A Different Take on PR’s Effectiveness

We live in the around-the-clock communication cycle, so marketing content form different channels is delivered to us every few seconds – whether it’s by a contact with standard forms of advertisement, materials in traditional media or by social media. How can we stand out from the crowd and create the effective strategy of our content’s promotion?

Research shows that we have a contact with marketing communication about 5 thousand times a day. Well, that’s a lot. Social media, internet portals, development of PR tools and advertisement made reaching target groups easier for brands. Jay Baer, marketing specialist and author of the book “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype” states that the best way for a brand to stand out of the crowd (even by an advertisement) is to create either truly extraordinary or simply useful form of communication. Every brand wants to be a leader in it’s category, but telling “I’m a leader” won’t make you a real leader. Same with useful content – creating it in itself won’t make people recognize your effort, because they have to see it somewhere. And it means that you need a place where your content can be seen.

Paid, owned, earned

Before we start integrating our communication channels, it’s crucial to understand differences between paid, owned and earned media in the beginning.

By “paid media” we describe all standard forms of advertisement and sponsored articles in traditional and Internet media. It also includes Google AdWords, which helps in positioning of our brands or display advertisements in social media and services of different kinds. Paid media’s role is to reach the widest possible audience. Their advantages are: fast scalability and wide reach, full control over content and a chance to measure news’ overall reach or a number of unique users on a landing page.

The term “owned media” includes all media managed by your brand – brand’s website, social media profiles, forum, blog, even a newsletter. Their target group consists of brand’s fans, clients and potential clients. Owned media are often equated with free media, but that’s not true. Content creation is time – consuming. Building a community around an owned medium, creating and planning content – it all takes a lot of time. Owned media have their advantages – they include lower cost of content’s promotion and an opportunity to build lasting relations with the audience, but they also have some disadvantages (e.g. time needed for their scaling and effectiveness’s extending).

Owned and paid media help us in gaining organic publications in traditional and Internet media. Journalists don’t consume content from media they work in only. They read blogs, watch advertisements and do their research. If you have a blog with expert content, they can find you in Google faster. Well optimized newsroom on the website also helps in positioning.

Earned media are a natural consequence of running marketing or PR campaigns and content’s distribution. But perception and definition of earned media changed in the 3.0 world. As for now, it’s not only about press publications, but also mentions about the brand created by influencers and consumers in social media. As opposed to paid and owned media, we do not have the control of earned media. They can be negative, crisis – generating and not so easy to acquire.

Channels’ integration

Every type of media has it’s pros and cons, but all of them can be crucial in the process of your brand’s communication. However, they will be truly effective only when you’ll integrate them into one, consistent campaign. They will become convergent media. Convergence has become quite a popular term. There are publications and conferences on the topic of convergence. The term can be used in PR, content marketing and native advertisement, too. Because media offer not only publications about brands, but also placing sponsored content in journalist form among editorial content.

Paid and free channels’ integration is a great way to reach all of the potential audience in our target group. By publishing a blogpost and promoting it in social network, we are able to extend it’s reach and get round to not only brand’s fans, but also to people who might be interested in the topic. Only a channels’ integration will allow you to reach your audience irregardless of the device they’re using or the world in which they reside most often (offline vs online).

Media are becoming more and more complex and the audience – more and more selective when it comes to the content presented to them. This is why it is so important to know your target group and follow the content’s promotion and creation strategy trends.

Of course new technologies which we can use in our day-to-day job make it easier. At Prowly we try not only to integrate brands’ owned communication, but also to help them reach the widest audience possible by paid and earned media (Prowly feed).