CONTENT: Paid, Owned and Earned

Industry dictates that PR is worth somewhere between 5-10 times the value of traditional advertising. But Why? This is because genuine editorial coverage and an authentic conversation about your brand can’t be bought.  You have to earn it.

Sadly, most businesses still fail to include this key element into their business and marketing plans.

  • Website – check
  • Fancy brochures – check
  • Email campaign- check 
  • Keep people talking about us and ensure our reach includes media, influencers and industry - ?


First, a quick lesson on the three types of media.  Paid Media, Owned Media and of course Earned Media.


Paid media is exactly as its title describes, you pay for it. Paid media can be a newspaper advertisement a radio or television commercial, online ad and everything in between. Paid media helps develop brand awareness among potential consumers, making them more likely to recognize your brand when they come across it again.


Owned media is materials that the company has produced and owns; items such as brochures, company’s website, white papers and mobile apps. This media helps shape the brand experience, skeptical customers viewing this material are forming opinions of your brand and products though these materials and how you present them.


Earned media is what people say about you and your brand and it the most valuable form of media. It includes, word of mouth, news stories, magazine articles, forums, editorial and social media chatter. Earned media develops brand conversation. When fans of your business or potential customers are having a conversation around your brand and what you are doing, that is very powerful. Earned media is also a more direct form of brand awareness, because it’s usually directed right at your target audience.


Gaining Fans:

Narrowing your followers down to hardcore fans often happens as a result of earned media.

Globally 92% of consumers indicate that they trust earned media above all other forms of advertising. Why? Because you can’t pay for a customer’s opinion, you need to Earn It.

So before you think that your ‘content’ or story should get placement above all others, you need to ask yourself: Have I earned the right to be shared?

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash