How to get Earned Media? The HonestTea case…

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For some companies the PR and marketing strategy is heading towards a new tactic called Earned Media. Although Earned Media is not a brand new topic anymore, it is important to understand the difference to paid and owned media. This little infographic by Forrester Research explains nicely the value proposition of each of the communication channels and how the user leverages it (or not)…

The best way to describe it is to have a good case. HonestTea started a social guerilla campaign with the help of their agency SS+K. The company set up unnamed tea stalls across the seven largest American cities to leverage the brand from it’s niche status from niche to a well-known brand. The questions were: Are people honest and pay a dollar for it’s iced tea when no cash-point is a there – just by motivating the people to throw the money in a bowl? And: Can people steal from a company called „HonestTea“?

Then the experiment was recorded with hidden cameras to proof the outcome. The case study showed that 87% of Americans were honest and paid their dollar. And the idea attracted a lot of local, national media and bloggers to grow the brand reputation not only national but also international. The videos were presented in HonestTea’s Youtube channel and got many reviews, brilliant comments and lot of social media coverage. The KPIs of the campaign showed a double in sales and generated 2,79 Mio. USD in Earned Media according to the summary video. But… watch yourself!

HONEST TEA from SS+K on Vimeo.

PS: The biggest challenge for companies is how to messure Earned Media and what the KPIs are. The number of 2,79 Mio. USD sounds a great deal but how did it sum up for the company that just merged with CocaCola? Maybe this post will get some feedback from the CEO Seth Goldman?