How to use owned media

How to use owned media

Control your message and your media by using owned media. It’s a powerful form of communication for trusted organisations.

Owned media is arguably the most compelling form of media in the paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) model. It’s dependable because it’s completely within the control of an organisation to produce and publish or broadcast.

Digital examples of owned media include email, blogs, graphics, videos and websites. Offline examples include posters, leaflet and printed brochures. Press releases and white papers bridge the two.

Examples of owned forms of media

Here’s a list of the different types of content that an organisation can create and publish or broadcast themselves.

Email – a popular means to communicate with existing customers. Frequently over used and abused because of the perceived low cost and ease of automation

Graphics – information communicated via visual design; infographics are frequently used as a visual way of presenting data

Podcasts and video – an audio and/or visual means of communication that is frequently educational or informational. Much of the owned content created by organisations on YouTube is focused on how-to

Websites – the primary means by which an organisation communicates with its publics. Increasingly recognised as the foremost form of owned media

Blogs – an organisational or personal form of communication. Typically the most trusted form of owned media if based on an individual’s reputation and relationships

Posters, leaflets and brochures – printed content produced by an organisation that is displayed or distributed in public spaces

Press releases – formerly used as a means of communicating with journalists but increasingly used a general purpose document to communicate with a wide variety of publics via a website

Reports, studies and white papers – long form content used to educate or inform as part of the buying or influencer cycle

Strengths and weaknesses of owned media

The challenge for organisations is that while owned media is dependable and predictable it may not be as trusted or scale as well as other forms of media.

The distribution of printed content is limited to physical relationships while the audience for an owned digital property is unlimited.

Trust is more complex. The public will afford the same level of trust in owned media as they do to the organisation. If the relationship between an organisation and its publics is healthy then its owned media will be viewed with authority and deemed a credible source of information.

Owned media is typically used when an organisation wants to make a statement, inform or engage publics as part of a customer journey.

Owned and shared can outplay earned

CIPR President Sarah Hall writing on her blog suggests that investment in the combination of owned and shared media is increasingly being prioritised over earned media, particularly regional news, as a means of public engagement.

“PR practitioners have recognised the declining influence and quality of regional news and are choosing instead to invest in building direct relationships with target audiences. Owned media budgets have risen as public relations professionals maximise organisational assets, while budget allocations for shared media have also grown,” says Hall.

Hall argues that owned media is filling the gap left by the regional media.

The ability to communicate directly with stakeholders such as customers or prospects via an organisation’s own media and channels is undoubtedly a compelling proposition for professional communicators. It lies within the control of the communication team and is as predictable form of engagement as you’re likely to find.

The absolute power of owned media lies in how it is used as an element of the PESO model alongside shared media. The point well made by Hall is that the combination of owned and shared can maximise a finite budget and deliver greater return on investment than earned media.

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