In today’s media landscape, public relations lives at the intersection of PESO – where paid, earned, shared and owned media convene.
The media landscape is changing all around us. With the constant emergence of new technologies, the way audiences consume their information is ever-evolving. Gone are the days we could foster relationships with traditional media through goodie bags and phone calls, build media lists and shoot our brands’ messaging out to the masses to secure the results we desired.
Today’s audiences are much more complex and so are the ways we can reach them.
So here’s a message for today’s PR pros: Adapt or die.
As public relations professionals, our inherent goal is to effectively share our brands’ stories with the right audiences, so we need to change with the audiences we target.
And that means amplifying our content.
Content amplification is just what it sounds like; the process of helping your message reach a significantly wider audience. To amplify the message is to help it cut through the media landscape marked by white noise.
It’s all of this. It’s the PESO Model, spelled out by Gini Dietrich in her book, Spin Sucks.
Let’s break down what exactly the PESO model is:
- Paid: Content that is pay-for-play, which includes traditional approaches like billboards, ads on park benches, and TV commercials — things you might think of as traditional marketing tactics. In 2018, though, paid media also includes things like brand ambassadors, email marketing, pay per click ads and paid social. Any time you put money behind a Facebook or Twitter post, it turns into a paid initiative.
- Earned: Earned is what most people think of when they think of traditional PR. It encompasses media placements that were not pay-for-play, but rather, earned through leveraging positive relationships with the media. Examples include media pitching, interviews, bylined articles and newsjacking – which is when you jump on breaking news to insert your own brand into the story.
- Shared: Shared media is content shared on a social platform or publishing platform for free, or content you don’t put any dollars behind. How effectively are you managing your brand’s social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.? Are you dabbling in infographics, live streams or podcasts?
- Owned: Owned media is the content that you create and publish and have complete control over. You make the rules, you pick the content, you set the editorial calendar. This includes blog posts that you publish on a company-owned and hosted website. Or a conference that you set up and host on behalf of your brand. It also includes customer testimonials, landing pages and employee stories.
As with traditional PR (earned), at the center of every tenet of your amplification strategy must be a strong story. But how you share that story is critical. You cannot ignore emerging media tactics and hope to reach your brand’s audience in the most effective manner.
You’ll simply be left behind as other brands thrive with new media.
You have to adapt — or die.