<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=272980249965517&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

What’s the difference between earned media, shared media and owned media?

By Axia Public Relations

ESO_Website_v01-1When it comes to public relations, the term media relates to different channels a brand might use to attract new customers.

There are four types of media:

  • Paid
  • Earned
  • Shared
  • Owned

These different types of media make up what many know as the PESO model. At Axia Public Relations, we’re PR experts – PR is what we do. We aren’t trying to pose as an advertising agency or be all things to all people. We believe that in PR, paid media more appropriately falls under the category of shared media for sponsorships and sponsored content. In our opinion, paid media isn’t part of a PR firm’s service, and, therefore, paid media shouldn’t be part of the PESO model.

 Our sole focus is on what we call the ESO model.

  • Earned
    Earned media is when you’ve earned the opportunity through media relations to appear in a news story.

  • Shared
    Shared media is user generated content and social media.

  • Owned
    Owned media is content you’ve created and have full control over (e.g., your website or blog).

Let’s explain each type of media more in-depth.

 What is earned media?

The term earned media describes content relating to your brand, products or service that someone else has created – or the coverage you receive on other sites.

Earned media or earned media coverage comes from media relations. It’s getting your company, product, service, expert, opinion or ideas included in a news story – online, print, radio, TV, podcast, etc. It’s when a newspaper or industry trade publication (blog, magazine or website) features or quotes your brand. It’s appearing on a local or national TV morning show or the evening news. It’s what most people think of when they think of PR. Some might call this “publicity.”*

In addition to news media coverage, earned media includes mentions on social media, reviews, feedback and blog posts referencing you.

Learn how to measure earned media.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 4.11.57 PM

What is shared media?

Shared media is social media. It’s evolving and continues to build beyond just marketing or customer service teams using it. Organizations have begun to use it as their main source of communications internally and externally.

Learn how to measure shared media. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 4.07.42 PM

What is owned media?

Owned media describes channels you control. It’s the content you create for your website and blog as well as e-books, white papers, presentations, etc. You fully control the content and its distribution. (If you can add, edit or delete the content, you probably own it.)

Some suggest that social media is owned media. However, because social media companies technically lease or license an account to you, and they can take it away at any time per their terms and conditions, we prefer to view it as shared media.

Learn how to measure owned media.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 4.15.29 PM

What is paid media?

Paid media is advertising, advertorial, sponsorships and sponsored content (i.e., content you pay for). This may include ads on radio, TV and print as well as any other paid activities. Paid media also includes online ads, such as PPC and Google Adwords, social media advertising for Facebook and Twitter, sponsored posts and (banner) ads.

Axia is a PR firm, so we don’t specialize in or generally offer paid media services. However, for our clients that use shared media, we highly recommend they have a portion of their budget earmarked for sponsoring posts, which is really paid media.


* Side note: Most PR pros frown on using the words publicity and spin. Those terms sound gimmicky and don’t represent the strategic approach that smart PR programs strive for. We prefer the terms earned media coverage and positioning to publicity and spin.

Axia Public Relations moves beyond traditional PR to help you create a targeted, effective plan for increased visibility and brand loyalty that ensures you’re getting the most from your PR investment. Download our complimentary e-book “Maximize Your Public Relations Investment” today.

New Call-to-action

Topics: earned media coverage, PESO, Earned media

Get Free Widget

Liked this blog post? Share it with others!


Comment on This Article