What we can learn from mixologists

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MIXING IT UP – getting the benefits from earned and paid media

PR is about managing reputation and critically, that means ensuring a positive profile online, as well as across offline media.

Nowadays, there’s pressure on media outlets to ensure profitability from their digital publications, which provides opportunities for businesses to broaden their reach by using different approaches.

In addition to news content, the use of paid media can add significant value to a company’s overall PR & marketing strategy, not to mention the relationship with publishers.

Traditional PR involves earned coverage through creative and targeted news generation. However, there is a case for including paid media where there is a specific client need, such as boosting awareness of a short-term campaign, for example.

By harnessing techniques including social media display advertising, search marketing (PPC) and even email marketing, this can help drive traffic to client content and importantly, to influence a particular action, such as signing up to a newsletter or taking advantage of a special offer.

In terms of social media, use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, through their advertising platforms, can give you the opportunity to promote desired content and build website traffic.

Not all paid media channels are applicable to all types of objectives, so to ensure an efficient use of budget, it is important to know what routes to market are appropriate in order to reach the desired audiences.

Similarly, it’s important to be realistic about setting the budget. To create meaningful impact, it’s worth discussing your objectives with those who are experienced in that particular space, so that you get a good feel for what could be achieved. Don’t spend money blindly, do your research. At Blackbird, we collaborate with trusted partners that are experts in their field.

When it comes to paid media there is a tendency to assume that this needs to be automatically linked to a direct return from revenue. But this needn’t necessarily be the case, since the generation of revenue occurs from the bottom of the activity pipeline. Just like PR, paid media is equally adept at feeding this pipeline.

You should ask whether your client wants to achieve:

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Content promotion
  3. Lead generation/Traffic
  4. Conversions



Whether you are looking to generate views for content, traffic to websites or create conversions on websites, these are all tangible and measurable using the correct technology.

Most websites will have access to tracking data, generally from Google Analytics. By correctly tagging up activity you will easily be able to see how traffic driven to the websites behaves, such as areas of the site visited and time spent on the site.

If your goal from paid media is to generate conversions you need to be able to prove that you are achieving this. Most advertising platforms will provide tracking code that enables you to do this.

Split tracking links down to a reasonably granular level so that you can see the true value of which parts of your paid media are achieving what.


  1. Consult with client to establish clear goals
  2. Choose appropriate channels to reach the right audiences
  3. Give yourself plenty of lead time before campaign launch
  4. Choose the correct platforms within each paid media channel to reach the right audience
  5. Carefully consider creative to be used and tailor it to your audience
  6. Use tracking links to analyse effectiveness of campaign
  7. Test different creative/copy within approaches to learn from for next time round
  8. Optimise the campaign as it goes along by moving around budget to the parts that work best
  9. Boost coverage around earned PR content by running complementary display campaigns in corresponding online titles
  10. Keep your activity and route to market fresh by mixing things up!


Get in touch with St Albans based, PR specialists Blackbird to discover how this could work for your business.

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