the organization to create seamlessly
integrated campaigns across all media.
PR professionals know, of course,
that their job is to build meaningful
relationships with their stakeholders.
However, doing so today means reaching them through paid, earned, owned
and shared media—understanding
how all of these channels work, the
content each requires, and how to
piece it all together into an integrated
plan. Clearly, PR is no longer about
just getting “ink” in print or pixels. It’s
about developing multichannel relationships with a variety of stakeholders. It means learning more about paid
media and how to incorporate those
costs into budgets. It means integrating social ads, sponsored content and
syndicated content into strategies from
the very beginning. It means the PR
professionals with experience in paid,
owned and earned media are going to
become much more valuable.
If you want to remain relevant in this
digital and multichannel PR world,
you have to stop looking at only media
hits and impressions and start thinking through the entire customer journey across all channels. Here are just a
few scenarios you might face:
• A reporter from The New York Times
just called and said he’s doing a story
on your brand! Will he blog about it
too? Will he share it with his 100,000
Twitter followers and Facebook fans?
Is your brand willing to retweet his
story? How can you use your own
channels to drive more traffic to that
• The blog content you’re publishing is
relevant, valuable and engaging—yet
no one is reading it. What’s the right
syndication partner to use to increase
your audience size? Should you use
paid search links to drive traffic?
How will the increased traffic impact
your bounce rate?
• What’s the hashtag for that event
you’re planning? Should you even
have one? How will you create shareable moments during the event?
Who’s serving as the digital emcee?
• Your brand is doing a large paid media
buy with one of your target publications. How does this impact your
pitch to the editorial staff? How segregated are their advertising and editorial teams?
Building and maintaining stake-holder relationships today is very
different than even a few years ago.
Thankfully, the tools used to manage
them have evolved as well. The reach
and influence of some organizations’
owned channels rival that of some
traditional publications. Some publications offer sponsored content hubs
that mirror the look and feel of their
editorial content. The social media
newsfeed has become a mishmash of
sponsored and organic content, and
they’re often indistinguishable from
each other. Knowing when and how
to pull these paid, earned, owned and
shared levers could make you a multichannel PR quarterback.
As the lines between paid and earned
media disappear, today’s PR professionals have to be more proactive and
get more involved across the entire
marketing mix. Whether that’s being
part of the creative team brainstorming the new commercial or working
with paid media to create more effective media partnerships, one thing’s
clear: You have to figure out how to
get more involved in other channels
across the digital landscape—or risk
being left behind.
about the author
Steve Radick is a vice president of public relations at
Cramer-Krasselt (C-K), the
advertising agency in the
U.S. He supports a diverse
set of clients, including
Cedar Fair amusement
parks, Maui Jim, Vitamix
and Heinz. He joined C-K
after nine years at management consulting firm Booz
Allen Hamilton, where he
created and led the social
media practice. Find him at