Project Awareness through Paid, Owned and Earned Media

Everyone likes categories, definitions and clear distinctions. Advertisers, marketers, public relations practitioners and business owners are no exception. Everyone prefers clearly defined boundaries and realms of influence and expertise.

But the truth is, those boundaries no longer exist. Media is now an amalgam of many disciplines, mediums and tactics.  Here is a quick overview of today’s media landscape that can assist to reach stakeholders and enhance awareness of your transportation project.

Paid Media
Paid media incorporates traditional, traditional digital and new paid digital channels. Banner ads, paid search, sponsorships and syndicated content. The goal is to create brand recognition and project awareness through mass audience exposure and direct response. This is often very expensive, but offers total creative control. Any mass brand messaging must also compete for attention. Your competitors are no longer your only concern. Consumers are bombarded from every angle with advertising. It’s hard to stand out. Paid media is also one starting point on a consumer journey. The journey no longer begins and ends with the paid ad. Paid media is a part of any good earned media strategy.

Owned Media
Owned media is your project’s controlled content. Websites, blogs, email, newsletters and social media profiles are all a part of the owned media. These messages are more specifically targeted to an existing community and current stakeholders. While the actual dissemination of media is free, the cost of creating content and managing platforms a consideration, but manageable. . Owned media should be positioned to reach your targets and keep them up-to-date on the project.

Earned Media
Earned media is the result of project visibility through owned media and the trickle down exposure from paid media. This is where the public relations and advertising boxes begin to really share responsibility. Public Relations practitioners no longer limit their goal to seeking journalistic coverage, but also seeding coverage and mentions from social platforms, bloggers and any other digital presence. Engagement from a paid strategy is aimed at building a relationship through owned media and those interactions should promote exposure via social networks. This is the trickle down effect of paid media to earned media. It stretches the traditional definitions, but this is all a part of merging media categories.

Each entity is no longer separate. Once the social age took hold, any successful media strategy accounts for the change. Media has evolved from the paid commercial of yesteryear, to the holistic incorporation of all digital, social and paid presence.

Transportation project awareness, marketing and PR are no different. Understanding the differences of paid, owned and earned media can focus your message and further your reach to keep stakeholders engaged, and most importantly, informed.