Should I pay for media coverage or buy a cat?

On a daily basis, we get offers in our inboxes and in our voicemail for paid media opportunities. Maybe it’s a $2,000 feature article in a little-known publication, but it names your company as one of the “Top 10 ___ in the ___ industry!”

Maybe it’s a $20,000 video spot, fully produced, with promised air time (at 2:00 am).

Maybe it’s a prestigious-sounding award — given by an unfamiliar organization — that says that your company has earned the platinum rating. You pay, you win!

Generally speaking, anyone in-the-know knows that paid media coverage is paid. You’re better off putting that money toward a cat — and focusing on earned media to build your credibility. See the infographic below for further guidance.