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Determine best media to tell your organization’s story

In an age of multi-platform media, it can be challenging to determine the right media to tell your organization’s story and to communicate with your target audience. To help you make the right choice, we define the four most common media used in public relations: owned, earned, social and paid media.

Owned media includes media platforms the organization controls such as its website, electronic or print publications, conferences, brochures, videos or podcasts. The organization creates its own content, chooses the audience and timing of its message. Despite such control, an audience is not guaranteed.

Earned media is news coverage of the organization in print newspapers, magazines, broadcast news shows, or even blog space, which those entities have deemed newsworthy. It is normally not for purchase although there are some entities that entice advertisers with some offers to provide news coverage.

Social media includes platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, among others. Social media offers speedy and low cost options for organizations to reach clients, members, potential members, legislators and even the news media.

Paid media, also known as advertising, is purchased by organizations for use in print publications, broadcast, billboards and the web. Paid media gives the organization the ability to control the message to sell a product or service and to target it to specific audiences that are already paying attention to a particular media format.

Excerpted from the article, "Making Sense of Media" by Barbara Lezotte, APR in the Nov/Dec 2014 issue of MSAE's IMPACT magazine. Read more here

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