PR and Communication Channels

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When a company implements a public relations tragedy, there are a few types of main communication channels it can implement. More specifically, there are three types of media that companies can use to manage their public relations strategy including owned, paid, and earned media.


Owned media is all of the communication channels and resources that the company owns. These channels include the company’s own business website, any landing pages or blogs, social media profiles, email, the company’s YouTube channel, and more. Owned media is considered any communication channel that the company has complete control over and can manage in any way that the business sees fit. This is also the most important type of communication channel because companies can use it to give potential customers a window into the business. That means any owned media channels need to reflect the company’s brand image and be navigated according to the public relations strategy that the company is utilizing. Furthermore, most of the brand mentions that a company receives from others can be linked back to any one of the owned media channels, with the most common choice for most businesses being the business website.


Paid media is any promotional outlet that a company uses and pays for so it can get exposure. These communication channels include everything from banner, native, and pay-per-click ads, social media ads, sponsored posts, influencer marketing campaigns, and more. Companies that utilize paid media efforts in their public relations strategies can reach and target both existing customers as well as potential new customers.


The last communication channel that’s available to companies is earned media which is media coverage that the company can obtain, which is not always easy to do so. However, despite its difficulties, it’s incredibly useful for companies to generate positive media coverage so that the business can improve its reputation with the target audience, the general public, as well as its existing customers. Earned media is any organic media coverage a company gets without actually purchasing any ad space.

These communication channels include social media mentions that talk about the company, customer reviews in digital spaces, reviews from other industry leaders or journalists, word-of-mouth recommendations, any sort of media coverage of the company or its solutions, and more. Companies that use earned media as a communication channel for their public relations efforts give the opportunity to build more trust and credibility with the target audience, engage with potential customers, increase their reach, and promote themselves in a trustworthy way to the customers. Although there are three different types of communication channels that companies can utilize for their public relations efforts, it’s best to use every single one, instead of focusing on a specific one. That’s because only focusing on one channel usually ends up backfiring for companies, which means they need to become a key element of any public relations strategy.

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