The Bliss Group owner and managing partner Michael Roth talks about why communicators need to be able to employ both earned and paid media in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview with Doug Simon. Roth also shares how going to law school prepared him for his career in PR.

“Up until recently,” he tells Simon, “allowing our clients to seek paid elsewhere was just fine with us.” However, in a rapidly changing communications environment, he says “you need both earned and paid.”

Does an earned-first mentality still apply to all communications? Not necessarily. “We use the earned lens where we think about thought, leadership and education. But sometimes when we want to get hyper focused on certain audiences, we need the combination of both.”

But he adds that for many communicators, the pendulum has swung too much toward the paid side of the equation. “I think that you do need the imprimatur and the trust of a third party,” Roth says. “People follow certain news outlets and they trust their guidance. So if you work with them versus just coming in with paid content, you get their angle and their skew on it.”

He also discusses the importance of forming strategic alliances. The need for “expertise in all kinds of areas,” he says, makes those alliances a necessity. “Through these strategic alliances, you learn to open up and offer more again for the client.”

But there are challenges to making those partnerships work. “When you're working with people, let's say, in a more technical and more technical group, they may use terms differently than you use. It’s a meeting of the minds issue. And it's critical that you communicate.”

Roth also says that keeping an open mind as regards new opportunities is essential. “I would just say to other professionals, continue to expand out. Don't get too comfortable because business keeps moving forward and you've got to be one step ahead of your clients.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.