Business owners know that using "media" is the best way to target mass audiences. But what does that word, media, encapsulate? How do we classify and manage our buckets of media?
We could try to communicate it ourselves, but our good friend Gini Dietrich, lead blogger at SpinSucks.com, and CEO of marketing and communications firm Arment Dietrich, nailed it in a blog post that spans just about two printed pages. In The Four Different Types of Media, Gini describes: paid media, earned media, owned media, and shared media. [If you like reading Gini, you should check out the book she co-authored with Geoff Livingston, Marketing in the Round. Love you Gini, and Go Steelers! (Liam made me do it.)]
Paid Media is essentially paid advertisements - commercials, Facebook ads, billboards...anything with a price tag on it. Creative agencies come into play here, along with their design teams and sales experts. While this is probably the most effective form of reaching your target audience, it is also the most expensive.
This falls under the public relations umbrella - aka publicity. PR firms are consulted rather frequently to get a product or company out there on big name newspapers, magazines, news stations, or talk shows. Unfortunately, hiring PR firms is expensive, time consuming, and will not necessarily yield the desired results, in particular if this effort is done in isolation, rather than a consolidated approach.