VS.Public relations is not a single-strategy game. There are many ways to leverage the power and influence of various media to strengthen credibility, brand awareness and engagement.

In this post, we will discuss the difference between earned media and owned media, and why your company’s PR strategy should include both.

Earned Media

Earned media is visibility your company receives through media it does not control. It’s free and can lend the most credibility, as a third party creates and shares it.

Your PR agency securing a news article in a magazine is an example of telling your company’s story through earned media. When your Facebook followers mention or share your content on their pages, you’re earning media. It’s not always easy to get a reporter or customer to talk about your organization, but when they do and it’s positive, it can make a big impact.

Owned Media

Thanks to our highly connected digital world, your organization can now act as your own media outlet to distribute important content to your audiences. Owned media is content your organization owns in entirety. For example, the content on your website, blog posts, e-newsletters and social media accounts are all forms of owned media.

Your organization has complete control over these messages, because it owns the communication channels. Gain more exposure through owned media with the help of search engine optimization (SEO), engaging your audience on social media and other services that a PR agency or in-house PR department can provide.

Why Your PR Strategy Needs Both

Earned media is a great tool to boost visibility, enhance credibility and showcase expertise. However, keep in mind that with earned media, you cannot control the message, and news coverage is never guaranteed.

With owned media, your message is controlled and you can engage directly with the people who matter, but it doesn’t pack the credibility punch that earned media does.

That’s why coupling earned media and owned media programs can create the perfect formula for a successful PR strategy. Focusing your efforts on both will exponentially increase your power of influence.

Remember, PR is not a single-strategy game. It takes both earned and owned media to earn trust and support from the right people.