Why EOP should replace the PESO model

PR Agency Germany - Industrie-Contact
Why EOP should replace the PESO model

Focus on customers

Communication professionals should focus on EOP rather than PESO and focus more on the customer instead of the media channel.

PESO stands for Paid, Earned, Shared/Social & Owned media. The PESO model has served as an orientation for many communication professionals in recent years to find their way in a changing media world. With the help of this model, strategic decisions were made as to which channels the marketing budget should be directed to. The model was developed especially under the influence of modern digital communication. Probably this influence caused a term to slip into the grid, which doesn’t belong here at all: shared media or social media.

If you look at the other three elements of the PESO model, this becomes obvious: Paid media, earned media and owned media express something else. Owned media such as your own website is under your own control and can be controlled at any time with your own content. Paid media indicates that you have to pay for a medium to get access to it. Earned media is the area where you have to earn the placement through good content without the necessary flow of money.

Shared or social media work differently. Everyone (private persons and consumers, bloggers, journalists, etc.) can post their content there. Social media can be paid, earned or owned media.

Another classification of shared or social media would be to relate them to print, electronic or digital media. They will then be listed there as a subgroup of digital media.

EOP – the superior model

From a PR point of view, a conceptual model other than PESO would be preferable: EOP. This abbreviation stands for Earned, Owned and Paid Media. Earned Media is the king category and the goal of all communicators. Communication agencies from the fields of “advertising” and “digital” have long recognized the quality of earned media for themselves and “smuggle” themselves into this PR domain with camouflage names such as native advertising” or “content marketing” and turn earned media into paid media. The strength of the PR professionals, however, remains to prepare the content so well and journalistically that there is no need to pay for the placement.

Get out of the silos

Sabrina Rizzo from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts proposes another model in which she focuses on four types of content without abandoning the PESO model as a guideline: Dialogue (as intersection of owned & shared Content), native advertising (intersection earned & paid content), advocacy (intersection earned & shared content), promoted content (intersection owned and paid content).

Sabrina Rizzo’s primary objective is to put the customer at the centre of communication rather than the channels, because the latter leads to thinking in silos. She also believes that a powerful campaign should nowadays consider all content types conceptually. In the end, she sees the biggest challenge in creating structures within a company that do not focus on channel thinking. This transformation process needs some patience.


EOP puts the term “Earned media” first, which makes sense from the PR experts’ perspective as it underlines the quality of public relations. Sabrina Rizzo wants to get out of the channel silos and focus on the customer and has redefined the various content types. At the same time, she also calls on companies to leave the channel silos, which requires personnel restructuring.

The debate on the PESO model remains exciting.



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