The difference between earned, paid and owned media

30 April, 2018     Posted in: Publicity

What do the terms even mean?

paid, owned, and earned media

Owned, paid and earned media are terms you may have heard bandied around by PR, marketing and digital specialists.

What do they mean? In short, they’re three types of exposure for your business – and in order to reach the most number of people in the most cost-effective way, it’s worth understanding the difference.

Earned Media:

Earned media is exposure you’ve gained through word-of-mouth.

It can be achieved through press mentions, positive reviews, reposts on social media, or recommendations on your website.

A company can create earned media by issuing media releases with the goal a journalist will tell their story. That results in more people hearing, watching or reading a story about your company.

 Owned media:

Owned media is the content you create and control for your brand.

While it can appear in various formats – blog posts, case studies, company marketing documents, etc. –  the main goal is to continue providing value to your customers and your brand.

Owned media serves to create a more controlled – but not overly promotional – message about your brand. It allows you to remain transparent with your audience and offers opportunities for them to engage with you.

Paid Media:

Paid media is advertising which costs you money. It drives exposure across various channels, including traditional and social media.

Paid media can also be used to amplify exposure of your owned media and help create more earned media.


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