The PESO Tool – Categorizing Your Communication Types

By: Amanda Young

What is the PESO tool?

The PESO tool is a model that organizes paid, earned, shared, and owned media.  The model is used by companies who are looking to develop an integrated marketing strategy.  The tool is a great way for businesses to monitor what types of media are and are not working for them.   Paid media includes media that is created in exchange for money.  Earned media includes content that is created by the company’s audience.  Shared media includes media that is created by the company and that is shared on platforms other than the company’s social media platforms.  Lastly, owned media includes content that the company creates to share on their own social media platforms.

What segmenting paid media tells you:

Engaging with paid media is the best way for businesses to make sure their target market is seeing their content.

What segmenting earned media tells you:

Earned media gives businesses a better look into seeing what influencers think of their product or service and see how the public reacts.  Earned media is a great way to gain credibility

What segmenting shared media tells you:

Shared media can be a tricky type of media to understand.  When thinking about what shared media is think of it as an online version of word-of-mouth marketing. 

What segmenting owned media tells you:

Having owned media is essential for a business. Owned media is the foundation of all of a company’s media.  In fact, it was estimated that by 2020 most a business’s customers will first communicate with them through owned media.

The Pros and Cons of Each Media Type




Easy to scale

-More money = more exposure


-Can be expensive

Not always seen as trustworthy




Relationship building

-Can help boost SEO



-Can take some time




-Relatively inexpensive

-Build trust


-The more content does not always guarantee more shares

Hard to predict what the audience wants to see




-Great way to display the company

-Overtime can show company improvements and growth


-Only useful if the company has a decent sized audience

Takes time to build a loyal audience