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Chapter 7 The Importance of Public Relations and Earned Media

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2753

ISBN: 978-1-910158-39-5

Published: September 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Winter Sport Tourism

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2687



The field of public relations (PR) is growing. In the U.S. alone, the PR industry is comprised of more than 7,000 companies bringing in estimated annual revenues of $11 billion, and offering a diverse range of services from media relations to event management (Pozin, 2014). There are many types of media available to PR specialists, and these fit into three broad categories: owned, paid, and earned media. Owned media is defined as communication channels that are within the organization’s control, such as websites, blogs, or email; while paid media refers mostly to traditional advertising, discussed in Chapter 6. Earned media, on the other hand, is generated when content receives recognition and a following outside of traditional paid advertising, often from publicity gained through editorial influence. Critically, earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned’. Since most of this earned media is gained through PR activities, this chapter will mainly focus on PR and its various techniques. PR is broader in scope than publicity, its goal being for an organization to achieve positive relationships with various audiences (publics) in order to manage effectively the organization’s image and reputation. Its publics may be external (customers, news media, the investment community, general public, government bodies) and internal (shareholders, employees). The three most important roles of PR and publicity in tourism and hospitality are maintaining a positive public presence, handling negative publicity, and enhancing the effectiveness of other promotional mix elements (Morrison, 2002). In this third role, PR paves the way for advertising, sales promotions, and personal selling by making customers more receptive to the persuasive messages of these elements. Ultimately, the difference between advertising and public relations is that public relations takes a longer, broader view of the importance of image and reputation as a corporate competitive asset and addresses more target audiences.

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  • Dr. Simon Hudson, University of South Carolina (Author)
  • Louise Hudson, Freelance researcher, and writer (Author)

For the source title:

  • Dr. Simon Hudson, University of South Carolina (Author)
  • Louise Hudson, Freelance researcher, and writer (Author)

Cite as

Hudson & Hudson, 2015

Hudson, D.S. & Hudson, L. (2015) "Chapter 7 The Importance of Public Relations and Earned Media" In: Hudson, D.S. & Hudson, L. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-39-5-2753


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Published in Winter Sport Tourism

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