part of your marketing without paying them?

And now back to Pay to Play media

Here’s why it’s so important to list ALL of the media that are helping your brand: Because many are too small to have dedicated sales people.

And the ones quietly (and ethically) doing their jobs as journalists aren’t walking around with their hands out.

Which means that all too often, the same big media get the ad dollars. And the media who demand advertising contracts in exchange for coverage (aka “pay to play”) get the ad dollars.

Then the small, quiet ones get left with scraps. Or nothing at all.

But small and quiet doesn’t mean ineffective.

Small and niche means authentic with engaged audiences.

Authentic and engaged means better results for you when they mention your brand.

Don’t believe me?

Check your Google Analytics to see where your site traffic came from in the months following a major product announcement. Check for traffic from a review. Rank that based on the media outlet’s audience size to get a fair metric and you’ll likely find that the small, quiet ones might be where your marketing dollars are best spent.

And if you want them to stick around, support them.

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