The PESO communications model stands for “paid,” “earned,” “shared” and “owned” media, and it describes how Public Relations and digital disciplines are increasingly integrating. The model was founded by industry expert Gini Dietrich.
The PESO model is better explained this way:
P: Paid media
Channels that require money to distribute your content or ads. For instance: paid media partnerships. social media advertising, sponsored content, and email marketing
E: Earned media
Earned media is what you know as either publicity or media relations. It’s word-of-mouth and getting your name in print and other media. It’s what the public relations industry is typically known for because it’s one of the few tangible things done.
S: Shared media
This is social media and it’s the fastest growing public relations tool in modern times. Organizations have begun to use it as their main source of communications internally and externally.
O: Owned media
These are inbound channels which your company completely owns. Owned media and content lives on your website or blog. You control the messaging and tell the story in the way you want it told.
How to use the PESO model to build a strong media and public relations strategy
When the PESO Model is working at its best, it can help you establish authority and position you as an expert. Here’s how to use the PESO model in your public relations strategy.
Paid media may be in the form of paid amplification sponsored content, native advertising, or sponsorships of influential blogs. It also could take the form of sponsored content on Facebook or LinkedIn or sponsored tweets on Twitter.
A big plus is that a well-executed paid partnership gives you an opportunity to scale but be mindful of relevance and context of the piece. Paid pieces (done wrong) look weird and will be completely ignored by your audience.
Ideally, public relations should not be paid for, but sometimes, these paid media can help to amplify your core PR message.
Earned media relations is powerful because your product, service or news is shared by a voice that is not your own. Paid placements take away that perceived neutrality.
Here’s how to maximize earned media.
- On traditional media, draw a list of the top 50 journalists that are most relevant to your industry and then reach out to them strategically, consistently and with authenticity.
- On Twitter, create a list of bloggers and journalists you want to collaborate with. This will make it easy to follow them, share their work, and start conversations with them.
- Create a list of books and podcasts you want to review. Every author and podcaster needs reviews and ratings to gain more traction. They may be appreciative of the work you do there and may be willing to do something for you in return.
- On LinkedIn, create tags—such as “influencer,” “blogger,” “journalist” or “super cool kid”—so you can easily follow what they post and then share. This may lead to new relationships where you can ask them to share your content as well.
- On Pocket, create a list of bloggers to watch. Then any time they publish new content, share it with your own networks.
Eventually, these influencers may share your content, include it in their own content or interview you or your client for an article, radio or Tv show. There’s power in earned media.
Shared media definitely is not one size fits all, but there are some good rules of thumb you can start with on the different social media channels.
- Twitter: On the day your content is published, tweet the link four times (three hours apart). On day two, tweet it twice, and once on day three. Never stop amplifying creatively
- Tik Tok: This is now the hottest kid on the block and has surpassed the mighty YouTube in audience reach. How long the rave will last is uncertain. For now, keep the videos going.
- Facebook: While the algorithm at Facebook keeps changing so only those who pay get their content to show up in the news feeds of their followers, you don’t want to ignore your page. Post your content there once a day, and then consider sponsored content as part of your paid media campaign.
- Instagram: Keep in mind that, while you can post to both Instagram and Facebook at the same time, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The golden rule here for public relations pros is to stay engaged and relevant.
- LinkedIn: Post once a day to your personal account, your company page, your showcase page, and to the groups you belong to.
- The Others: It’s important not to ignore Reddit, Pinterest, and some of the others. Test post in those spots just once a day and see what happens.
Owned media is, of course, content that you own. Owned media is perhaps the most overlooked, but essential channel in any media or public relations strategy. If your news announcements only live as PDF’s in your contacts’ inboxes, you’re missing out on a very important channel: inbound PR.
Content that’s created specifically for social or places such as LinkedIn Pulse or Medium may not fully pass as owned media content. While you own the content, if any of those sites go away, you’ll lose that content.
If you want to truly own it—and never lose it—always publish on your site first and then use those outposts for distribution and promotion.
Other ways to utilise owned channels are brand journalism, sharing internal expertise in informative articles, or creating podcasts.