The short answer is absolutely. Clients and potential clients often ask us if we can guarantee a certain placement and usage rate with our services. We do not provide guaranteed placements. We specialize in earned media placements. There are many differences between guaranteed and earned media placements.
The first and most important being that guaranteed placements are advertisements, where money is exchanged between service companies and stations in exchange for airtime. Second, earned media placements run in news and public affairs programming and guaranteed placements run between newscasts and advertising segments. Third, guaranteed placements have less credibility or value than earned placements, since they fall into a station’s advertising lineup, rather than in its programming content, where most clients want to be.
We do not buy time on radio networks or stations. Rather, we pitch reporters, assignment editors, morning show producers, and public affairs directors, and they determine whether to use a story in their newscasts or talk shows based on the merit of the story, not because they are being paid to run it. Therefore, the placement or usage of a story depends on its news value and the current news issues of the day.