The Future of Media

60 minutes. 30 thought leaders. 15 questions.
One new view of public relations.

I had the opportunity to sit in on a webinar called the Future of Media hosted by Cision. Cision asked 15 questions on the roles of earned, owned, paid and social media, as well as the evolution of media outreach and the world of public relations and marketing. Thought leaders from across the nation were invited to give their answers to these puzzling questions frequently asked in the communications world, one such amazing thought leader was Gini Dietrich, one of the hosts of Inside PR.

Below are some of the answers and insight discusses during the webinar.

If you  have a different answer or opinion to one of these 15 questions, please leave a comment.

1. Traditional silos of paid, earned and owned media are now integrated. What is the new marketing mix?

The new media mix means organizations need to integrate all forms of marketing and public relations. Therefore, paid media links to a website which links to a media room and blog, which leads to earned media. That earned media is shared on social media and the cycle starts all over again.

Using social media is increasingly important to ensure a two way communication with stakeholders, journalist and consumers.

2. If paid media isn’t dying, how has it evolved?

Paid media has now become the first step in introducing corporate messaging. Paid media allows organizations to communicate a message, and then social media, owned media and earned media amplifies the message to the masses.

Paid media is still one of the fastest ways to communicate a message to the masses.

3. Is earned media playing a larger role in the new mix?

•Absolutely yes! Today journalist are not the only publishers, everyone and their uncle’s cat can publish something online. So organizations don’t just communicate with journalist, but should also communicate with bloggers and influencers on twitter. This earned media builds word of mouth, which in turn builds your brand.

4. What does it mean that every company is its own publisher?

This means organizations have a chance to be open and transparent. Publishing content in an open and transparent way builds trust with consumers and stakeholders.

Increasing the two way communication with an organization’s audience is important to build relationship and trust. By publishing content and soliciting feedback opens the doors for a two-way communication.

To build a relationship we cannot just talk about our products, we need to communicate our brand, talk about the people behind the company, etc. Writing blog posts about the human minds behind the new smart phones allows your audience to relate more with your brand.

We live in a content environment. When we create content we share it through social media, which keeps the conversation going.

5. How does owned content mesh with paid and earned?

Owned media can drive earned media. For example, linking social media releases through twitter, giving journalists a place to go to answer their questions about your company.

Owned content needs to provide substance to encourage earned media. Give your audience information and stories that will change or improve their lives.

6. How much are we really listening to the customer?

We have to be careful that we do not become anti-social in the social media environment. The definition of anti-social is “not following the social norms of a society”. If social media is a society, then the social norm is to be social, engage and start conversations. Therefore, being anti-social includes pushing out corporate messaging and ignoring consumer questions.

7. How has social media changed our concept of paid advertising?

Paid advertising is becoming more interactive with consumers. For example, the Old Spice Commercial related with consumers so much so that the video went viral. Paid advertising is not just available on “TV” anymore; you can now send a YouTube clip of a commercial you enjoyed.

Paid advertising still, however, remains a one-to-many communication, and as companies we need to strive for a one-to-one-to-many communication using social media.

8. How has social media changed our ability to generate earned?

Using social media has helped PR practitioners communicate with journalists in a way we never have been able to do so in the past. We can now learn about what journalists are talking about, what they are writing about, what are their beats, their interests, etc. This helps us build relationships with journalists.

We can now interact with journalists in real-time, i.e. comment on their articles to build a relationship.

“News no longer breaks, it tweets”

9. How credible is social media that’s owned by corporate marketers?

The purpose of social media is to engage and start conversations. If a company engages with their consumers and answers questions, social media can be very credible. However, steer clear of the one-to-many communication. Companies that fail to engage are seen as spam and less credible.

Social media is the new water cooler, stories are told and rumors are started. However, like with the water cooler, when the perpetrator of a rumor is figured out or a liar is revealed, the group turns against you. Same goes for social media environments, expect nowadays people are less tolerant of liars and will rally against not credible companies.

10. How is the role of earned media evolving?

Social media amplifies earned media. When a reporter writes about your company or your brand they share it on twitter, facebook, etc. Now others are talking about your company/brand. Because of this, it is important now more than ever to not lie, be transparent and honest.

11. What do PR people know that other marketers don’t?

PR practitioners know:

  • How to tell a story to help drive discussion about your business
  • The benefits of a two-way communication, not just pushing our corporate messaging, but listening and responding to concerns and questions or your audience.

12. What do marketers know that PR people don’t?

Marketers know:

  • How to build profitable relationships

13. What do journalists understand that PR people and marketers don’t?

Journalists know:

  • How to tell a story using plain language
  • How to make their writing clear and concise for readers
  • How to tell a story without selling a product, just telling a story

14. How can people responsible for PR, advertising and owned content collaborated?

Collaboration needs to be mandatory. And everyone needs to get on board. Start a conversation and talk about where each team fits in and how it will work if all teams come together.

Everyone, or at least one person from each team, needs to be involved in all planning from day one. Remember, even if you don’t think it applies to another team, copy them on emails to let them know the process and current situation of a project, it may affect them in the long term.

It is important to realize the collaboration will not happen overnight, but the more you do it the easier it will get.

15. How do we measure ROI in the era of radical integration?

Always ask yourself, what does success look like? Then measure against that image.

Think of measuring everything in a holistic manner. Don’t just measure twitter followers then declare success. Find out who tweeted your article? Was it retweeted? Was the article opened?

Make a list of the people engaging with you, and start a database. This can lead to real sales leads.

To access the full webinar visit

Is there a question above you have an answer to? Leave a comment with your opinion on the future of owned, earned, paid and social media.

2 Replies to “The Future of Media”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this Kristine! We hope you enjoyed the webinar!

    If anyone is interested in listening to the webinar, they can still register and will have full access to the recordings. They just need to go to 🙂 Thanks again!

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