Owned Media + Paid Media + Earned Media = Shared Media

14 Jun Owned Media + Paid Media + Earned Media = Shared Media


I had the pleasure of attending this year’s PR Summit DC at the NEA Conference Center earlier this month. One of the panels I attended was titled, “Shared Media: PR’s Vital Role,” and was led by Spurrier Group CEO and Executive Media Strategist, Donna Spurrier and Goodway Group Account Director, Andrew Sklerov. The session discussed the changes that are happening within today’s media landscape, what shared media really means, and how to utilize it to build better, and more effective campaigns to achieve maximum ROI.

When marketers begin to think about their media strategies, there have always been three types of media that can be leveraged for a campaign – owned, paid, and earned media. Owned Media are the channels and brands you control – websites, blogs, and social media accounts. These channels allow for a long-term relationship building with customers and followers. Paid Media are the channels that companies pay into to leverage their network. This is more commonly known as traditional advertising, consisting of display advertising, sponsored content, and paid search. And Earned Media is when customers and influencers create content for you organically, media features (on- or off-line), word-of-mouth, buzz. Earned media is often the result of well-executed paid and owned marketing and PR campaigns.

Donna talked about how savvy media strategists know how important incorporating earned media into their paid media cycles is to extend the life of a campaign. Earned media gives credibility to the brand, leaving consumers to believe the brand’s authenticity.

In today’s always-on world where owned, paid and earned media collide, consumers are no longer able to discern where they first heard a message; it’s all become ambient noise since we are living in a 24/7 communication-centric world. This is where the concept of shared media comes in. There are so many points at which paid, earned, and owned cross and connect, it’s hard to point to one specifically as being the driving force behind where the impact is happening. Brands are engaging with consumers all the time, through multiple channels and shared media is the result of a brand and customer (or influencers) interacting and mutually creating content.

Shared media is converging online – videos, blogs, social channels. It’s all shareable content. And what is a brand’s best asset? Influencers. Social channels have captured the largest percentage of influencer’s time across all demographics. Shared media is social media.

As PR and marketing pros strategize on creating campaigns, they need to keep this evolving form of media in mind. So while shared media isn’t a specific media asset that you can create, it should be part of the strategy when creating paid, earned, or owned content since it has the ability to be shared and engaged with.

Jessica Lindberg
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