In the world of healthcare, is earned media really earned?
I just watched a Facebook post come across my news feed from a hospital employee. They were sharing a story from the local news paper’s website praising a hospital’s initiative. We see this everyday, employees and brand ambassadors sharing stories online, specifically recognizing their workplace.
Content now is more than just ownership…it is about resources. Hospital communication staffs are trying to figure out how to take ownership of content, drive revenue, and compete in this digital content marketing pandemonium. Many times they are even trying to shift internal cultures from traditional distribution mechanics to a content curation model. As they shift, so do their communication employees who have come-up through the ranks creating specific content pieces for deliberate distribution channels.
Now…the game is about creating content based on revenue streams. Taking that revenue based content and curating narratives as they fit into digital channels first…then traditional channels second. Integration has become key! Yet staffs are trying to understand how they can operationalize integrated communication initiatives.
So…once again, hospitals engage their media partners like the local newspapers. These newspapers are closing down their traditional printing presses at the same rate they as they are trying to figure out how to implement successful paywall strategies. They are in search of a successful strategy to replace their ancient business models of print. They are not only seeking audiences but seeking revenues to pad this transition.
So…is it really the game of the PR professional to truly seek earned opportunities and are they truly earned? Damn good question! Maybe they are earned in a reverse manner. Media outlets are now trying to earn the content from large organizations like hospitals. Specifically, media outlets are hoping hospitals are willing to allow them to curate content in the hopes to attract hospital audiences to their digital outlets.
Why…because the shift is happening. Hospitals are learning to take ownership of their brand, their message, their media, and most importantly…their content. They are creating rich platforms for internal content advocates to share stories, blogs, pictures, videos and other rich media brought to you by way of Google Adwords buys, PPC, SEO, and Facebook look-alike campaigns.
These media outlets are now competing with hospitals *AND* for hospitals audiences, and they need to *EARN* that publicity by leveraging hospitals large social and digital channels. Bottomline, media outlets need hospitals’ content more than hospitals need media outlets’ skill sets to curate that content.
So is earned media really earned in this age of social and digital. SEO, SEM, PPC, Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads are now competing against each other and those who have the deepest pockets might get the largest reach and greatest amplified voice. BUT…those who are owning the content on their own digital platforms have the largest equity position.
The best part…hospitals can now leverage media partners as a part of their content strategy. Why? From the hospitals’ position: low overhead, small barrier to market, and the media partners not only need the work and the content…they need access to the hospitals large social networks to share the stories they created.
Who is earning who?