PR & The Social Whirl:  the PESO model

At the intersection of pr, social & digital

PESO may sound like we're speaking about money.  In a way we are, if we consider smart media coverage the coin of the public relations, digital and social media realms.

PESO is an acronym for the big-picture, all-channels-inclusive way of communicating that is truly the only method in which a company, entrepreneur or cause can earn the attention of those stakeholders that matter.  PESO is Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned media; a handy definition guide is included below for you.

If there's a discussion about the intersection of public relations, social media and digital, PESO is a concept that needs to be part of the conversation.  

Illustration credit:  Cision 2015

Illustration credit:  Cision 2015

The PESO Model

Paid:  the channels in which money is paid to place the message, and control its distribution.

Earned:  the published coverage of an enterprise, cause or person's message by a credible third party, such as a journalist, blogger, trade analyst or industry influencer. 

Shared:  the pass-along sharing and commenting upon your message by the community through social channels. 

Owned:  the editorial and messages you (or our writers on your behalf) write, publish and control through your own, dedicated blog or other channel. 

The power of one; the power of many

In the PESO model, each channel delivers unique importance.  In the earned media realm, public relations practitioners create the opportunity to have your story told by credible, objective, third-party influencers such as journalists, bloggers, trade analysts and industry leaders.  Extraordinarily powerful exposure, thanks to prestige and influence of the writer. In a sense, your enterprise benefits from the power of one:  the singular writer's voice.

In the social, content marketing and blogosphere, however, its power comes from the polar opposite source:  the power of many.  The conversation is picked up, shared and commented upon by the social community as your message makes its way from its blog, Tweet or paid marketing message.

The power of one and the power of many each have their challenges; challenges which are neatly solved by the power of PESO.  Having a journalist write about you in a leading media property (think Forbes, Entrepreneur, Times, Fortune or a feature on CBS) and your message can be seen or heard by millions, and without a nickel of paid placement cost from you.  However, that message is in the hands of the one writer; if they'd don't capture what you would have like to have shared, or choose not to publish, or - and yes, this happens - decide they're not a fan of your company, then that media win can become significantly diminished for you.

In the world of many there are certainly leading voices, but the value resides in the collective community and the conversations they share.  In a recent client campaign, the social media channel returned a 15x return on voice. For every post shared, it was broadcast and commented upon 15 times.  And that's not the mega-return of the viral blockbuster (think anything by Britney Spears or those irresistible kitten videos).  The catch?  A company can invest significant money in promoting content across its channels and not earn community engagement, or the community may put their own spin on it.  Corporations such as McDonalds and others have learned this lesson.

Don't despair, however; in a real world, real conversations matter.  Your response to less than flattering feedback can elevate your brand and engage your company with a whole new segment of customers.  Better yet, strategic use of ALL the PESO channels means you can share your message with your key stakeholders and marketplace when and where they choose to engage.

And engagement is the critical must-have to build a loyal customer, advocate or influencer in today's connected world.

Our mission at PRA Public Relations is to help your enterprise or agency put the power of PESO to work by delivering valuable media results, and strategizing the full PESO model to deliver maximum benefit for you. 

Let's get started on the ideas for your PESO success strategy, shall we?