Those who have been in the PR industry long enough remember the Rolodex — that rotating system of contact cards with names and numbers. Over the years, however, the Rolodex may have slimmed down or disappeared from your desk altogether, but that doesn’t mean earned media has gone away.

In this episode of the PRovoke Media Podcast, Stacy Bataille, senior vice president at Coyne PR, joins Megan Keogan, to discuss the evolution of earned media and the journey ahead. As Bataille notes in this conversation, PR — and earned media specifically — requires quick and nimble action. So, while the way audiences consume their media has changed, the presence of earned media and the partnership between PR and journalism has not.

“There are not as many specialty writers, but there are more opportunities out there with different types of platforms, whether it’s social media, or there are Substacks and newsletters out there now,” Bataille said. “[Earned media] isn’t dead, but it’s definitely evolving.”

Just like ever before, it’s the PR professional's job to craft the right story, Bataille says. And, the same skills that were important before are on the forefront today – communications professionals have to be timely, concise, creative. You might no longer be pitching to a newspaper reporter for Sunday’s paper, but the strategy isn’t all that different to pitch that same publication for an Instagram story or TikTok interview.

“Freelancers and reporters are still receiving hundreds, up to thousands of stories, daily, weekly, and they’re covering different beats,” Bataille said. “So, you really have to stand out in the crowd. You have to make it compelling. Within those first two lines of your email, in the subject line, even, making sure you are including the trends that are out there right now, telling the story in a compelling, concise way that will really catch their attention, and letting them come back to you and say, ‘tell me more.’”

Bataille and Keogan discuss how the formats on which we can consume news have diversified, and how social media is at the forefront of this with its instantaneous accessibility. Complicating matters more is how often social media tools change and how often new ones come to the forefront. The two end their conversation on best practices on navigating this space as it continues to adapt and evolve. 

Key Moments

0:00 Introductions
1:51 What earned media looks like in 2023
7:49 Collaboration is more important than ever
9:49 TikTok: Do or don’t?
11:20 How media influences media
15:49 Best practices to ensure you earn earned media