Anyone who has been in the PR profession for any length of time understands there are four media types to leverage in our strategic toolkit: Paid, Earned, Owned, and Shared. In some instances, others have included traded, promoted, and maybe a few others, but at the core, there are the four.

With the onset of social media, blogs, microsites, podcasts, and a ton of other publishing tools, companies have more control over their messaging and brand positioning than they ever had before. Both marketing and PR organizations are wrestling with how to command the attention of the market while eclipsing their competitors with a credible thought leadership position.

If we’re honest with ourselves, there is enormous overlap in the marketing and PR worlds. We’re all in the content business and continue to explore new ways of telling our corporate stories leveraging brand journalism. We have the shared goal of building brand visibility and market credibility, all with the intent of driving new business and increasing revenues.

Why not partner and tackle this beast together.

Below describes each of the four media types and what benefits and challenges they bring. In every one of these, both marketing and PR play a vital role in their success. The best and most newsworthy content and stories in an organization must be tapped efficiently and effectively, all with the guiding principle of packaging and repurposing as often and as appropriately as possible.


As you continue to enhance your 2017 plans, take a step back and review when and where you can partner with your marketing or PR counterparts to deliver stronger stories and more successful campaigns. The parallels in your plans may surprise you.

Are you defining how and when you use these channels together? Are budgets established with the appropriate levels of investment in each category and for each priority within your core businesses? Are you making the most of your content and story collection process and resources? Have you explored all potential metrics and measurements both functions can track?

If not, make the effort to partner with your colleagues now to make the most of your media strategy for the coming year.

Image Credit: © Churchill

Originally published in 2015, updated for 2017.

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Content Strategist, Messaging Pro, Storyteller

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