Insight November 2, 2018

As media evolves, your PR strategy needs to, too


Written by Beth Wilson, PR Director at inferno. 

Social media, digital newsrooms, access to data and analytics, integrated marketing — developments such as these in
the public relations industry have required professionals to adapt at a fast pace.

Change is good, great even. But, change is also hard. How, exactly, should you embrace and incorporate these transformations into your PR strategy?

Change becomes more manageable when there is a clear strategy in place — outlining what does and does not make sense to execute — and you are monitoring and course-correcting for optimal performance. Strategic thinking and advanced, diverse skill sets are required to keep up in today’s landscape and to keep your company or clients top-of-mind.

Adapting to change is easier when you can segment your focus areas or tactical approach. This is where the ESO (earned, shared, owned) media model comes into play.

Earned media is what most professionals know as either media relations or publicity. It is media coverage — having a news outlet or trade publication write about you or your business, product or service. It is the PR industry’s calling card, because it was one of the first substantial tactics PR practitioners could measure. That measurement, however, has evolved.

While the industry used to measure media impressions or advertising equivalencies alone, there are now sophisticated tools to implement and track integrated campaigns that deliver tangible results.

Shared media is also known as social media. The overarching goal of any PR campaign is brand awareness, to position your business or clients for maximum exposure. Few tactics today push that better than social media. This form of media is evolving, and organizations are increasingly using it as their main source of communications, both internally and externally. Paid media (such as social media advertising) is an element of this.

Owned media, commonly known as content marketing, is something you own that lives on your website (such as your company blog). You control the messaging and have the power to tell the story in a way you want it told — whether through text or video.

With the continued trend of PR pros outnumbering journalists (new employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that PR professionals outnumber journalists by a 6-to-1 ratio), owned media — provided it is value-added content, such as industry-specific thought leadership — is an effective way to get your brand noticed.

So, how does the ESO model work cohesively?

The goal is to create a content-driven PR structure that effectively reaches — and influences and engages — your audience.

Success in PR requires a willingness to evolve with the growing opportunities at your disposal. Just be sure your strategy, and the tactics to support it, evolve as well.

This article originally appeared in Memphis Business Journal.