Last month, when we introduced our new PESO Model Certified Guide© program, I mentioned that one of our goals is to eventually have every graduating communications, marketing, and advertising student certified in the PESO Model.

This will ensure that all young professionals entering the associated fields understand the framework and how to implement it into their daily lives. And, of course, they will be great advocates for ensuring that every business uses it, too!

A pretty lofty goal, but if we gain the adoption of it and of Spin Sucks, the book, as a textbook (second edition coming soon!) in nearly every program in the country, I think we can achieve it.

Imagine what that world looks like—a world where everyone is working together versus in silos. Where everyone sings from the same songbook. Where everyone measures outcomes in the same way. Where business leaders ask for it because those who don’t have the certification aren’t executing at the same sophisticated level as those who do. 

It’s a dream right now, but we can make it happen together.

The PESO Model Certification© In Higher Ed

Let’s first discuss students, then move to business leaders—and to you. If you’re not a professor, bear with me. I’ll get to you in a few minutes.

As of today, hundreds of schools use Spin Sucks as a textbook (second edition coming soon!), and even more teach the basic idea of the PESO Model. This is very exciting and a great start to realizing this industry-wide dream.

But it’s just the beginning. While a good understanding of what the PESO Model entails is great, most students don’t understand how they will use it during their careers. Because the certification is hands-on and has real-world applications, students will learn how to use it in class and have a good foundation for applying it once they start working. 

They can jumpstart their careers with the PESO Model Certification©. It teaches them advanced marketing communications skills, specifically designing and measuring an integrated marketing program using paid, earned, shared, and owned media. 

As you well know, the convergence of marketing strategies continues to increase rapidly, and students with these skills will be able to compete for post-graduation positions.

The course includes eight modules with step-by-step instructions, case studies, downloadable templates, and actionable strategies. Each module contains several lessons that are no more than 10 minutes long. Achieving certification within a semester is easily attainable. 

At the end of the coursework, students will be able to:

  • Apply their knowledge and contribute to an organization’s business strategy with a PESO Model framework that earns measurable business results.
  • Design an integrated strategy and connect tactics to business goals.
  • Create an integrated lead generation program that demonstrates ROI.
  • Develop measurable objectives and correlate results with organizational goals.

Upon completing the modules and online evaluation, students will earn a prestigious certificate that can be included on their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and personal websites. 

The PESO Model is recognized globally as the gold standard and most referenced framework for strategic digital communications—and we can help you teach your students how to apply it with a certification to prove they understand it.

The resources and templates in the PESO Model™ Certification course are available to your students for life. Certification recipients must complete a short, low-cost continuing education module every two years and retest to ensure they always have the most up-to-date skills and resources. 

We offer it to students for a ridiculously low price of $50. Some schools buy a license and offer it to students for free, while others require it as one of their “textbooks.” We are very happy to work with you to ensure that it’s a low barrier to entry for them. 

We also work with many professors to customize it for their lesson plans and ensure their students get the most out of it. I’ve also been known to Zoom into classrooms to do live Q&As as they go through the work, which means you have one less class to prepare for!

Let me know if you teach a PR, marketing, or advertising course and want to learn more! And if you know someone who teaches, please let them know this is available to them. 

What It Means for Comms Pros

It’s no surprise that communications has drastically changed in the last decade—really, since 2007, so the last 17 years—almost two decades of constant change. I guess that’s a trend we should all recognize isn’t going to change. The only thing we know for sure is that things will constantly change.

Because of this, I constantly review the PESO Model framework and what needs to be updated. That was the genesis of the refreshed model a couple of months ago. So much has changed since its last iteration in 2020 that it needed a complete overhaul. 

It takes a more consistent and diligent approach to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest for the Certification. So, as things come out and we’ve had some time to test them in our internal PESO Model framework, I add them to the Certification.

This is a long way to say that it is constantly evolving and always updated with the latest and greatest ways to plan, execute, and measure our work.

If you have difficulty keeping up with everything that affects our industry or get overwhelmed with everything you have to teach yourself and implement, we have your back!  

With just a few minutes a day, you can earn your certification and stay up-to-date with all of our industry’s changes. 

You will learn how to:

  • Use the PESO Model framework in 2024 and beyond
  • Implement it the way it was intended when I created it
  • Design integrated strategies that tie back to business goals.
  • Convert your communications efforts into demonstrable ROI
  • Refine how you demonstrate results that matter to your executives or clients 

And, because of our big vision to have every student certified when they graduate, you will eventually be left behind if you don’t also have it.

The good news is the certification lasts for two years. It requires a small fee and an update on what has changed since you last took it, and you are re-certified. 

This means that when things like AI take over everyone’s conversations, and Google announces that it’s changing our search results, you will have the most updated information on how that affects your job.

As Charlie Sheen famously said back in the day, “Winning!”

Why Business Leaders Should Care

And now for business leaders. 

I often hear from friends who hire agencies that they’ve had people come in to pitch their business, presenting the PESO Model as if it’s their own. The bad news is that this happens (and my legal team is very busy). The good news is that those agencies aren’t hired because lots and lots and lots of people know who created it. Thank you, friends. 

So, there is a world where many communicators, marketers, and advertisers use it, which is great! That’s how we’ll achieve this big dream of ours. But just because they say they use it doesn’t mean they use it properly or as it was intended—and this goes for the big agencies, too, who act like they’ve built something proprietary. They haven’t. 

The only way to know who truly knows how to implement it to get your organization the results you’re driving toward is to ask the new college graduates, the professionals, and the agencies you hire to prove they are certified in it. And this goes for the big agencies, too.

We haven’t reached this vision yet, but are moving toward it. If you start now by prioritizing professionals who have the certification, eventually, everyone who wants to excel in this industry will have it.

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