Owned Media in the PESO Model for PR

We previously talked about the PESO Model, an approach to PR that involves breaking down the different types of media to understand how each component plays a role in the bigger picture. PR guru and blogger Gini Dietrich pioneered the concept in 2014 in her book, Spin Sucks, which outlines how you can use PESO to put each of four channels to the best use.


As a recap:


  • Paid media is the ads, sponsored content, and email marketing that you pay for in exchange for content promotion.
  • Earned media is how you gain online exposure for your brand through influencers or other authority figures that cover your stories.
  • Shared media refers to the content you distribute to your audience on social platforms, which your followers share to their own communities.
  • Owned media, a term that refers to the content you create and distribute through your website, blog, and related channels.


In our introduction to the PESO series [LINK], we provided an overview of what it is and the benefits it offers for PR executives. But each component deserves some time in the limelight, so we’re putting the “O” in PESO on center stage first. Yes, there is a reason we’re starting from the end and moving forward.


Image credit to ArmentDietrich.com

Why Begin with Owned Media


Well, because Dietrich says so, for starters. And she’s absolutely on point, because Owned is the most essential media for PR. You control the content and where it lives online, which means your methodology for measuring success is built-in – unlike traditional media relations efforts. All analytics can inform your future efforts, but relying on metrics from external channels – that you don’t control – means you’re not getting an accurate picture of performance.


Another reason to focus on Owned Media in PR is because of what it is. It’s content you create for members of your audience, whether to help them solve problems, answer their questions, provide them with important information – or simply entertain them. Besides website content and blog material, Owned Media includes ebooks, whitepapers, ezines, slideshows, presentations, podcasts, newsletters, mobile apps, and that jazz.


When you produce top notch Owned Media, you establish solid relationships with journalists and your community. All of a sudden, your PR efforts have a positive impact on your marketing strategies and become a critical component of your business growth initiatives.


Now, moving on to the good stuff with how to…


…Measure Owned Media Success: Not only is it important to measure, but Owned Media is also the easiest PESO component to track. You own it and control it, and the data you need is either in your analytics platform, accessible through Google Analytics, or extractable through social media. What to watch? Dietrich’s Spin Sucks blog recommends:


  • Traffic growth across all Owned Media;
  • Boosts in traffic tracked by content type;
  • Leads generated through Owned Media;
  • Engagement on social medial profiles, especially where visitors share your content with their own communities; and,
  • Social mentions.

...Leverage Owned Media: When you produce and control the material, you’re in the driver’s seat to make it work for your brand. We won’t rehash all the tips on creating engaging content – except for a reminder that rich multimedia is a must – so here are some recommendations on how to leverage it.


  • Loosen Up: Control in the context of Owned Media doesn’t need to be followed by the word “freak.” Your content won’t perform well in isolation, so gather some feedback from your audience and put it to good use. Open your content up to comments, and then share them on social media. Conduct a poll on blog topics, then get to work on the winning subject. Invite guest bloggers to write for your newsletter.
  • Consistency: No matter where your Owned Media will be living, a cohesive, consistent message is critical. You can’t be conversational and witty on Twitter – then head over to your blog and maintain a professional or stuffy tone.
  • Share Away: You put a lot of effort into creating your Owned Media, so get as much mileage as possible out of it. Share your content on social media and update your profiles regularly, so your community always has fresh food for thought.


Well, it’s time to get to work on your Owned Media strategy, because next up in our series on the PESO Model for PR is Shared Media. It’s another free way to drive engagement and exponentially boost your content. Shared and Owned play pretty well together, so make sure to check it out.

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