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Don’t count on favors for earned media coverage

By Marjorie Comer

adeolu-eletu-38649-unsplashA newsworthy story doesn’t require a favor

A public relations insider knows that relationships matter when connecting with reporters. You must build and maintain relationships with journalists in order to receive quality media coverage. And you can’t call it a relationship when you’re simply asking a favor. A relationship benefits you and the media outlet, while a favor is requesting a reporter or contact give your company preferential treatment through media coverage.

We’ve seen companies call in a favor to gain media coverage for their “news,” and the results are often abysmal. Here are several examples:

  • Some companies launch a PR program counting on a favor from a media contact – only to find that the contact has left the outlet, thus turning a slam-dunk into an air ball.

  • Just because you know a journalist personally doesn’t mean you have an automatic opportunity or a guaranteed story.

  • You can’t ask your best friend who works at a media outlet to pull favors and get a story about your company.

  • You can’t buy advertising and expect the outlet to write a story about your company in return. (Although, a lot of ad executives at media outlets will try to tell you otherwise.)

Credible news outlets only want stories that are newsworthy and follow the elements of news. If you need to call in a favor, it may mean your content isn’t newsworthy. If you aren’t gaining earned media coverage, it may be time to reevaluate your technique and your content. Don’t rely on a favor to secure media coverage; it may not end how you anticipate.

Axia Public Relations’ team of experts will help your company get the earned media it needs to attract customers, encourage brand loyalty, and increase profitability. Contact us today or download our complimentary e-book “Learn Media Relations from the Media for more information on the benefits of news coverage for your company.

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marjorie-comer-portraitClients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed, and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Featured photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash


Topics: media relations, earned media

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