The days when PR professionals relied solely on their relationships with journalists to get their messages across to the dispersed stakeholders of their clients are over. The advent of digital technology and social media has brought new possibilities and changed, forever, what to be known as PR media landscape. Today, Media Relations no longer dominate the agenda of the average PR person or the PR agency.
The media landscape that emerged became a fusion of so many elements. The average PR professional could not fathom just how to navigate the terrain to deliver value to his clients. Some decided to stick to the old order only to discover that their messages were not getting the reach they desired.
It was in 2014 that Gini Dietrich, the founder of the PR platform, Spin Sucks came to the rescue. She developed the PESO Media Model and made it public through her book, Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age. The model provides guidance on how PR professionals can navigate the new media landscape and take full advantage of the new possibilities it presents to deliver effective Public Relations to their clients or organizations.
PESO is an acronym for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media. PESO Media Model is therefore an integrated media strategy framework that emphasized the use of paid, earned, shared and owned media to deliver Public Relations’ messages for effective reach and impact instead of relying only on the earned and owned options that PR has used for years.
It is an integrated communication approach to help organizations minister to the media preferences of its stakeholders in a world where the media is terribly fragmented. The goal is to maximize reach and influence organizations bottom lines positively.
So, what constitutes Paid, Earned, Share and Owned media in PR?
Paid media basically represents the media you pay for to get your PR messages across to your target audience. It used to reside in the domain of Advertising before now. But today PR practitioners pay for social media advertising, sponsored content, email marketing and even traditional advertorials to get the words out to their target audience.
Earned Media is what PR is known for. It comes from building good relationships with journalists, bloggers and other influencers; then pitching newsworthy stories that merit their attention for media coverage.
You begin by becoming a source of reliable information or an authority is your field to make them come looking for information from you. And as you help them meet their information needs, they help you meet your publicity needs.
Registering for a free service such as HARO (Help A Reporter Out) can optimize your opportunity to help more journalists meet their needs and meet yours as well.
Share Media is simply another name for social media. It allows you to post and share information of interest to your stakeholders. Today, visual content is the rave of the moment. You Tube, Instagram and other visual sites are hot when it comes to winning the desired attention PR people need for their messages.
The reach of sites like Facebook is monumental with well over 2 billion users. It allows you to build communities and dialogue directly with your stakeholders.
Owned Media has always been there in PR. It used to be known as created media; that is, media created for an organization by PR people. Brochures, reports, presentations and books are in this category. Today, it covers video, whitepapers, slide shares, case studies, website and blogs, to name a few.
The PESO Challenge
Perhaps, the greatest challenge PR professionals face concerning the use of PESO Media Model is skills challenge. Those who are still stuck in the analogue media relations world of yesterday are finding it difficult to apply the model to PR campaigns. The onus lies on them to upskill, especially in Digital Marketing, or lose their professional relevance in Public Relations.
Why PESO Delivers Better PR
Whether the objective of your PR campaign is to create awareness for a client’s goods or services, realign perception of its stakeholders, change their opinions on topical issues or get them to take a desired course of action, you must first get your messages across to them. Using PESO media model allows you to do that through the channels they prefer. With social media, for instance, you can enter into real-time conversation and dialogue with them. This makes it easy to address their issues as they emerge and prevent crisis in the process.
With PESO model PR professionals can keep up with 24/7 news cycle which has become the order of the day. Today, stakeholders expect organizations to feed them with information the same way the news media do. Anything short of that promotes rumours which are inimical to an organization’s reputation.
Thought Leadership is a great way for organizations to build stronger relationships with its stakeholders. They need information and guidance on how to do certain things concerning their organization. You can get this done effectively with owned media. Just publish your Thought Leadership content on your website or on a designated Thought Leadership platform, use Shared Media to distribute it and Paid Media to amplify it. With Owned Media, you can also distribute the content through email marketing, track visitors to your site, track bounce rate and the rest of it.
PESO Media framework helps you deliver PR services in a holistic way and makes it possible for PR professionals to work effectively with other fields of communication to deliver real outcomes to an organization. This helps to win the respect and trust of top management of such organizations.
PESO Model brings together the advantage of timely dissemination of your PR messages in a controlled manner with Paid Media, the benefit of message credibility through endorsement by third parties (journalists, bloggers etc) which Earned Media provides, the power of conversation and dialogue through Social Media and the authority of Thought Leadership which Owned Media offers. PR professionals are left with no option but to embrace it.