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Traditional PR for nonprofits focuses on PSAs and earned media, while ignoring the benefits of paid advertising. In reality, both forms of marketing, when used properly, complement one another and can have a tremendous, positive impact on a nonprofit’s cause, and the communities it serves.

The Benefits of Both

Earned media placements raise awareness, create a sense of urgency, provide a forum for education and lend credibility to a cause. Paid media allows you to reach large targeted audiences, is perfect for attention-grabbing creative content, and can utilize platforms where supporters can engage with a cause. However, choosing which streaming radio station or WebTV channel to use, while trying to create a media outreach strategy that will generate earned media, is well, not for the faint of heart. Professionals who specialize in awareness marketing and PSA distribution, understand that blending both earned and paid media together in a highly strategic manner, leaves an unforgettable impression.

Striking a Balance

Online and digital channels are key components to include when integrating paid and earned media strategies. In addition to placing your traditional broadcast TV and Radio PSAs, you can post your video on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, expanding your reach and educating many, while simultaneously targeting millennials or at-home moms who are watching Hulu or listening to Pandora. Using the best channels, with the best creative, targeting the right audience, at the right time, will raise awareness, engage supporters and drive loyalty for your cause. In fact, utilizing a blended strategy will boost your PSAs reach by thousands, if not millions.

Together is Better

Earned media is invaluable when it comes to building trust, establishing relationships and educating key audiences. It is the gold standard of public relations. But public relations professionals should embrace the value of paid media opportunities as well. Mastering the tactics for blending earned and paid media campaigns will deliver results, and the power of fully integrated campaigns, and the success they achieve when they work together, is priceless.