5W PR's Carolina Lopez Herz says that her experiences at the recent Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami Beach proved the importance of earned media to her.

"This industry is really struggling with educating audiences," Herz says. "And what does earning media do better than educating audiences, right? That is exactly what we intend to do when we work with clients, is to help them educate audiences."

To get the most value out of their earned media work, Herz says that agencies in the need to have "a really good sense of the media landscape and not just traditional media." That includes "channels on Reddit and Discord," which she tells Simon can give communicators "a really good sense of where the community and the industry is."

That, she says, is an invaulable aid in bringing "really in-depth technical stories to life for general populations that are just diving into the crypto industry."

Herz uses the word "broker" to describe some of the things PR pros do. And while "part of our rules is to take the story from the client and take it to the reporter, or the journalist, or the publication" she says that's just one part of the picture.

"We have a really good sense of how media is covering topics, how to pitch reporters. We also really need to have a really good understanding of the industries we're covering. Our people also have to have a good understanding of the technical aspects of our clients and be able to translate that to media."

The ins and outs of scaling a firm also are addressed in the conversation. "Large agencies," Herz says, "got big because they're they were able to understand what processes and systems they needed in place to scale the work that they do."

However, the "value of the scrappiness of the mid-sized agency" is also considerable, and Herz says that when she led the opening of 5W's Miami office, she uses lessons she has learned from both kinds of firms.

The questions that agencies need to answer, she says, is " how can we create our own awesome, agile culture and continue to grow and scale?"

Finally, she returns to an emphasis on the power of an earned-first approach. "Tthinking of what's going to get our clients headlines?" she says, is a big key to communications success.

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.