PESO PR model

PESO: The New-Age PR Model

Throughout the past 5+ years, we’ve seen traditional marketing evolve into digital marketing. It had to keep up with the changing times and appease the technological demands of businesses and consumers everywhere. However, an essential aspect of marketing – public relations – has not evolved in that way. Until now.

Quantifying public relations to clients hasn’t been easy. There was no tangible way to track things like mentions back to sales and ROI in the way we can with digital marketing. The old paradigm of getting a story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal being quantifiable enough doesn’t apply anymore. What people crave these days is DATA. So, instead of dying, the public relations industry is adopting a new role called the PESO model.

PESO PR model

Image credit: Mashable

PESO stands for paid, earned, shared and owned, and it relates back to the four different types of media that make up public relations. This is the framework for how public relations and communications professionals should think about PR. Using this model, there are many opportunities for paid and organic public relations and communications to work together and drive the results clients need in this digital world.

  • Paid – There are two parts to “paid” media: advertising and platforms. Advertising includes AdWords and Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn ads. You can reach your target audience where they are by paying to be there. Platforms, like HubSpot, give you the tools needed for email marketing, lead generation, landing page testing and more. All of this plays a role in understanding and reaching your customers effectively. Additionally, using a wire service helps cast your message out in a wide net of specialized publications that might be difficult to earn.
  • Earned – This is the most traditional part of public relations because you have to “earn” every story or mention you get through relationships you’ve built with reporters, bloggers and more. Many people still pitch their stories to reporters or bloggers, but that is just one piece of the puzzle.
  • Shared – Social media plays a large role in “shared” media. There’s a big opportunity to reach your customers where they spend a lot of their time. Through well-crafted social posts and digital strategies, many potential customers will begin to like, comment and share your posts. This leads to more potential customers seeing the posts and sharing as well. They are helping you execute your strategy! Also, reaching out to influential bloggers and guest posting will help with shared media.
  • Owned – This is content that lives on your own website, blog or social platform. You have the power of the message in your hand with “owned” media. Use it!

Through the PESO model, marketing and public relations can walk into the digital world, hand in hand, to successfully achieve maximum results. When embraced from a holistic standpoint, what starts as a simple pitch can quickly emerge as a full-blown digital campaign that reaches customers where they are consuming news, in a compelling, targeted and meaningful way.

Are you looking for a digital strategy that also encompasses PR and content amplification? Download our sample strategy document to learn the key parts of a successful strategy, and contact us if you’re ready to take the next step!

  • Alexandra, I was doing some research on the PESO model to show a new business prospect who had written about it and I found your blog. This is awesome! Thank you! I do have a tiny favor to ask: The image is actually that of Spin Sucks. Mashable used it in an article and has a credit to us there. Would you mind changing it? And keep spreading the word. This is VERY important for communicators and marketers to hear.

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  • Gabriel DabiSchwebel


    To make the PESO model more lively and to use it in business pitch we have developped an animated version of the model, see here:

    You are welcome to use it in your own business and to embed it on your website using the following iframe.

    Gabriel Dabi-Schwebel
    Owner of 1min30, a french Inbound marketing agency