PESO Model RoadblocksEarlier this week, we talked about how to use the PESO Model, no matter the size of your team.

A one-person team? No problem!

Small, but mighty team? No problem!

A team where everyone is responsible for one media type? No problem!

No matter how you work, the PESO Model can be effective inside your organizations (or that of your client’s).

Yet, despite enthusiasm for this integrated approach, I often hear from communicators that they’ll never convince their executive team (or client) to implement it.

It makes me crazy when I hear this because it’s so short-sighted. 

Not to mention, an executive will be frustrated if the communications program focuses solely on one media type, which is often earned media.

ESPECIALLY in today’s environment where journalists are being furloughed and asked not to work on any future stories (aka don’t talk to PR pros) during that time.

This is the exact, right time to add in other media types:

  • Focus on owned media and build your highly search optimized content library.
  • Use shared media to finally build that community and reach new audiences.
  • Figure out how paid media fits in and learn how to use it to boost email subscribers, use new audiences, and generate leads.
  • Build reputation and thought leadership that isn’t dependent on third-party influencers, such as journalists. 

The Roadblocks Executives Put Up

To convince someone, though, you have to understand what their hang-ups are.

Although they may be worded differently, the reasons we hear from business leaders that a PESO Model just won’t work in someone’s organization boil down to:

  • The PESO Model is naive and inexperienced thinking.
  • My boss only wants media placements.
  • I can’t get access to Google Analytics.
  • We don’t have budget for software or social media advertising…or anything else that might cost $20 or more.

Luckily, all of these obstacles are not insurmountable.

We can work with these and get you ready to overcome the typical obstacles to PESO Model implementation.

The PESO Model Is Naive and Inexperienced Thinking

First, I’m flattered you think I’m still young enough to get carded when I buy wine at my neighborhood wine store.

That’s so sweet!

I’ve been working in PR for more than 20 years.

The PESO Model was developed in 2013, based on the results we saw the approach earning for hundreds of clients throughout the years.

Back in the day, “results” were what we consider vanity metrics now, such as the number of followers or likes, or even website traffic.

An integrated PESO Model allows you to track a concrete return-on-investment for your PR activities, by tying content to lead conversions.

All it takes is tracking the correct PR metrics.

I’ve heard this sounds like I’m a digital snake oil salesperson, but I’ve shared numerous examples publicly of how this has worked, as have other proponents of the model.

So, no, it isn’t naive or inexperience talking.

If you are a PESO Model proponent, you simply are guiding the way to modern PR, which can be scary for some as it means BIG change.

If you hear that as a reason not to implement it, just remember: change is scary!

And then come to Spin Sucks (or just simply Google “PESO Model”) and gather all the information you need, including case studies, to make your point.

My Boss Only Wants Media Placements


Let’s talk about this honestly, shall we?

I know how great it feels when someone stops you on the street to say they saw your profile in the local business journal.

Or when they saw you on the noon news.

It’s a fantastic ego boost.

But what if that media placement doesn’t result in any business for your company? Is it really worth its share of your monthly PR retainer?

I don’t think so.

In the PESO Model, media relations is still a key element—but we make it work harder, and pair it with other lead-generating PR activities.

Instead of focusing on chasing after top-tier media placements that may drive awareness, we work to obtain targeted media placements that link to owned content, which has the potential to drive leads into our sales funnel and ultimately convert into sales.

Wouldn’t you MUCH rather be able to lay claim to sales conversions than just media impressions or, worse, advertising equivalencies?

I know I would, which is why we’ve worked so hard to make this claim.

The PESO Model involves measuring and analyzing your results.

On a regular basis, you go in and rank the effectiveness of each of your media placements with how it has driven qualified leads and, ultimately, converted into customers.

That’s a much more compelling metric to give your executives or clients.

I Can’t Get Access to Google Analytics

I hate to say this is totally normal…even though it should make you crazy.

Just the other day, a client’s tech person said, “Oh, you PR people wanting data access. It’s not going to help.”

To which I smiled and nodded and said, “Maybe so, but I’d like to be the one who gets to decide that.”

All that to say, access to the Google Analytics account is guarded as jealously as Sméagol guarded the One Ring.

If they truly won’t give you access (our client put his foot down and forced his team to add us as a user), you should look for a new job or new client!

But there is a way—albeit pretty manual—for you to gather some metrics in the meantime.

With your company’s social media logins, you’ll be able to obtain your social media data.

In addition to vanity metrics, such as follower growth and engagement, you will also be able to track activities, such as clicking on an email newsletter subscription button on Facebook or converting through an email newsletter subscription Twitter card.

To track which channels and pieces of content are garnering clickthroughs to your website, you can use the free URL shortening tool and UTM parameters.

Doing that, you can tag your links by topic and channel, creating unique URLs for each channel.

This will put your channel and campaign data into Google Analytics—or whichever website measurement tool your organization is using— where it can be passed through to your CRM or marketing automation tool, and be used there to generate reports (or used to generate a Google Analytics report that your tech team gives you weekly).

If your organization doesn’t have reporting setup in those applications—or doesn’t think you have a valid business case to access them—you can slice and dice your link data and manually obtain insight into which links from your media relations and contributed content opportunities are driving action.

It can be done. It’s a huge pain in the butt. But it can be done.

Better to just fight for Google Analytics access. It’s a battle worth fighting.

And, if you need help, call me. I’ll go to bat for you.

We Don’t Have Budget for Software or Social Media Advertising

In a new business meeting ($150MM business; 500 employees) a few years ago, I noticed a bunch of names and phone numbers on the whiteboard in the conference room.

I asked what that was and the CEO proudly told me it’s their CRM. 

No fancy software for us, he told me—it’s all right there and everyone can see it in real time.

When I asked what happens if the cleaning crew accidentally erases it, he said, “Oh, that’s happened a time or two before. We just redo it all.”

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

It stressed me out so much, I took a picture of it—and continued to do that every month until we finally, finally talked them into a CRM. 

Implementing the PESO Model doesn’t require a big PR budget or special software.

There are lots and lots and lots of tools you can use that are free, to start.

Start there, show how effective it is, and it will be easy to ask for money to grow it. 

In the PESO Model Certification online course, we provide all sorts of free tools—and. how to use them for each media type.

That said, I’d encourage you to take a hard look at your PR and marketing budget.

What if, instead of spending all that money on reprinting your brand brochure, you earmark $500 per month to test the effectiveness of amplifying your best performing content on social?

All it takes is one small win that can be attributed to your PESO Model efforts to make the case for investment.

What Do You Think?

For those of you who still don’t think the PESO Model can work in your organization, I challenge you to comment here and tell me why.

I promise you can overcome the hurdle…and we are happy to help you do that.

Learn how to implement the PESO Model to achieve unparalleled communications results. Watch the Spin Sucks PESO Model 2.0 Masterclass now.


Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich