Earned, owned, paid and shared media – what do they mean?

Nail these terms so you look like a pro in the office.

These four terms are usually used as part of an integrated public relations strategy. If you’re starting out in PR make sure you’re clear on what these mean. I’ve broken it down so the definitions are really simple as I’ve found the ones online and in textbooks tend to make their explanations a lot more complicated than they need to be.


Earned media is the press coverage generated by media from press releases. It also includes any coverage generated from relationships with bloggers and influencers.


Paid media is as it sounds. Traditionally this was advertising but now it also includes paid for promotions on social media such as ‘boosting’ posts on Facebook or paying to promote selected Tweets.


Content created by the PR agency/team and the company is classed as owned media. This can include website copy, blogs, and corporate social media accounts.


This is other people sharing content the PR team or company has created. This can come in many forms, for example shared content online commonly is done through social media, community driven content or through word of mouth.

2 thoughts on “Earned, owned, paid and shared media – what do they mean?

Leave a Reply