After last week’s article, a Spin Sucks Community member commented, “Gini, I loved your article on how to evolve our PESO Model™ work. I’m considering pushing our clients more in the direction of owned media for all of the reasons you listed, but I’m anticipating I’ll get pushback on how many people will see the content if it’s “just” on their blog.”

“Just” on your blog is a silly reason not to do something. Yes, there is a bit of ego involved in being published somewhere else, but if you properly execute a PESO Model program, which starts with owned, the case for publishing on something you own will far outweigh doing so elsewhere. 

This is because you’ll be doing so much more than “just” publishing on the blog. You’ll also use social media to promote and distribute the content. You’ll use earned media to give it credibility, authority, and an SEO gold star. You’ll use paid media to boost it to new audiences. And, when you use all four at the same time, you’ll also build an email subscriber list and work with influencers and improve lead nurturing and build the increasingly important E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authority, and trust.

It’s More Than “Just” a Blog

Owned media is complex. It’s often the most challenging thing a communications team can take on. It takes a long time to create, a long time to gain traction, and a long time to get results. But with patience and hard work, the results are outstanding. 

Unfortunately, the patience piece of that formula is usually the most challenging part. Because it takes as long as it does for meaningful results, many executives dictate that the work stops and the comms team goes to work on something else—and then everyone moans about how content didn’t work.

Late last week, I read an article about the multi-year marketing strategy that Mattel is employing. Their vision is to go from toy manufacturer to an AI-driven business, and the Barbie movie was one of the first things they launched in that direction. Which is…content. They also have 14 more movie ideas in the works—three with Tom Hanks. All content. 

Imagine the amount of patience that has to go into delivering that kind of strategy. Years and years of exact execution before they realize their vision. And they’ll get there because it’s clear they understand that overnight success does not, after all, happen overnight. Not to mention they’ve hired a CMO they trust to help them get there. Ahhhh. What a lucky woman she is!

Owned Media Allows For More Control

In a world where things continue to change and evolve, content is one of the most important things you can do. In fact, if I were to order the PESO Model™ acronym in order of media importance, I would always put owned media first. The challenge, of course, is OESP or OSEP isn’t as easy to remember as PESO. But yes, owned media should come first.

That is because you need it so you can: 

  • Prove to a journalist or influencer that you are industry experts.
  • Have something to share on social media to drive visitors to your website.
  • Boost to gain new followers and reach new audiences. 
  • Include in lead nurturing campaigns. 
  • Increase search engine optimization, both traditionally and with AI.
  • Build links to your website (which also helps with SEO).
  • Provide thought leadership that drives results.
  • Build inbound marketing.

With owned media, instead of waiting for something interesting to happen to react to, you remain in control of the conversation. You can flip the communications model and have something to talk about every, single day.

It takes the onus off needing to have reporters talk about your business to you doing it—assuming you do it with true thought leadership and aren’t gross and sales-y. It’s far easier to track results, it’s measurable, and it provides an opportunity to speak directly to your prospects and customers.

Prioritizing Owned Media In an Evolving World

In last week’s article, I mentioned the rise of the TikTok news anchor while hundreds of journalists are being laid off. Traditional media is slowly dying and losing importance. If we are to survive as an industry, we need to do more than earned media. It’s because of this and the other evolutions we’ve seen in the past decade that I’m such a strong proponent of the PESO Model. When you get good at implementing it, it won’t matter what the world throws at you. You’ll be able to evolve quickly and effectively. 

While many people want to run to the latest and greatest thing—Substack, Medium, and LinkedIn, among them, having content on something you own has far more benefits than creating thought leadership on a platform someone else owns.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use those places to distribute content—you absolutely should. A comprehensive strategy should include both. But that falls under the shared media portion of the PESO Model, and we’re focused on owned media right now. 

One of the things I want you to think about is content doesn’t have to be written. It can also be audio or video (or both). Anything you can do to capture a full audience—people who learn by reading, those who learn by listening, and those who learn by watching, which is the majority of human beings.

Leveraging the PESO Model™

About 18 months ago, we launched a podcast for a client that serves as the starting point for all of their owned media. It has both audio and video versions, which we publish to the website—and then use YouTube to gain extra SEO gold stars and viewers. We write at least two, sometimes three (depending on how insightful the guest was) blog posts to accompany each episode. We use social media and email marketing to promote it. Then, we use the LinkedIn creative feature to write a newsletter. This allows us to use the point-of-view expressed in the episode to create commentary from followers. The only thing we don’t do (yet) is put money behind it to boost it, and that’s simply because we haven’t needed to yet.

In 2023, that PESO Model process (minus paid media) created 113 sales-qualified leads and $3.1MM in new revenue. And it all started with content. 

Don’t ignore all of the other media types, but do start with owned media. Then use the others to help you distribute, promote, and exceed your goals. If you do, you’ll see far more success than “just” a blog post.

A Fun Little Ditty

If you hang out here often, you know I’m big on measurement. How do we measure the work that we do so executives see the value to the bottom line versus assuming we are promoting some sort of witchcraft?

The answer, of course, is it depends, but if you are doing any sort of podcasting—pitching them as part of your earned media efforts or hosting as part of your owned media efforts—you have some specific metrics to hit. But do you know what they are?

The company that produces the Spin Sucks podcast, One Stone Creative, has a quick and free tutorial with dozens of metrics to track, depending on your goals. You will know exactly what to track after being tutored.

You can find it by clicking here.

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