How to Make a Media Result Go Further in the Digital Age

June 07, 2024
Two economic development professionals discussing the PESO model in an office

The digitization of marketing and public relations has made paid, earned, shared and owned media increasingly intertwined and interdependent. Gini Dietrich, founder of the Spin Sucks movement to elevate the communications industry, first observed this phenomenon in her 2014 book Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age. At Development Counsellors International (DCI), our team is well-versed in how to best integrate the various marketing services that we offer, like public relations, digital advertising, search engine optimization and social media.  

Dietrich’s observation of this PR strategy inspired her to create what she coined the PESO Model, which describes the relationship between different forms of media as overlapping circles. The model’s acronym stands for the four primary types of media—paid, earned, shared and owned.   

Integrating owned campaigns with other types of media may simply be a matter of having a social media post, earned media placement or sponsored article link back to your organization’s website, which helps your site’s SEO.  

When your site earns a backlink from an authoritative site, it signals to search engines that this trusted resource finds your website valuable. It’s essentially a vote of confidence, helping your site rank more highly in organic search and attract more users. For example, the Pittsburgh Region earned a backlink from Travel + Leisure, which positively impacted its site’s authority and SEO. 

As earned media becomes more integrated with different types of media, below are a few ways in which paid media can make a media placement go further in the digital age.  

1. Create a video designed to get more engagement on social media  

In our digital age, getting media coverage should only be the beginning of its impact. You probably already know that sharing a story on social media encourages continued conversations around it, even weeks after its publication. News stories can be repurposed over a span of two months with posts in different formats, like a link preview, photo or graphic, while more evergreen content from bloggers or thought leadership can be repurposed indefinitely, as long as the content remains accurate.   

LinkedIn recently announced an update to its algorithm that will extend the lifespan of certain content on the platform. Content will continue to be shown to users for months or even years after publication, so that users see information that is personally catered to them and their interests.  

Videos continue to be underutilized compared to how much engagement they get on social media. At the recent Government Social Media LLC conference, which DCI’s VP of Digital Hanna Gbordzoe attended, LinkedIn’s Erica Pyatt advised attendees to publish more videos. Creating and posting a 30-second video summarizing a media placement is a great way to maximize a placement’s value. With LinkedIn rolling out vertical, short-form videos, the app is ensuring you have plenty of ways to get your message across.  

Video content marketing is one way to leverage social media more effectively, which is crucial for economic development organizations.  According to DCI’s 2023 edition of Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing, a study that surveys corporate executives and their advisors, social media continues to rise in influence. In 2023, 19 percent of respondents cited social media as a leading source of information influencing perceptions of an area’s business climate. 

2. Boost the story on LinkedIn 

One way to add value to a media result and expand its reach is a partnership with a full-service marketing agency to boost the placement on LinkedIn, which constitutes an intersection of earned, shared and paid media. While UVM (unique visitors per month) provides a general idea of the initial impact of a placement, boosting a result can increase its reach beyond UVM and ensure it reaches the right target audience. LinkedIn is a strategic choice since it’s the top social media platform for executives.  

According to a study from Databox, boosted LinkedIn posts have a median click rate that is nearly triple that of organic posts. DCI’s social media advertising team can select a target audience based on industry, geographic location, age range, profession, title and more.  

While landing a placement in a most-wanted media outlet is the first step, the next one may be targeting executives on LinkedIn who represent your target audience, increasing the likelihood that the people you are trying to reach will have the opportunity to learn more about what your community has to offer.  

3. Pay attention to who’s sharing your placement on social media 

Take it one step further and use a social listening tool to see who is resharing, liking or commenting on your placement on different social media channels. Paying attention to who is engaging with a placement on social platforms is a valuable way to not only measure a placement’s impact but also begin lead generation. Once you identify executives who are actively engaging with your content, then you target these executives further, as they are likely candidates to conduct business in your community.  

As public relations reporting continues to evolve, there are many ways to add cost-effective value to earned media placements, and the moment of a placement’s publication is just the beginning of the conversation. Implementing the PESO model with earned, paid, shared and owned media can add value beyond the metrics that have traditionally been valued in media relations.   

Interested in learning more about how to integrate your PR and marketing communications program with a paid, earned, shared and owned media strategy? Get in touch with Partner and SVP, Digital Susan Brake at [email protected] to learn how DCI’s 60+ years of placemaking and public relations expertise can help.  

Written by

Katarzyna Jezak

Senior Account Executive