At Frances Roy, “thought diversity” is a priority. We are far more concerned with innovating our processes than honing in on a step-by-step procedure. Agility is everything. One of those processes involves attention to the PESO model of marketing. 

The PESO model is valuable to everyone involved in business communication – from freelancers and influencers to marketing and PR department leads. Gini Dietrich developed the model in her 2014 book, Spin Sucks. (Her book, podcast, and email newsletter are all great resources.) Dietrich developed the PESO model in response to the perspective that PR and marketing are no longer separate fields. Experts in both areas need to work together to create effective campaigns that contribute to positive brand image and boost sales.

The model identifies four key areas of media where communications professionals should focus their attention: paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media. Here’s a quick overview of what each category entails:

Paid media: Traditional “advertising” falls into this category. Although a budget can be a drawback, paid media is the best way to control who sees your messaging. “Native media,” or media that looks like it fits with the editorial/content on the page already, can be a great paid media tool. 

Earned media: This is what many people would consider public relations. Press releases, influencer relationships, and even search engine optimization (SEO) functions fall into this category. Earned media is dependent on others spreading the word about your brand, so never underestimate the power of a strong relationship. 

Shared media: Shared media was initially a part of the owned media category, but social media rapidly grew into a dynamic field that disrupted the PESO model. Every shared media platform has its own personality and target audience, making it impossible (or at least ill-advised) to simply drop owned media into shared spaces. Yet amplifying one piece of paid, earned, or owned media strategically across several shared media channels can make a huge impact. 

Owned media: Leading with owned media wouldn’t make for a great acronym (OESP….yikes), but it does make for a great overall marketing strategy. Owned media is content created by your company. Blogs, podcasts, how-to videos, and web content all makeup information that establishes your credibility and tells your narrative exactly how you want it expressed. A wealth of strong owned media can propel development in the other three areas.

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Dietrich published an updated version of the model in February 2020. PESO 2.0 focuses on integrating digital media -typically highlighted in shared media – into paid, earned, and owned media settings. The free masterclass associated with PESO 2.0 demonstrates how marketing professionals can use social networks to create paid media leads, incorporate UGC and brand ambassadors, and distribute owned content without tying it directly to a single platform. 

PESO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding the different elements of PESO helps you determine what types of media to use when supporting different messages and goals. Some campaigns focus on a specific type of media; others will use all four. The emphasis on each piece of the PESO model differs in influencer campaigns, product launches, and brand development efforts. 

So how do you go about implementing the PESO model? Just start! As with any other shift in thought or process, the most important thing is to start working and see what happens. Every team will find different results with the PESO model, and the goal is a shift in the process rather than a strict procedure. If you approach marketing solutions with a desire to diversify your reach via paid, earned, shared, and owned media, you have already succeeded in incorporating the PESO model.