Spring Clean Your Earned Media Mindset

Spring cleaning concept with supplies over floral background

Now that spring has sprung, many brands and communicators are knee-deep in 2024 planning. As you’re tackling your spring cleaning, take this time to refresh your media mindset with these five earned media trends:

Healthcare Journalist Jobs are Holding Steady

Endpoints—a pharma industry newsfeed—plans to double in staff this year—and has made some considerable recent hires, in addition to being purchased by Financial Times. A healthcare reporter job search shows The Washington Post, Politico, "TODAY" and countless others are also growing their healthcare reporter pool.

In consumer health, editors are prioritizing clarifying misinformation and ensuring healthcare reporters and freelancers are available and well trained in fact-checking.

With healthcare reporters being tapped to cover immense amounts of relevant patient news, it’s critical to stand out from the clutter and showcase innovative, credible campaigns more than ever before. Consider authentic patient stories, an HCP from credible institution and relevant spokespeople for your earned media campaign.

Maximize efforts with careful communication strategy, including a 360 approach with creative, digital and sponsored elements to result in a largely successful campaign.

Artificial Intelligence Can’t Replace Journalists

The reality is we need the media to cover the vast and quickly evolving topic of AI itself. Topics related to education, competition, regulation and more are massive—so much so that newsrooms cannot keep up.

Newsrooms are moving quickly to hire artificial intelligence reporters and launch new AI-specific products, led by Bloomberg’s new original video series dedicated to artificial intelligence, "AI IRL.”

Consider brainstorming thoughtful approaches as to how AI can potentially complement a campaign, like the development of a resource tool that can provide added support for patients, being extra mindful to be empathetic to your very human patient audience.

Long-Form Journalism Makes a Comeback

A top-tier daily recently mandated that their science reporters shy away from briefer regulatory/clinical milestone update reporting and focus on long-form analysis.

Consumer outlets are combating claims of spreading misinformation and are strengthening their fact-checking processes and including lengthier healthcare stories inclusive of more analysis and to avoid claims of only sharing ‘click bait.’

It’s critical to personalize media pitches to provide unique story angles and have an abundance of resources and spokespeople prepared at the ready to showcase a robust story opportunity for a reporter. Understand that with this shift in more comprehensive reporting, stories may take an extended turnaround time.

Social Media Ambiguity 

NPR and PBS recently left Twitter along with countless other journalists. TikTok privacy policies result in ongoing discussion of a potential ban.  Be nimble and fool-proof the confluence of social media as it relates to earned media outreach.

Consider influencers in your campaign who hold prevalence on multiple platforms. Train spokespeople on connecting with media who may want to publish on their live social feeds to bolster impressions. 

Journalists Take Brands to Task on DE&I

Journalists are holding brands accountable to ensure diversity and inclusivity are a core part of storytelling.

Across newsrooms, clinical trials and beyond, we have seen the industry move toward a more inclusive place (though there is still a lot of work to do).

Brands should ensure they are holding their own organizations accountable in prioritizing diversity in all aspects of their daily business—media strategy, clinical trials and everywhere in between.


Diana Bardusk is SVP, Health Media, Marina Maher Communications (MMC). Reach her at [email protected].