The Presscast Approach to Owned, Earned and Paid Media

For Public Relations professionals, Presscast combines the advantages of owned, earned and paid media.  This article examines the benefits and drawbacks of each classical media category, and explains how Presscast can be leveraged to disrupt Media Relations.

  1. Owned Media
  2. Earned Media
  3. Paid Media
  4. Presscast

Owned Media

Owned media relates to all web property that you control. Whether it’s a website or even a social media channel, the value of owned media is that you have full discretion over content and messaging. And with this discretion, you can ensure that your message or product is portrayed to your audience exactly as intended. Additionally, you have the ability to insert a “call to action” to better shepard consumers down your funnel

Challenge of Owned Media: The difficulty with owned media is that it requires time and resource investment. Whether done by a team or an individual, developing content is a manual process and depending on the format of your content, it can take days or even weeks to produce. Owned media is the ideal format from a messaging standpoint,  but it comes at the cost of long production times, slow return on investment and the need to cultivate an engaged audience.

Earned Media

“Earned media” is PR equivalent word-of-mouth. You pitch your message to a publisher (often a journalist) in hopes of positive coverage. The organic nature of earned media is where it derives its value, but also involves risks ranging from an absence of result to the presence of negative coverage.  As its name implies, publication in earned media signals you have earned the endorsement through merit alone.

Challenge of Earned Media: while earned media is promising in principle, it is problematic in practice. First, the process of acquiring earned media-coverage is manual and involves reaching out to publishers to pitch your story. There is no guarantee your message will be published, and even if it does, you have no control over its fidelity — i.e.: how true to your message the final product will be.

Secondly, even in the unlikely event that your message gets published unaltered, you’re not driving sales directly because earned media will never publish anything resembling a call to action.  Remember: earned media is never an ad.

Paid media’s main advantage is scalability of distribution. The only practical limit how wide an audience you can reach is is budget, The paid media approach allows you to pay a publisher to distribute the full length content you have produced on their platform providing you with a pre established audience and cutting out the costs associated with hosting your own publishing platform.
Challenge of Paid Media: while using paid media to circumvent the process of building a platform and audience, you still need to produce content, which is a decidedly non-scalable process. But you also have a cost aspect to consider.  If you are expecting to receive plenty of value from being being published,you can expect to pay a hefty price — easily in the triple-digits.


Presscast allows you to natively embed your message within a publisher’s article. Not only does this give you control over messaging and targeting, but the price-point is significantly cheaper than classical paid media.  Additionally, the process is streamlined to the point where there are virtually no limits to how far you can scale Presscast campaigns There’s nothing preventing your message from appearing in hundreds of thousands of highly-relevant articles.

To recap, Presscast provides the best bits of all three types of media:

  1. You keep control over your message and choose how it is embedded into a publisher’s content.
  2. You can ensure a call to action aimed at a targeted audience so that click throughs (and eventually sales) can be prioritised.
  3. You can scale yours campaigns to the extent of our marketing budget.

Click here to take advantage of the Presscast approach to media.

Presscast – unrehearsed speedrun

Presscast for Public Relations

This resource shows Public Relations (PR) professionals how they can augment their Media Relations with Presscast.  Readers will learn how to use Presscast to secure valuable press coverage across specialized media.

In general, PR professionals are advised to shift focus away from traditional journalism and instead look to insert their client’s message into more specialized, Tier II publications. Additionally, we examine how the ability to track performance and provides measurable results is crucial for client retention.

  1. The State of Media Relations
  2. Tier 1 vs Tier 2 Media
  3. The Importance of Results

The Media Relations

Not so long ago, TV and print media each had a national reach in the high 90th percentile, and being covered by the Times was a surefire way for a brand to become a household name. Those days are gone. As mainstream media players continue to lose market shares each year, hundreds of thousands of small, specialized publications have cropped up around hundreds of industry verticals. Where a few hundred authoritative newspapers used to dominate, hundreds of thousands of digital pure players have stepped in to fill the vacuum. The result is that today’s media landscape now bears an uncanny resemblance to Fast-Moving Consumer Goods — it is a landscape dominated by short-lived fads, and where staying up to date is 90% of the battle.

And yet, there’s something of a collective delusion in our industry.  PR firms have mostly failed to go digital, preferring Tier I media-coverage instead of the programmatically-targeted, performance-driven PR their clients actually want.
As PR firms continue to argue the intangible benefits of Tier I media-coverage (publicity, image, mind-share,brand-association, etc.) they forget that most businesses only care about such things insofar as they drive sales.  For the average SMB, this amounts to  something closer to content marketing than news coverage.  In other words, consumers don’t want to be told about a company; they want to learn about a topic.  From a PR perspective, this means success is measured not by the number of feature pieces, but by the number of times the client is mentioned in relevant content (ideally with a link).

(Tier) 2 is better than 1

Robert Browns of PR Old Street Communications proclaimed that Media Relations are dying because “the pool of available journalists and quality publications PRs can target is shrinking,” but this is only half correct.

While it’s true that the ratio of PR consultants to Tier 1 journalists is shrinking, the number of quality publications is not. Again, the growth is located in Tier II publications:  small, usually online-only publications that target niche verticals. These publications not only offer a wide pool of high-quality content, but also provide a means to segment and target the audience.

Rather than prioritizing publications by their absolute reach, digital PR makes it possible to compose dozens of niche publications in order to reach the exact combination of geography and demographics desired.  

Of course, this means one has to rethink the traditional strategy of individually contacting journalists. Now, with the sheer scale of Tier II publishing, a more automated approach is necessary.

Email outreach is the simplest approach, but it remains a fundamentally ad hoc process, meaning that the bulk of one’s time will be spent negotiating with editors. Furthermore, publishers are increasingly wary of guest-posting, which undermines a publication’s voice when performed in excess. Editors regularly increase their prices for guest posting in an attempt to reduce demand.

This is where Presscast offers a viable alternative.  By providing a structured negotiation for embedding native messages in publications, Presscast allows publishers to maintain voice, quality and other editorial standards without limiting third-party contributors.  As a result, prices remain reasonable and PR agents can run scalable media relations campaigns across a broad spectrum of Tier IIs. With Presscast’s media analytics, PR professionals can mix and match publishers to reach their desired audience, as well as track impressions and click-through rates.

Click here to run a programatically-targeted, performance-driven PR campaign.

Results Matter

For PR professionals, end-of-month reporting can be filled with dread. Officially, clients are billed hourly with no obligation of material results, but reality is far less generous. In practice, some form of result is required if the contract is to be renewed, yet hard numbers (especially actionable ones) are incredibly difficult to produce.

While tools like Muck Rack allow PR professionals to perform journalist outreach, they do nothing to actually secure coverage, let alone allow the client to relate money spent to money earned.

 Since the advent of Google Ads (formerly AdWords), the whole of marketing and communications moved towards optimizable processes, i.e.: business practices that allow the redirection of cash-flow from under-performing operations to lucrative ones.  The future of PR (especially Media Relations) is in agile, iterative processes, and this implies real-time reporting.

But fear not — we’ve got this covered, too.  

Click here to start measuring your results in real-time.

Presscast – unrehearsed speedrun

3 ways for Marketers to Master Presscast Without Breaking a Sweat

If you haven’t already heard, is officially live and out of Beta! Marketers can now place targeted advertisements directly into content produced by over 300 web publishers across 42 different industry verticals.

Presscasting should feel familiar to anyone who’s worked with advertising platforms such as Google or Facebook Ads. Nevertheless, here’s a quick video how-to:

Presscast – unrehearsed speedrun

Despite the well-oiled process, it usually takes a few attempts before consistently getting good results. This makes us sad, because there’s no reason your first campaign can’t be a huge, promotion-inducing success. After talking with hundreds of marketers, we’ve compiled the feedback into three plays that anyone can execute for immediate results. Start a campaign for one or all of these and get ready to kick back with your feet on the table as Presscast takes over.

1. Be the example

Well-written articles start by listing conclusions first, and then follow-up with details and examples. This means you can always embed your content right below the article’s main point, using your company/product as an example.

Examples are helpful, so let’s pretend you’re marketing CRM software like SalesForce. You know that Social CRMs are the hot new thing in 2019, and you want to position your product as a leader in that particular niche. How do you proceed? Simple.

  1. Go on and an article that’s talking about sales software, CRMs, marketing or leadgen.
  2. Find the passage that mentions Social CRMs and their advantages.
  3. Insert some text into the article that shows how SalesForce is the best-in-class Social CRM.

If you play your cards right, you should have something that looks what you just read.

2. Be the contrast

Once you get the hang of play #1, the rest just click into place. If you know how to be an example, you also know how to be a contrast. The trick here is to look for negative articles — ones that draw attention to problems in your industry.

From there, look for a passage that mentions the problem you address. With a bit of keyword-cleverness, you should be able to consistently match with articles that talk about this problem. Once you’ve found that article, embed a mention of your company/brand/product as The One That’s Different. Companies like Apple do this very effectively by inviting comparison between themselves and their lower-quality PC counterparts.

3. Be the expert

This is the hardest play of them all, but potentially the most beneficial, especially in reputation-driven B2B markets. Consultants and other freelancers stand to reap the most benefits from this play because it combines both advertising and thought-leadership into one measurable, optimizable campaign.

Instead of mentioning your brand and linking to your website, embed a quote that provides insight into a market trend. You can attribute the quote to yourself or, with permission, a senior member of your company.

Wrapping up

As always, the trick with Presscasting is not to hard-sell. Just as in content marketing or inbound, you want to provide value to your leads, thereby positioning yourself as a legitimate actor in your field.

But really, it’s not that hard. Give it a whirl and let us know how it goes!