How Earned Media Can Grow a Business During Hard Economic Times?


Sandeep Singh

Over recent years, the trust customers used to accord to companies has significantly plummeted. According to Ronn Torossian, who is a public relations executive at 5W Public Relations (5WPR), customer confidence and trust are at a record low. The scenario is negatively affecting many companies’ business environments and the profits are taking a nose dive. Organizations are preparing for the worst and some are even downsizing in anticipation of a rough economic patch.

The first casualties in many companies’ budget endeavors are public relations and marketing departments. Many companies would rather spend less on PR efforts, which is a big mistake. At a time when the customers’ trust is at its lowest, it’s a bad idea to go silent or invest less in the channels of communication.

Earned Media as a Third-Party Endorsement

Ronn Torossian feels that during these difficult economic times, consumers will spend less on non-essential commodities. They will also shun goods and services they think won’t last for long. This is because the success of any brand requires mutual trust between the customer and the company. As matter of fact, conclusive research shows that brand trust is directly proportional to purchase decisions. If the former is low, so is the latter scenario.

However, a new trust-building technique—earned media, has come up to rectify the above issue. This method is a more effective way of bolstering trust between businesses and the target audience. Earned media is now viewed as a third-party endorsement.

The approach is objective in nature and builds a brand in an impartial manner. Remember, mainstream media has been there for a while and many people still have great trust in these platforms. Therefore, embracing earned media efforts to grow your brand trust is always a great plus.

Application of Earned Media Versus Loyalty

Many consumers enjoy staying within their comfort zones. This is not going to change any time soon and it will even get worse with tough economic times. Customers will not have adequate preparation to go for companies or brands that they are not familiar with.

They will want to make the most of every penny they spend, a scenario they feel is not achievable if they start diverging and going for new products and services. This means they will take their business to the companies they have dealt with in the past.

The customer might also have dealt with a company or had access to their solutions before, but if their trust in the provider in question starts to diminish, they will eventually go for other alternatives. More importantly, if a customer starts to develop doubts concerning how long a brand will remain in the market, it may lead to them changing their loyalty.

The good news is that using earned media to reach out to customers is a great way of capturing consumers looking for alternative brands. A simple endeavor like having the story of your business featured in a specific media outlet can act as a big boost in building your brand’s trust and attracting new consumers.

Earned media plays a crucial role in bolstering brand awareness. A credible influencer or media outlet bestowing a brand with their trust inspires a lot of confidence in the consumers. In difficult economic times, most people tend to have mob psychology. And positive media coverage of a business is a great way to inspire trust. This is because most customers feel safe when dealing with companies that other people trust and the ones that have positive reviews in the media outlets or on influencers channels. By employing earned media to bolster your brand, you stand to create long-term loyalties, especially now during hard economic times.