Ryan Johnson standing in front of PRSA Conference welcome sign

I recently attended the 2018 Public Relations Society of America International Conference. This year’s theme was communications convergence. The goal of the conference is summed up best with this quote: “Silos that once separated public relations, advertising, marketing, content management, video production, and journalism have dissolved,” says Anthony D’Angelo, APR, 2018 PRSA national chair.

This trend is happening at Two Rivers Marketing, and I’m sure within many agencies and companies. Traditional departments that once handled public relations, advertising, and marketing are partnering more than ever. They are collaborating and helping businesses achieve their goals.

Here are three tips for how to collaborate and be strategic with your earned, paid, and owned communications. As a refresher, “earned” refers to public relations, “paid” refers to advertising, and “owned” is content that appears on channels that your company owns (e.g., website, social media channels, custom publications).

Gather ideas

Identify an efficient means of organizing ideas that may become earned, paid, or owned content. It may be as simple as creating a Google sheet and sharing the sheet with coworkers who can edit the document. Allow for employees to brainstorm ideas and share them on a digital whiteboard for future use.

Plan for content channels

One of the most common errors when preparing a photo or video trip to gather assets for future content is to overlook channels. Ask what your colleagues may need. Prepare an action plan that summarizes the photo and video trip. Share the document with everyone on your team. Start a detailed shot list and share it with colleagues. Ask them to update it with their needs. Then, meet with the photographer and video specialist to confirm the needs.

Organize assets

A challenge with photo and video assets is how to best organize them. They can take up valuable server space. Store large files offline, but keep smaller images available on the server for quick reference. Prepare a summary of the shoot, and present it at a meeting to ensure everyone is aware of the assets. Share the document for those who may miss the meeting.

Working more efficiently

Also, communication departments can work together better if they follow a TEAM approach, as presented by Nick Bell, vice president, marketing communications and content at Cision. Bell presents his TEAM approach by focusing on Targeted, Evolved, Agile, and Measured content.

Bell stresses that earned communication professionals need to be more targeted with their efforts. They should think beyond traditional journalist relationships and focus on influencers, such as bloggers. He says, “Enlist real people to help drive perception and behavior among their people — not paying a celebrity.”Also, Bell says earned content professionals need to be more agile in their profession. For example, they need to be more specific to respond faster to earned opportunities.

And, Bell says public relations professionals can be better at measuring communication effectiveness. He asked, “How can we (PR pros) apply the CRM data that is available to help measure our success?”

If earned, owned, and paid content professionals can collaborate better, the end result is an organization that can help its company or clients achieve business goals.