Marketing & PR

PR and Today’s CMO

AJ Guenther

What keeps your company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) up at night? Ask him or her, and you will probably get some iteration of the following:

  • How do I protect/enhance my brand?

  • Am I addressing the full customer experience?

  • How does digital fit into my strategy?

  • How do I make my company stand out?

  • How do I measure success?

As the role of the CMO continues to expand – to include everything from marketing, advertising and branding to content development and (gasp) PR – a new question might emerge: What the heck is PR anymore? For an individual who might not have PR “chops” – or at least might not be as up-to-date on the changing PR landscape – adding this competency to the marketing mix might lead to some of those sleepless nights.

And, it probably should. The PR environment is changing drastically as the various generations of consumers access, identify and react to information and brands in decisively different ways. This includes the rise of the visual story, the increasing importance of influencer marketing and the old “word of mouth” (although with a digital bent).

There is also this evolution of the everyday “reporter.” The fact that anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can publish editorial and promote an agenda. Combine this with the continued consolidation of our nation’s newspapers and magazines, as well as the movement to entirely digital news platforms, and the need for your company and its brand to be covered on reputable media platforms is even more important. You could say that PR is more important now than ever, and this should resonate with the CMO, but it’s how they approach it that will determine success.

Collecting PESOs

Today, more than ever, CMOs need to adopt the PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned) model for effective PR…and marketing in general. PESO is clearly not a new concept, but with the changing environment – the continued blurring of the PR-marketing line – the model is never more relevant. For those who are unaware of the PESO model, it combines the following:

  • Paid: influencer marketing

  • Earned: favorable coverage (what us PR practitioners strive to achieve)

  • Shared: social media

  • Owned: thought leadership (company generated content)

PR is now a critical component in all of these areas, and must be integrated as part of the CMO’s strategy across the board. How do we share our earned placements? How do we leverage our owned content for the earned? How can we incorporate the owned and the earned with our paid campaigns? And then how do we share that?

When done correctly, the PESO approach will deliver the results and, most importantly, the metrics to address that last thing keeping those CMOs awake – how do I measure success?

To hear more about this topic, Yes& will be presenting during the 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference, taking place June 12 in Baltimore, MD.

AJ Guenther
AJ Guenther
Director of Public Relations

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