Owned, earned and paid media — the pros and cons. 

 In Blog

I recently read this fantastic explanation of something that I have found myself explaining many, many times to those keen to use media. Many business owners see and read of other brands sharing glitzy media coverage in high profile publications. However, what they do not share with their audience is that it was actually paid advertising and they were not ‘selected’ by a journo to write about them.  

Owned, earned and paid media — the pros and cons. 

With so many diverse PR strategies being used today, it can be hard to know what will deliver the greatest results for your brand. 

Here’s a short breakdown of each media type, and the pros and cons of each.

Owned: 

This is when you use your own platform to publish your content, for example a Facebook page or website.

  • Benefits: One of the biggest benefits of owned media is that you have a lot of control over your image and the content you publish on these platforms. Owned media is also often fairly cheap or even free to operate, and can be a good way to strengthen relationships with existing customers
  • Weaknesses: building up a following or reputation on owned media can be time-consuming, and often there is not a lot of trust for company communication. 

Earned: 

Earned media refers to coverage generated when the public, the media/journalists, and customers mention your brand voluntarily. It is essentially word-of-mouth publicity. 

  • Benefits: because of its transparency, earned media is considered the most credible form of media to the public, so when this coverage is positive it can be incredibly valuable to a brand.
  • Weaknesses: the downside to this is that earned media can sometimes be negative, as the brand has little control over the content. It can also be hard to measure or quantify. 

Paid: 

This one is fairly self-explanatory, and involves paying to use a third-party channel, such as sponsorships and advertising. 

  • Benefits: There is generally even more control over the content on paid media than owned media. It can also be generated very quickly, and have a scale and reach that may be more difficult for earned media to achieve. 
  • Weaknesses: the cost is clearly a downside (although paid media can also often be cheaper than earned or owned media, especially when time and effort is factored into the cost) and it is also considered far less credible than earned media. 

So, what’s the best strategy?  

It has become a more popular strategy however with better rules now placed on publications to declare when an article is paid or sponsored, I believe earned media will be something more sought after as, earned media will always have credibility and position your brand and build trust.  

I teach earned and owned media. It is powerful, sustainable and will ultimately set you apart from the noise and build that trust you need, to generate leads and grow a loyal audience.  

I will teach you the exact steps I use to secure earned media coverage for myself and my clients during my next 7 day Pitch Perfect Media Challenge. You can register here.  

And you can read the full article here.

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