The Best Way to Get Media Coverage is to Own the Media

We who manage large brands are accustomed to slow-moving waves of change. We stand by and watch as our competitors create a new technology. We wait and see as newcomers employ innovative media platforms, and we have always had time to react with a quick adjustment to the media plan just in time for the following quarter.

The problem with this reactive model of media planning is that it assumes we will always have time to see every media tactic coming. It also assumes brands will always outsource their customer relationships to third-party media like Facebook, YouTube and Google.

One day we will wake up and realize that Facebook, YouTube and Google know more about our customers than we do. And, that they are holding our data hostage.

When we finally realize we’ve outsourced our analytics, that’s when owned media networks will emerge. Well, no — they will shift into the market with seismic impact. Innovative marketers are realizing that they don’t have to buy the media when they can be the media.

Most advertising and PR professionals understand “paid media” and “earned media.”  These are time-tested models. “Owned media” presents a certain mystery because it’s less formulaic.

In some ways, owned media isn’t a new concept at all. The phenomenon has existed for years. Grandpa and Grandma used to call TV series “cereals,” and we still watch “soap operas.” Cereal and soap companies were the pioneers of TV, first innovating branded content with owned media in the ’50s and ’60s. Long form content actually existed before the thirty second commercial format.

Owned channels are everywhere. And we all have a website, don’t we? That’s owned media. We own storefronts, signage and packaging that we can design however we want. All of that is a form of owned media.

The next wave of change will look nothing like what we are used to. The imperceptible speeding wave of media disruption is stealthy, but almost upon us. Behind the scenes, the rapid adoption of new technology is being developed by startup companies, unknown challenger brands and your most aggressive competition. The wave of change may take time to fall upon your brand, but it’s coming at a speed that will not afford you enough time to react.

The platforms of media have shifted like the great tectonic plates under the sea. Change is coming to your industry. You may have already felt the jolt from a competitive platform. Now is not the time to hesitate. Now is the time to become proactive and lead your brand. You could lead your industry.

– Excerpt from: Surfing The Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age

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