Communications teams are increasingly pressured to own their brand’s earned media space beyond their borders to keep up with – and stand uniquely apart from – their competitors. This is increasingly true for non-profits competing for donor dollars and has always been a constant for the private sector.
Here are six steps for building and increasing global earned media visibility for your brand:
Understand the “why”: What is prompting this need for more global visibility? Based on the answer, work with your leadership to determine what a successful outcome looks like and what investment your company or organization is willing to make over the long-term.
Establish agreed upon metrics: Collaborate with leadership to establish the goal(s), audiences and priority markets to target and develop a timeline for that approach. Reach agreement on what metrics will be most effective to measure success, how often and in which form those metrics will be produced.
Understand the media landscape in priority markets: What are the prevalent outlets? How do your target audiences get their news? What angles/stories appeal most? Will the approach be entirely earned or is there a pay-to-play model? Are their government-owned outlets that need to be considered and managed differently? Do the research or hire an in-market agency to help you understand where and how your audiences engage with media in your priority markets.
Plan your earned media strategy: Determine what pitches and storylines are most relevant for each market and what spokespeople will appeal – either internal to the organization or external. What combination of tools, agencies and staff will you need to be able to penetrate these markets?
Determine your messaging: This is vital to your success. Conduct messaging exercises with senior leadership for your organization overall and key projects/products. Ensure spokespeople are well versed and messaging is consistent across your owned and shared media platforms.
Audit your current content strategy: You will need to develop content and expand your approach so that your digital content supports your earned media campaigns, targeting audiences where they engage. In some countries, the web is still king as it is seen as a source of trust. Your owned and shared content must reflect your earned and paid efforts.
Try to remain as flexible as possible. Each market is different and their approach to earned media may be very different from what you are used to. Leverage your country offices or local vendors for their knowledge and hire or contract local media talent to help build trust with outlets.