Newspaper changes FEA

The Media Landscape Is Changing (And That’s Great News for Small Businesses)

In the marketing world, there are three main types of media that work to get the word out and drive awareness about your business, organization, or cause:

1. Paid Media (i.e., buying an ad in your local newspaper)

2. Owned Media (i.e., your website)

3. Earned Media (i.e., media coverage in your local newspaper)

Earned media has always been the Holy Grail. Imagine getting a trusted third party, like a news outlet, to promote your message to a wide network and not have to pay them to do so? Every business wants to be featured on the front page of The New York Times or on their local nightly news.

While this type of coverage can do wonders, unless you’re a huge company, have an amazing story, some strong relationships in the media (that take time to build), and a little bit of luck, the chances of scoring a really great feature story aren’t too high.

Good news: Things are changing

Over the past few years, media has been transformed by new technologies, new methods of distribution, and new ways to consume information.

Not everyone has the time to sit down and read the newspaper or watch the news to find out what’s going on in the world. That’s not to say that publications like the Times, The Wall Street Journal, and your local daily newspaper are losing their influence. But with social media and blogging, everyone has a voice, and as a result, a whole new crop of influencers have popped up.

Some of them even have networks that are just as big as the circulation and reach of news outlets.

Reaching the new influencers

This is great news for three reasons:

1. It means you don’t need that home run piece of media coverage to get more exposure for your business or organization.

2. It means you don’t need to hire a pricey PR agent to represent you.

3. It means you can easily do some PR for yourself.

A simple Google search can reveal the top blogs and Twitter handles of the people that matter most to you and your industry. Reach out to them via Twitter. Post a quick comment or give your opinion on their blog and link back to your website. It only takes a minute, and who knows what could happen.

A simple re-tweet from a blogger like Anita Campbell, the CEO of Small Business Trends, who has more than 77,000 followers on Twitter, can be just as valuable as a piece of media coverage.

A quick plug about your business from Gene Marks, a consultant who also blogs for The New York Times, Forbes, and the Huffington Post, can be just as valuable as buying some ad space.

The bottom line

Above all else, these changes in the media landscape mean that the ways your customers, clients, members, and supporters consume and share information has changed. The same applies to the people who can influence your customers, clients, members, and supporters. As a result, you need to be wherever they are.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to take an integrated approach to marketing with a mix that includes email and social media, plus offline methods too. Be where the people you want to reach are, and they will be there for you too.

Have you ever reached out to an influencer or blogger in your industry? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.


Leave a comment »
  1. Great post. When you comment on other blogs, you should always focus on adding value first with any mention of your business coming in second. That way, your comments won’t be perceived as a shameless sales pitch. If your products or services are relevant to the post or discussion thread, it’s okay to mention them–just don’t turn it into a press release for your business.

  2. Hey Shawn-

    Thanks for reading. Totally agree. The goal of commenting should always be to add value, bring something to the table and start a conversation. TechCrunch is a great example of this. Their comments section always turns into some type of interesting discussion with like-minded people sharing thoughts and opinions.

    A simple plug with your company’s name is fine, but the comment section is not the place for a sales pitch.


  3. The internet and social media have changed the manner we communicate with commerce – this trend is very much evident in the travel industry. Nowadays, customers have changed themselves to online self-researching, while planning a trip, rather than going to travel agencies and tour operators. This digital change has an enormous effect on the travel and tourism industry and the destination marketing companies. Due to the increased internet usage among visitors, the buying, engaging and researching on the travel products has become more easy but competitive. Thus, this shows the means for an effective marketing and sales approach for the business in the online market.

  4. […] a great, fact-based answer, it will go a long way.  Plus, if you work in PR it’s your job to know the media landscape.  How can you do that without […]

  5. […] In case you haven’t heard, the media landscape is changing … and that’s great news for small businesses. […]


Tell us your thoughts