Bye Bye PESO. Hello, SOEP?


PESO Model

PESO Model by Gini Dietrich from ArmentDietrich

In a study from 2016, Jim MacnamaraMay Lwin, Ana Adi, and Ansgar Zerfass,  note that a major shift is coming to the PR industry. Specifically, they predicted that practitioners will move away from what has become the backbone of today’s PR planning the PESO Model – paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media to an emerging ‘SOEP model’ -shared media, owned media, earned media, and paid media.

The research is quite in-depth and I encourage you to read the full article as they do touch on ethical implications and opportunities for the field of PR. However, to summarize a small portion, the authors note a reversal of importance in paid, earned, shared, and owned based on some of their data:

The forecast trend for the future is the most interesting and significant finding in relation to media channels. When communication professionals look three years into the future to 2018, only 46.9% see traditional media relations with print media as important and 53.7% see media relations with radio and TV as important (see Table 1). In comparison, 92.2% rate social media such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Sina Weibo, and so on, as important for strategic communication and 85.6% favor websites, intranets, and e-mail.

They go on to note that if this is indeed the way of the future, then the PESO Model will not reflect the priority in media strategies for organizations. Rather, SOEP- shared, owned, earned, and paid, will better address an organizations priority in planning.

I have extensively researched the PESO Model, taught it in my classes, and wrote about it. What I find most interesting about this prediction is that in all my work, I have never prioritized any of the areas over another.

They are not linear, rather they overlap.

Furthermore, I am a firm believer in the right strategy targeted toward an organization’s key audience. The crux of PR planning is grounded in research. The research will guide the strategy and ultimately the tactics used to carry out the campaign.

I believe Gini Dietrich, the woman, and brains behind the PESO model, sums it up best on her website ArmentDietrich when she writes:

The PESO Model was invented as a process for the PR industry to integrate a full communications program.

2018 is just two months away. I’m curious, as PR practitioners, are you seeing a shift away from  PESO to SOEP? Have you thought of PESO as a prioritization of paid, earned, shared, and owned media? Do you consider PESO part of a fully integrated communications program?




  One thought on “Bye Bye PESO. Hello, SOEP?

  1. October 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    As the creator (and thank you for the credit) of the PESO model, you are EXACTLY right when you say that they’re not linear. They overlap.

    If I were to arrange them by priority, I would actually add research and planning first and then, depending on the business, probably do OEPS. In some businesses, you might have one media type take priority over others, but it’s pretty imperative to have owned media. Without out, you have nothing for the other three media types.

    If we were to prioritize and take a complete look, it would be RPOEPSM. Research, planning, owned, earned, paid, shared, and measurement.

    But that’s very difficult for people to remember…and the first rule in branding is to create something simple. Hence, PESO.

    • October 19, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Agreed, we always need to start with research. Thus the ROSTIR – research/diagnosis, objectives, strategies, tactics – within here PESO, implementation, and reporting/evaluation.

      An overarching issue I see in the field is that for so long planning models have been linear. New models, like yours, are circular. This is a shift in mindset. And, while I’d like to believe most of the field is there, I know many simply are not. Every campaign is unique.

  2. brandonlazovic
    October 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    So the change in the acronym stems from a shift in priority regarding the four quadrants? If so, I wasn’t aware that they were arranged by priority, or that certain quadrants took precedence over others. Really interesting. i also understand the acronym, although it’s nowhere near as catchy as PESO.

    • October 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      If you see Gini’s comment above Brandon, you’ll notice she never intended for the model to be prioritized. I have never thought of it in that way. I came across the journal article and it was intriguing for exactly this notion. I was curious to hear what others thought and what Gini herself though. I personally don’t believe the field will move to SOEP.

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