Owned Media: What you need to know
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Adept at having a two-way conversation, persuasive (read media pitching) and keeping the audience engaged, are key PR q...
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Owned Media: What you need to know

Adept at having a two-way conversation, persuasive (read media pitching) and keeping the audience engaged, are key PR q...
  • Tarunjeet Rattan, Founder, PRPOI decoded Owned Media with Nivedeeta Moirangthem, Communication Operations Manager, IKEA India; Paul Furiga, PRBI member, President & Chief Storyteller, WordWrite PR, Pittsburg USA and Mohit Balachandran, Restaurateur & Food Connoisseur on the 33rd PRPOI panel discussion.
  • Rattan pens down the top eight things you need to know about Owned Media.
2020 has been a good year for the PR industry in India. However, 2021 brings with it, its own set of challenges. While brands turn to PR for counsel strengthening their position, the PR industry seems to be losing out on its core strength: Earned conversations in editorial media. Editorial placements are getting tougher by the day which is pushing a good chunk of the PR industry to start reconsidering its approach towards brand building and reputation management. One of the key buzzwords that have been floated around ‘Owned Media’. It has been whispered about on the outskirts of the Indian PR realm but is slowly finding its way into the mainstream conversation. Though the question to be answered is if the Indian PR industry is ready to embrace the last pillar of the PESO (Paid Earned Social and Owned) model.

We decoded Owned Media with Nivedeeta Moirangthem, Communication Operations Manager, IKEA India; Paul Furiga, PRBI member, President & Chief Storyteller, WordWrite PR, Pittsburg USA and Mohit Balachandran, Restaurateur & Food Connoisseur on the 33rd PRPOI panel discussion on the subject to get you started. Our industry PR Boutiques International added their global insight to the conversation.

Here are the top eight things you need to know about Owned Media:

What is Owned media? Any platform that is owned by a company and communicates directly with the target audience is called owned media. These can come in the form of blogs, annual reports, brand journalism, research papers, webinars, podcasts, newsletter, Youtube channel, lookbooks etc. The ‘company’ can either be a brand or an agency.

Where is it globally? And where are we in India? Globally it has already caught on and a lot of brands have tasked their PR agencies and corporate communication teams with leading owned media. Infact, PR agencies like Wordwrite PR have invested in a platform like Pittsburg 100 that create engaging content for brands. Brands like IKEA, General Motors, Coca Cola have pioneered this on a global platform with different owned media that is enviable.

Closer home, the hospitality and fashion industry has taken the lead on owned media. Brands like Myntra, Nykaa, EazyDiner have done a great job in creating owned properties. PR agencies like Nucleus PR has launched its own independent podcast series – All About PR, that showcases interesting conversations from the world of communication that will be a platform they own. It is still in a very nascent stage in India. So, if you get with the program now, you will have the first movers’ advantage.

Does it compete with editorial media? Yes and no. Yes, it competes on engaging storytelling front. However, it does not compete in the kind of stories that a brand wants to tell as these stories are usually more customer centric and bridge the gaps between paid and earned media conversations. It helps them create locally relevant original content with a more controlled narrative. Smart PR teams leverage owned media as an opportunity to make varied subtle digital pitches.

What about authentic storytelling? Between and owned media, storytelling does not lose its charm. Stories must be authentic and connect with the audience on owned media as well. The volume does not matter. The quality matters. Content must be genuine and relevant on any platforms (digital or traditional).

Are we confusing the consumer? No. If you do not try and disguise it as third-party credibility or editorial media then it is fine. Mention and be clear that this is owned media upfront. Authenticity is key. The moment you try and pretend it is not owned media you will lose the trust of your customers. As PR professionals you need to advise your clients/brands to stay the course.

What are the skillsets you need to get started? Be good at communication and see the big picture. Have a nose for news, be curious, be teachable, have good writing skills and a keen eye on the fast-changing mediums of communication with the core target audience. Don’t get hung up on the tools and platforms. Focus on the stories that matter to your audience. Create trust and credibility with authentic stories and empathy. If you can do that then that is the only skillset you need.

Why should PR professionals handle it? PR professionals are basically trained to create engaging and captivating stories that are authentic. Adept at having a two-way conversation, persuasive (read media pitching) and keeping the audience engaged, are key PR qualities that make a strong case for PR to handle owned media.

When do you start? Today. Now. ASAP.

The above is by special arrangement via a collaboration with PRPOI

Watch the video here: