Impact Insights Blog

The Power of PESO – Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media

April 3, 2024

The world of public relations is constantly changing, and staying relevant and effective requires a strategic and comprehensive approach. A prominent tactic is the PESO model – an acronym for paid, earned, shared, and owned media. This model, first introduced by Gini Dietrich in 2014, has become a guiding principle for PR professionals over the last decade, amplifying the impact of their work in the digital age.

The P in PESO – PAID – is the advertising and sponsorship strategy you have in place. It’s any media space that you pay for to promote your message. Think of the billboard you purchase, the banner ad you have on your local newspaper’s website or that catchy commercial your competitor is airing.

The E in PESO – EARNED – is traditionally the results you pray for versus the ones you pay for. It’s media exposure that your company earns through public relations efforts, positive word-of-mouth or organic coverage, all unpaid and on merit alone. Think of the article you are quoted in as an expert, the news of your firm’s grand opening celebration or the guest column you contribute to a business journal.

The S in PESO – SHARED – needs little explaining. Today’s savvy businesses know that social media strategy is vital. By sharing earned media results and connecting with target audiences, you can expand your reach, increase awareness and build consumer trust.

THE O in PESO – OWNED – is a media vehicle that the intelligent marketer should not neglect. Think of your company’s website, social media profiles and other communication channels managed directly by your organization. There are endless opportunities for owned media – Do you have a blog? Articles you use for content marketing? Videos you’ve created? You should! This owned media, when done right, educates, entertains or adds value to your audience, ensuring your brand is always top of mind.

Now, let’s think about how these elements intermingle and lead to success, beginning with E (earned) – after all, this is what PR professionals do best! I pitch a journalist and secure a placement for your business in a prominent trade magazine. Then, I encourage you to maximize this news coverage by sharing it via social media (see the S?), tagging the news outlets and other key figures, thereby reaching their followers. To keep your brand in the spotlight, I may suggest a few boosted, or paid, social media posts and targeted advertisements to reach potential clients (here’s the P!) Finally, I work alongside your team to craft a blog post highlighting your areas of expertise, linking to the published piece at the beginning of the story. Now, this media has become owned (O!).

The key to the PESO model lies in the overlap between P-E-S- and O. The synergy of a paid, earned, shared and owned media campaign guarantees integrated marketing efforts, ensuring your target audience is receiving your brand’s messaging at every touchpoint.

Not sure where to begin? Hiring an expert to analyze your organization and guide you through best practices for communicating with media personnel and key stakeholders is a good place to start. Connect with us to see how we can make an impact.