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Blending paid, owned and earned media in today’s landscape

This post was written by Valerie Lopez, Director of Media Research for Cision US. 

Paid, owned, earned media isn’t a new concept to those in PR and marketing. What is new is the blending of the three in today’s media landscape. Organizations are breaking down interdepartmental walls and the siloed POEM media model will soon be a thing of the past. We’re seeing more and more advertising, marketing and PR teams working together to create one cohesive campaign.

The Importance of a Social Hub

I conducted a test, unscientific, but still yielded interesting results. I sat down and watched an hour of television. Within that hour, I noticed that ninety percent of the paid TV spots referenced owned media properties. Open any magazine today and you’ll see paid ads directing readers to corporate sites and social media pages. Paid and owned media are working together and for both to be successful, quality content is key.
Owned media properties can influence a consumer’s purchasing decision. Unfortunately, many organizations aren’t using this to their advantage and have failed when it comes to their own social hub. Many are static, hard to navigate and just plain boring. Creating a social hub can serve many purposes and can ultimately lead to the highly sought after earned media.  Your social hub should serve as a one-stop shop for basically anyone with access to the Web. It’s here that you can promote and raise awareness of your brand, product and services and at the same time connect with end-users.

Tufts Now is an example of a well-executed social hub. Prior to launching Tufts Now, the team behind the hub decided to audit their existing web properties and soon realized many Tufts University departments were maintaining their own sites. This not only made it difficult for students, prospective students and faculty to find university information, but it was also difficult for the staff members maintaining the sites. This was the catalyst that led them to create Tufts Now. Their goal was to create a single destination for all audiences, both internal and external. The collaboration of the different departments was integral in the success of Tufts Now.

The Convergence of E-commerce and Content

A newer trend I’ve seen is earned media’s role in direct marketing, aka paid media. In the past, traditional press releases were ultimately written with media outlets in mind, but now the direct-to-consumer nature of social media has changed that. We’re starting to see the convergence of e-commerce and content in social media releases, tweets and Facebook posts. Instead of relying on the media to cover a product, SMRs have “click here to buy” written directly into the release. End-users have unknowingly become direct marketers for brands with their “just bought” tweets and Facebook posts.  With the advancement of mobile technology and increase in mobile usage, will this trend become more mainstream? What trends or changes have you seen to the paid, earned, owned media model?

This post is part of the Future of Earned Media series.

About Valerie Lopez

Valerie Lopez has held a variety of operational roles at Cision over the past 17 years and currently serves as VP of U.S. Media Research. In July 2018, she will advance into the role of VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to help fulfill Cision’s core values and business goals to support its diverse and inclusive community.

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