Is Traditional Media Still Worth It?

We get asked by clients, friends and cohorts constantly if traditional media is still worth the investment. In a digital age, where more audiences are consuming their news online, talk radio and television appears to many, to be fizzling out. There has certainly been a major shift even in just the last five years in how people are consuming their news.

According to a 2019 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada the growth trajectory for smartphone media consumption in adults 18+ has increased nearly 25% since 2014. Although traditional television and radio consumption is slowing slightly there is still a lot of merit in investing your time and energy into earned media, here’s why.

Content Creation

Not only is your earned media segment reaching out to live audiences tuning into their TVs when they start their day or their car radios on the way home from work, newsrooms are also shifting their efforts to focus more on online distribution. News outlets post stories and segments on their websites and social media pages, offering a rare opportunity to take those professionally produced links and posts, to share on your own websites and social media accounts. Creating your own video content can be a daunting task, and can get pricey if you need some support to pull it off. Just by leaning on that initial time investment to reach out to the media and share your message, you’re getting skillfully created content by the storytelling experts for your own content uses online. 

Expanding Your Reach

Especially if you’re a small or medium sized local business or not-for-profit with a fairly strong following and engagement rate on social media, there’s simply no way to match the organic reach you’ll achieve through an earned media segment, compared to a set of social media posts. By investing a little bit of time to land those interviews on TV, radio or in print you’re reaching thousands of people in a single sweep, helping to share your story in a meaningful way with an audience who may not otherwise have known about your product, company or cause.

As an example a single television interview or story has the potential to reach as many as 35,000 viewers on a weekday evening broadcast and as many as 25,000 for a weekend morning appearance, not even taking into account the potential for that interview or story to re-run on a later broadcast. This exposure continues to be invaluable for our clients who continue to see significant increases in website traffic, inquiries and ticket sales immediately following an appearance. 

    Credibility is Key

    With an on-slaught of stories, links and click-bait headlines, it can be tough to discern even for more seasoned consumers if the news they’re receiving on their social media feeds is coming from a credible source or not. Established news organizations like Global, CTV, CBC, 630 CHED and The Edmonton Journal are all staffed with degree carrying journalists & award-winning producers that take great care in providing accurate and timely information to their audiences. A single story regardless of its length will go through multiple levels of proofreading and approval before it’s ever broadcast or shared. This process helps improve the quality of the stories and information. Having your brand represented by an established organization helps to build credibility and trust with the general public and will encourage them to engage positively in your latest call to action.

    It’s clear that media trends are shifting and an equal amount of effort needs to be put towards your own brand journalism and telling your story through your own channels, but don’t ignore the potential for earned media to support those efforts and help you reach your next PR goal!

    About the Author

    Catherine Bangel

    Principal & Founder, Bangel PR 

    Catherine has helped numerous corporations, not-for-profits and small businesses meet communications and publicity goals. She has also continued to use her television background to assist brands in producing their own stories through video and written content for internal, social media and other online use. Catherine has a Political Science degree from the University of Alberta and a Journalism degree from the University of Regina. 

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