Earned Media Tactics: 5 Ways Brands Can “Pop” in Pop Culture Media Moments

As we scroll through our social media feeds and flip through TV channels, brands are popping up in pop culture moments.

Person creates TikTok video participating in the popular social media Bottle Flip Challenge.

Whether it’s big events like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards or small ones like what’s trending on Netflix and the latest TikTok trend, when brands are involved in these cultural conversations, PR professionals can help them stand out by using earned media tactics, as follows:

  1. Offer an exclusive: To stand out in crowded spaces like awards season and the Super Bowl — situations where brands are competing intently for media coverage — consider factoring in an exclusive offer or experiences to journalists. Whether it’s an offer to premiere content or an invite to an exclusive experience (like behind-the-scenes filming), this special treatment enables media to differentiate their story among their competitors.
  2. Enter the chat: Monitor pop culture conversations closely to identify opportunities to insert yourself into timely discussions. For instance, if there is a big celebrity ‘break-up,’ look to offer a relationship expert to provide commentary; or you could suggest a chef to comment on the latest viral cooking trend. Anticipating sources that media will be looking for and offering before they ask will reveal immediate opportunities and build relationships.
  3. Leverage a celebrity voice: Working with a celebrity spokesperson not only helps to shine a light on your brand, but it also allows you to tap into the spokesperson’s audience to extend media reach – for example, sports media when partnering with an athlete or music-focused media for a musician.
  4. Create nostalgic feelings: Nostalgia is a pop culture trend in and of itself. Tap into “throwback” trends and products from the past to evoke fond memories and positive emotions, allowing brands to pique media interest and gain consumer attention.
  5. Tap into social media trends: What’s trending on social media is not only pervading our social media feeds, but the news media as well. Moving quickly as these stories are trending allows your brand to take ownership of the dialogues before they become ‘old news.’

If you’re looking to implement earned media tactics to make your brand stand out, connect with Ketchum’s Global Media Specialty to learn more about the depth of our earned media capabilities.

As Vice President, Media Group Manager within Ketchum’s Media Specialty, Irene leads media programs and provides strategic counsel for a variety of clients and industries. She crafts compelling, newsworthy stories resonating with consumers, business leaders and shareholders. Via trusted relationships with journalists, she secures impactful placements in top-tier media outlets.

Erica serves as a Vice President, Media Group Manager within Ketchum’s Media Specialty team. In her role, Erica provides strategic counsel and media relations for a variety of consumer, food  and lifestyle clients. She is passionate about marrying pop culture and lifestyle trends to craft strong consumer story lines.