Powerful lessons about “As Seen on TV”

Every company should be posting and sharing media stories about its business and products on its website. Media stories are the undisputed champions for instilling confidence in buying decisions. But it’s not just being in the media that’s important. Media Relations Agency emphasizes the right messengers consistently communicating the right messaging for maximum impact.  

We’re all familiar with those direct response TV (DRTV) programs, where the paid spokespeople hawk everything from cleaning products to fine jewelry. Here are the pros and cons of these As Seen on TV shows vs. earned media stories:


  • Pro: DRTV generates sales by hyping products’ WOW factors.
  • Con: The zealous pitches can come off as cheap and disingenuous. 
  • Con: DRTV buyers tend to be fickle and represent only a small percentage of the market. 
  • Con: In the Innovation Adoption Curve, DRTV buyers are more likely to be the Innovators and Early Adopters: people who always want the newest thing. They buy once then move on to the next trend. (Do you have something stuffed in a cabinet that you just had to have in the moment, but now have buyer’s remorse about it?) 
  • Con: It’s common for companies selling on DRTV to have to change their product line-up frequently, because they always need to bring something fresh to the market. 
  • Con: DRTV is costly.   

Earned media stories:

  • Pro: Earned media stories support one another as a company rises on the ladder of fame. Earning a large volume of positive media coverage yields company and product credibility. This is how brands, and sometimes even entirely new markets, are built. 
  • Pro: Earned media coverage uses trusted experts to deliver product messaging. Depending on the product, industry or type of media, that is often a third-party, highly credentialed spokesperson expressing his/her opinion through media that has chosen to run the story, not been paid to run the story.  
  • Pro: Earned media coverage is cost effective. With our performance-based Pay Per Interview model, every dollar of your publicity budget is guaranteed to generate media stories. And the cost is generally pennies on the dollar when compared with traditional advertising. 
  • Pro: Earned media coverage reaches the majority of the buying market. The Early Majority and Late Majority, who comprise the lion’s share of the Innovation Adoption Curve, are much more likely to become loyal fans than the fickle innovators and early adopters. 
  • Pro: Earned media benefits from repetition. You can repeat the same messages in multiple places because most people need to hear messaging three to four times before they absorb it and are ready to act on it. Media Relations Agency tells our clients’ stories to as many people as possible, in as many places as possible to maximize reach and frequency. 
  • Pro: Earned media educates audiences about how a product resolves a problem in their work or personal lives. With earned media coverage, buyers have solid facts to justify that they’ve made smart purchase decisions.
  • Pro: Earned media coverage can be successfully layered. Different angles and spokespeople can be used to give audiences even more reasons to buy.  
  • Pro: Earned media coverage can easily be repurposed. An “In the News” section on a website plus links to media coverage from owned social media channels are strong ways to reinforce messaging. These stories aren’t paid ads. They are third parties saying nice things about the products. People trust media stories.  

Earned media stories are significantly better at building awareness and brand loyalty. They have a more lasting impact on sales. Media Relations Agency follows our proven Strategically Aimed Marketing process, and our 30+ year history of Pay Per Interview pricing model, to deliver highly successful, well integrated earned media campaigns.

Get started by calling 952-697-5269 or complete this form to learn more about what an earned media campaign would do for your business. 

Written by Heather Champine

Heather is a multi-faceted leader. She’s part marketing strategist, part consumer psychologist and part motivational cheerleader. “I love understanding what drives people to take action, especially when it involves getting the media to run stories about our clients,” she says. With more than 20 years of experience, she has the keen understanding and insight to know how to run an integrated campaign and what it takes for our clients’ stories to become the news. She enjoys leading campaigns for complex industries such as medical devices and technologies, as well as fun industries such as hair salons. She thrives on pursuing creative ways to educate consumers about clients’ products, and ultimately inspiring them to buy. “I appreciate becoming a part of each client’s marketing team. I cherish the long-lasting relationships, and successful marketing programs we have created together.” Heather also finds joy in her daily collaborations as part of our creative team. “I am grateful to work with publicists, writers, designers and other marketing experts, all enjoying what they do because they are using their God-given strengths. Our publicists have great instincts because they all have media backgrounds. When things get hectic, it’s often Heather who cracks the first joke. “We encourage people to be a little goofy and unique. Some of the best ideas and solutions emerge because we know how to have fun,” she grins. “I may say something like, “Remember this is PR not the ER. Now, lighten up and go book a great story idea with the media!”

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