Inside Marketing: Do You PESO?

female marketer creating content and digital marketing plan
By Haleigh Tomasek

3 minutes

How credit unions can invigorate their PR and marketing initiatives with a comprehensive media strategy

When it comes to public relations and marketing, everyone is looking for the big secret to successful initiatives—especially in this unique time where many organizations are either slashing their budgets, canceling campaigns or looking at their current programs differently to be efficient in both communication results and cost effectiveness.

Instead of focusing too much on individual marketing initiatives, credit union executives must realize that the true power of communications and media lies in integrating all tactics into a powerful unified strategy that not only enhances a brand but drives sales and member retention. The best part is that these strategies rely on building and distributing strong content that can still be created by your team remotely while addressing COVID-19 needs.

One easy way to think of media is to understand the channels it occupies—just remember PESO, an integrated framework for planning PR and communications strategies.

Let’s break down the PESO model and how credit unions can best incorporate these practices into their communications initiatives:

P for Paid Media

While many think of paid media along the lines of Superbowl commercials or an advertisement on a billboard, paid media can also include social media advertising on such platforms as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. It can also come in the form of sponsored content to your favorite trade publications or email marketing campaigns. There is emphasis on the word “paid”—a fee is associated with this type of marketing for guaranteed placement and control over the message.

E for Earned Media

Earned media is most often associated with public relations or the media relations functions of communications because a gatekeeper controls access to the channel, whether it is a local newspaper, online blog or an influencer’s social media account. Credit unions earn their placement in these publications by pitching or contacting reporters and editors to convince them to either interview someone at the credit union or accept an article that is authored by an individual at the credit union. This is considered earned because no payment is involved, but rather the PR or media relations team “earned” the opportunity.

S for Shared Media

Shared media can also be referred to as social media. This form of communication is referred to as shared because the credit union is actively sharing and promoting it. From announcements to using social media as a customer service tool, organizations can use this as their own direct platform to get news out or keep members and the community updated and involved.

O for Owned Media

Owned media is synonymous with content. Everything from blogs to whitepapers, it is content that lives on the organization’s website. The messaging is controlled and often is used as a resource for customers and partners.

Credit union marketing teams can review the PESO model best to identify the media tactics that best fit strategic initiatives. By integrating the four media types, your organization can establish authority with internal audiences, current members and prospective members.

The basics behind marketing and public relations are building brand awareness, keeping others in the know of what is going on with the organization and driving individuals to do business with the you. By following this model, credit unions of all sizes can communicate how their organization is a member’s best resource for day-to-day financial services and how it provides personal benefits the larger banks cannot match.

When planning out your credit union’s communications plan, just PESO.

Haleigh Tomasek is an account representative at William Mills Agency, the nation's largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or its blog.

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