Paid Media

Public Relations is Just Earned Media? Think Again.

The Public Relations Society of America defines PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Many people view public relations as a way to grow these relationships through promotional efforts, or earned media. And while that is definitely true, earned media is only one piece of the PR puzzle. To really kick ass in PR, you need to embrace the PESO model.


PESO stands for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned. And as demonstrated in the image above, PR professionals who are stuck in an “earned media only” mindset are missing out on a number of opportunities to grow their business. Now you might be saying to yourself, “isn’t paid media traditionally thought of as marketing?” And my answer to that question is yes. But with the emergence of social media, content marketing and other digital efforts, I think the lines between public relations and marketing are becoming more and more blurred.

Public relations is evolving. And if you don’t adapt, you risk getting left behind. So when you’re planning the next move for your public relations strategy, think beyond earned media. Think PESO.