Ditch the Venn Diagram – Inbound PR’s Role in Paid, Earned, Owned and Social Media

Judging by its valuable tweet soundbites, PRSA’s International Conference (#PRSAICON) this week sounded like a huge success — very informative with a great group of expert speakers and savvy attendees. One presentation really stood out for me — PR Newswire Director Michael Pranikoff’s The Convergence of Paid, Earned & Owned Media.

While Mike’s preso is nearly 90 slides total (and still worth the read!), I think this single slide sums up Inbound PR’s role perfectly:

In short…

  • Paid Media = show me the $$$ (but make sure PRs drive visitors/attendees/subscribers/etc.)
  • Earned Media = traditional media/analyst/influencer outreach, speaking & awards
  • Owned Media = content, content, content, content, content
  • [Social Media = share media across all channels via social networks]

Now, let’s back this up with some data. Traditionally, PR has fallen into the “Earned Media” bucket. But what about “Owned Media”? A recent survey based on a poll of 740 members of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn found B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve (top 3):

  1. Lead generation: 68%
  2. Thought leadership/market education: 50%
  3. Brand awareness: 39%

The most popular content tactics were:

  1. Case Studies (62%)
  2. Whitepapers & eBooks (61%)
  3. Press Releases (58%)
  4. Newsletters (55%)
  5. Blogging (51%)

LinkedIn was the most popular social media platform at 85%, followed by Twitter (70%), Facebook (54%), and YouTube (53%).

There’s QUITE a bit of overlap across Marketing, Advertising and PR here. It’s clear to me that it’s time to ditch the Venn diagram. The lines aren’t blurred; they’re disappearing.

The role of a rockstar Inbound PR pro is to facilitate Paid Media, curate Earned Media, create Owned Media, and share via Social Media.

A tall order? Yes. But nothing we can’t handle. As PR/Media Strategist Peter Himler said in a recent Forbes article:

“For PR pros, it’s no longer sufficient to rely on earned media coverage to drive action. A good catalyst, yes, but it’s how you merchandise that coverage that matters today — even if it means paying (God forbid) for amplification in the mediaspheres.”

And to wrap this post up with those excellent #PRSAICON tweet soundbites mentioned above…

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