The 4 Types of Media: Are You Doing Everything You Can to Reach Your Audience?

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, 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
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.
Earned Media
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.

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Help with Social Media Marketing is Imperative

A recent Business Insider article featured an image from a recent Buddy Media event, depicting just how out of hand the social media space has become.

Social Marketing Landscape

As a small business owner, how does one hope to stay on top of the current tools, let alone the daily changes of importance? 

One can't.

What about something as simple as "where should I put my online advertising dollars?" Did you know the average click-through rate for an internet ad is .1 percent?  Facebook's results - 1/2 that, .05%.  How about Google Ad Sense?  Quadruple the web average, .4% click-through.  Check out this infographic, the source of my statistics.  Google ads are 8 times more effective than Facebook!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).