"We believe that earned media is still the foundation of all the work we do in this business," Interdependence Public Relations president Michael Rinaldo tells Doug Simon.

"And it goes back to that old saying that what gets measured, gets done. So, from our perspective, it's about having KPIs both for campaigns as well as for individuals. People have to know exactly what's expected in terms of what we're trying to accomplish from an earned media perspective."

Rinaldo says "that earned media piece is what gets things started, pushes things in the right direction, tells people what you stand for. That's why earned media has to be at the front of the game."

He adds that his experience in the healthcare sector helped him form a lot of his opinions about the pivotal role of earned media. "I've always believed that the most important voice we can have in the healthcare space is that earned media credibility you gain. Having someone else carry your story, tell your story, people have credible voices, there's a lot of power in that, and it's absolutely essential still today."

Keeping the needs of journalists in mind, Rinaldo says, remains essential. "If you don't listen to what a journalist is looking for, you're going to be very unsuccessful in being able to place that story."

Rinaldo also discusses the Interviewed™, his agency's proprietary technology geared toward securing mainstream and industry media. "Essentially, it finds traction validated stories–breaking stories, trending stories, things that are happening out there that are validated through traffic and allows our team to be able to see where those trends for a story are headed."

He says that "the reason it's successful at the end of the day, we're bringing stories to those reporters that are helping them do their jobs. And we know that today in newsrooms, reporters have more stories they have to create because there are more platforms, and there's more pressure on them to do that."

Corporate communicators are also getting that message that client spokespeople are becoming a much more acceptable source for journalists, Rinaldo tells Simon. "As long as it's clear that this is a company's first spokesperson, someone being paid by the company, I think there's an understanding that people today are able to understand that context."

Perhaps the greatest strength of client spokespeople: "People inside companies have a lot of great information to share. Sometimes I was being discounted simply because of their position, which didn't make a lot of sense to me."

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.