Turn Your Expertise into Earned Media Coverage

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By Heather Ripley

If you’ve been in the trades for a number of years, chances are that you have some good tips you can offer others.

Whether your expertise is unclogging drains, troubleshooting an HVAC system or running a home service business, you have opinions that the news media and trade publications are interested in knowing.

But turning your knowledge into coveted earned media can be difficult if you haven’t developed a solid public relations strategy.

Why Earned Media is Important

If you’ve spent any time around your company’s marketing team, you already know that most businesses have access to three types of media:

  1. Owned media. This refers to your website, blogs and social media channels. These are platforms that you own and control and can, therefore, fill with whatever content you deem appropriate.
  2. Paid media. This refers to the media you pay for and can include pay-per-click advertising, display ads, radio advertising or billboards
  3. Earned media. This type of media includes any content picked up or created by a third party. This includes reposts, reviews and, most importantly, stories written by news or trade publication reporters that feature you or your company.

Of these three types of media, earned media has the most credibility with consumers. Several surveys in the past few years have found that nine out of 10 consumers trust earned media because they view it as being written by an unbiased third party.

And that’s why it’s important that your social media and blog posts get shared by customers online and that your leadership gets quoted in news articles about topics surrounding your industry.

When an audience sees that others trust your opinion enough to share it, it helps you build credibility.

Work to Get Noticed

Now that you know why getting earned media attention is important, you should set aside some time to ensure that your expertise is put on blast. Some ways to get noticed include:

  1. Creating quality content. Make sure your website’s blog and news sections are always up-to-date. Writing blog posts that provide tips to homeowners and sharing them on social media is always a good way to associate your company with helpful content.
  2. Offering your opinion. If there is a cold snap on the way in your area, reach out to local reporters and offer to explain to their audience some great ways to keep pipes from freezing. Keep an eye on industry trends, too, so you can speak about those topics in trade industry publications.
  3. Building relationships. Get to know the reporters and editors that cover your community and your trade. You should also reach out to podcasters and other influencers in your industry and offer to come on their shows to offer your expertise.

Taking time out of your day to get noticed can be difficult when you are trying to build your business, but you should view it as an investment.

You can also hire a PR team to help you craft compelling content and pitch your expertise. An effective PR partner should have experienced content writers on staff, and they should have a group of media relations experts to pitch your knowledge to their cultivated press pool.

There’s no reason why your expertise should go untapped. It’s a great opportunity for you to provide consumers with sound advice while building trust and being the expert in your field.

Heather Ripley is founder and CEO of Ripley PR, an elite, global public relations agency specializing in the skilled trades, franchising and B2B tech industries. Ripley PR is recognized as the top PR agency for the home service industry. It also has been listed by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top Franchise PR Agency for six consecutive years and was named to Forbes’ America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021. Heather Ripley was recently named as a 2024 PRNews Top Women honoree in the business entrepreneur category. She is also the author of “NEXT LEVEL NOW: PR Secrets to Drive Explosive Growth for your Home Service Business,” which is now available on all audiobook platforms. For additional information, visit www.ripleypr.com.

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