Paid, Owned, Earned Media Facts

Paid, Owned and Earned Media – The Good, the Bad, and the Together

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In the world of business communications, media is key. Media are the channels through which we, as marketers, advertisers, and PR professionals, get our name or message out to our audiences; marketing strategies often rely on media to function.

The last decade has seen Media evolve more than it has since the first U.S. paid TV ad aired in 1941.  However, the way that we categorize media has so far remained about the same. When we describe the types of media, we focus on how they function as a channel or how we obtain them. The three main categories that are used to define media are: earned media, paid media, and owned media – owned being a newer player to the arena.  It is important not only to understand what each of these labels entails but also the strengths and weaknesses of each type and how they can be integrated together to reach their full potential.

Paid Media

Paid Media, as the name implies, is the media that is purchased.  In other words, it is advertising. Whether it be sponsorships, display ads, PPC ads, etc., paid media is an important tool for driving exposure.  While paid media does require more of a monetary sacrifice than owned or earned media, it provides an immediacy and scale that the others do not. To clarify, paid media can reach new markets in ways that our other categories of media may not have the capacity to do. The way that you use paid media, or the particular paid media that you use, depends on who your target audience is. For example, if you are selling product that would appeal most to college-aged females, you might pay for advertising space on Instagram or in Collegiate Magazine, rather than spending that money to advertise on more mature medium like the Wall Street Journal. This example exemplifies how paid media can reach larger markets and be controlled – you choose where you put your money, and the message is. In turn, there are some downsides to paid media.

The most obvious downside to paid media is, well, the fact that you have to pay for it. Paid media is often expensive, and it can be challenging for smaller businesses, in particular, to afford. Additionally, it is important to spend wisely when purchasing paid media. It would be a shame to spend a hefty portion of your budget on a banner ad, only for it to get lost in the heavy clutter of the web.  On top of that, because you have control over the message you send about your brand through paid media, consumers might question whether the information you are giving is credible. That credibility is something that you must earn, which can be accomplished through our other media types and methods.

Owned and earned media, while powerful in terms of consumer relations, often rely on paid media to get the ball rolling. If you are working on enhancing your owned media attention but are a small business with a fairly small customer base, paid media can be the green light to generate that traffic, that may aid in obtaining earned media.  After all, you know what they say…you gotta spend money to make money.

Owned Media

Owned Media is the channel for content that your brand controls and creates.  Some examples of owned media include company websites, blogs, and social media pages. By creating owned media, your company provides customers with a way to interact with your brand through content that is unique. In other words, it presents the opportunity for businesses improve relationships with existing customers and cultivate relationships with new prospects. Owned media allows you to reach niche audiences while familiarizing them with your brand personality. While owned media alone most likely won’t yield a bevy of new customers, it will enhance relationships with existing customers, and that should not be undervalued – which we will get into a little more later on. Lastly, through the implementation of various types of owned media, you can boost your brand presence on the web. This can increase your SEM, bettering the probability of people discovering your business, thus promoting lead generation.

It should be noted that, like most things, in the marketing hemisphere (or life for that matter) owned media needs to be done right for it to be effective. For instance, a big company’s blog may bring audiences in, but when they get there if they do not like what they see, if the personality they perceive of your brand is not one they would like to befriend, you may have just lost a customer. No one wants to put in a great deal of time and energy creating and promoting owned media for it to potentially be swept under the rug or disliked; this is the risk that you take when you work in this category.

Some of the risks or things that could be viewed as downsides to owned media are lessened when other categories of media come into play.  As I mentioned before, owned media is very useful for marketing to current customers. While current customers are equally as important as prospective customers, there is a whole other power associated with the combination of the customers we already have and the relationship and loyalty they feel as a result of owned media – we call it word-of-mouth marketing, which can be translated to/executed through earned media.

Earned Media

Earned Media can be closely tied to PR. It is the media that you do not pay for or have much control over, because, for earned media, the media outlet’s customers are the channel.  Social media also plays a huge role in earned media. When somebody writes a Facebook status about how their stays at the Hilton Inn are always the most wonderful experiences, or tweets about their new favorite spot for seafood, the businesses are getting earned media—and because the message is coming from a third party, oftentimes somebody that the audience members know, it is more likely to be trusted than an advertisement.  On top of that, earned media can reach new people and directly generate more traffic to owned media.

However, earned media is not always rainbows and butterflies. Yes, it’s free. And yes, it’s credible. But what if somebody has something not so nice to say? Earned media is almost entirely out of your control, and if somebody is unhappy with your business, they are even more likely to share that information than somebody who is pleased.  So that’s the bad news. However, the good news is that earned media is a result of brand behaviors, and while you cannot control what people are saying you can certainly control your business behaviors and how you respond to that not so friendly post.

Earned media and owned media work hand-in-hand, each feeding into the other to increase the effectiveness. We talked about how owned media does not have as much of an outward growth effect in terms of new customer acquisition, and how earned media plays into that. But, how does owned media help earned media? One example is by providing sharable content. If your businesses current customers check up on your owned media postings and find something that sparks interest, they might just share that for all of their friends to see. Hello new attention!

Knowing the ins and outs of the different types of media, including how they can be integrated together to achieve their highest potential, plays a key role in planning how to best allocate your business’s time and money for marketing. Now, take the power of knowledge and run with it! Your brand is in your hands.

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So Your Kid Wants to be a Mad Man – Here are the Best Schools for Design and Marketing

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Back to school season has arrived and your high school student just announced he/she wants to pursue a career in the world of marketing or graphic design. Immediately, you explain that unlike what Mad Men depicted, there is more to succeeding at an agency than chain smoking, getting hammered before noon, and hitting on secretaries. While the rewards can be great, successful creative directors and marketing executives work really hard, sometimes 24/7. But since your teen is dead set on following this career path, and truly does not believe anything you say anyway, you might as well help set him or her up for success.

While creative talent came with the DNA you provided, even the most talented need to hone their skills. The first step in getting to Madison Avenue is going to a great school, and despite what your kid seems to think, you know that sort of thing does not just happen. You’ve been hounding them about that GPA since “real grades” came into the picture, but as the end is nearing, GPA is only the first of it. With all of the options out there, the earlier you get the ball rolling, the better— even if the only college research you can get your kid to do is about the nightlife.

Before you jump in to scheduling campus tours, it’s a good thing to know which programs are notorious for generating the Don Drapers of this generation—but with a moral compass. Look no further; here are the top 10 ranked schools for marketing, the top 10 schools for design in the U.S., and the top 5 portfolio and advertising schools, plus some fun facts just for kicks.

Top 10 Schools for Marketing

University of Pennsylvania

  • Private – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Fun fact: During the school’s fight song, the lyric “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” is the cue for UPenn fans to throw actual pieces of toast on to the field during home games; one of the many school traditions.
  • Famous alumni: John Legend, Tory Burch, Donald Trump
  • Acceptance rate: 10.4%
  • Tuition and fees: $49,536
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 9,746 

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Public – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Fun fact: It has been said (according to lore) that any couple who kisses under the Engineering Arch on the University of Michigan campus at midnight is destined to be married.
  • Famous alumni: Gerald Ford, Tom Brady, Madonna, Michael Phelps
  • Acceptance rate: 32.2%
  • Tuition and fees: $43,377 (In-state: $14,336)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 28,395

New York University

  • Private – New York, New York
  • Fun fact: NYU has a Quidditch team… yes, you read that correctly. Not only do they have a Quidditch team, they have a GOOD Quidditch team.
  • Famous alumni: Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, Adam Sandler (and so many more)
  • Acceptance rate: 35.5%
  • Tuition and fees: $46,170 (In-state: $13,432)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 24,985

University of California—Berkeley

  • Public – Berkeley, California
  • Fun fact: A series of underground tunnels, built in the 1900s to generate power for the campus were used by the school’s Chancellor to escape after students chained his door shut in protest of certain policies surrounding the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
  • Famous alumni: Aaron Rodgers, Mona Simpson, Jason Kidd
  • Acceptance rate: 16.0%
  • Tuition and fees: $38,140 (In-state: $13,432)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,126

University of Texas—Austin

  • Public – Austin, Texas
  • Fun fact: Students at UT Austin hope to see one of the famous albino squirrels on campus on the way to their exams. Legend has it that spotting one is a sure way to ace them!
  • Famous alumni: Matthew McConaughey, Owen Wilson, Kevin Durant
  • Acceptance rate: 39.7%
  • Tuition and fees: $34,836 (In-state: $9,830)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 39,523

University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

  • Public – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Fun fact: Because of its incredible beauty, many people have referred to the college town of Chapel Hill as the “Southern Part of Heaven,” after the title of a book by William Meade Prince.
  • Famous alumni: Michael Jordan, Andy Griffith, John Edwards
  • Acceptance rate: 28.5%
  • Tuition and fees: $33,644 (In-state: $8,562)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,350

Indiana University—Bloomington

  • Public – Bloomington, Indiana
  • Fun fact: Bloomington is home to the largest collegiate bike race, The Little 500, which Lance Armstrong referred to as “the coolest event I ever attended.” As for the students? They have named it the “World’s Greatest College Weekend.”
  • Famous alumni: Mark Cuban, Isiah Thomas, Laverne Cox
  • Acceptance rate: 76.1%
  • Tuition and fees: $33,741 (In-state: $10,388)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 36,419

University of Virginia

  • Public – Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Fun fact: The one and only Dr. Seuss was denied admittance to the University of Virginia. Rumors have circulated that his fictional town of “Whoville” was a play on words for the University nickname, “Hoo’s.”
  • Famous alumni: Tina Fey, Woodrow Wilson, Edgar Allan Poe
  • Acceptance rate: 29.0%
  • Tuition and fees: $43,822 (In-state: $14,526)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 16,483 

University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • Public – Madison, Wisconsin
  • Fun fact: With snow comes snowball fights! Every winter, Southeast and Lakeshore dorms at the University of Wisconsin have an epic snowball fight on Bascom Hill.  Hundreds of students attend each year, bringing trays, buckets, etc. to give them a leg up in the fight.
  • Famous alumni: Joan Cusack, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dale Chihuly
  • Acceptance rate: 49.8%
  • Tuition and fees: $29,665 (In-state: $10,415)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 31,289

St. Joseph’s University

  • Private – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Fun fact: In the past few years, the University has built a movie theater, updated the computer lab twice, renovated the gym, and added satellite gyms in some of the dormitories. Gyms inside the dorms?! Who said anything about the Freshman 15?
  • Famous alumni: Lil’ Jon, Delonte West, Jack Whitaker
  • Acceptance rate: 84.6%
  • Tuition and fees: $42,180
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,512

Top 10 Schools for Design

Rhode Island School of Design

  • Private – Providence, Rhode Island
  • Fun fact: Students at Rhode Island School of Design can cross register for classes at neighboring Brown University at no extra cost. That means more education opportunities and more friendship opportunities!
  • Famous alumni: Seth MacFarlane, James Franco, David Byrne
  • Acceptance rate: 43.1%
  • Tuition and fees: $45,840
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,014

Parsons School of Design at the New School

  • Private – New York, New York
  • Fun fact: Parsons School of Design at the New School has a higher percentage of international students studying in the U.S. than any other university in this country. People travel from all over the globe to get the Parsons experience.
  • Famous alumni: Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karran
  • Acceptance rate: 65.9%
  • Tuition and fees: $49,059
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,695

Maryland Institute College of Art

  • Private – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fun fact: The student retention rate at Maryland Institute College of Art is high at 85% (well above Maryland average). Taking this statistic into consideration, apparently students love their stay at this school.
  • Famous alumni: Jeff Koons, David Byme, Abbi Jacobson
  • Acceptance rate: 54.2%
  • Tuition and fees: $43,870
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,846

Yale University

  • Private – New Haven, Connecticut
  • Fun fact: Yale has one of the most exclusive and obscure college clubs, the secret society— Skull & Bones. Each spring, only 15 male and female juniors are chosen for admission to Skull & Bones. Students tapped for membership tend to be campus leaders, such as team captains, newspaper editors and members of the political union. Both George Bush senior and junior, William Howard Taft, and John Kerry are a few of the past members of this society.
  • Famous alumni: Basically every president, Anderson Cooper, Meryl Streep
  • Acceptance rate: 6.3%
  • Tuition and fees: $47,600
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,477

School of Visual Arts

  • Proprietary – New York, New York
  • Fun fact: There is a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, a sign that students there receive a great deal of one-on-one attention.
  • Famous alumni: Jared Leto, David LaChapelle, Bryan Singer
  • Acceptance rate: 76.8%
  • Tuition and fees: $33,678
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,678

Cranbook Academy of Art

  • Graduate School – Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Fun fact: Cranbrook Academy of Art doesn’t have set curricula, required classes, or prerequisites.
  • Famous alumni: Harry Bertoia, Nick Cave, Peter Bohlin
  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Tuition and fees: $37,000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: Graduate school only

Pratt Institute of Art

  • Private – Brooklyn, New York
  • Fun fact: College Magazine recently recognized Pratt’s campus, ranking it number eight on its list of “Top 100 Most Beautiful College Campuses.”
  • Famous alumni: Robert Redford, Harvey Fierstein, Terrence Howard
  • Acceptance rate: 63.4%
  • Tuition and fees: $46,586
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,143

California Institute of the Arts

  • Private – Valencia, California
  • Fun fact: California Institute of the Arts was founded by Walt Disney in 1961.
  • Famous alumni: Dustin Hoffman, Tim Burton, David Hasselhoff
  • Acceptance rate: 27.7%
  • Tuition and fees: $42,276
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 970

Ringling College of Art and Design

  • Private – Sarasota, Florida
  • Fun fact: The school is nearly walking distance from Sarasota Beach, one of the top rated beaches in the United States.
  • Famous alumni: David Bromstad, Michelle Phan, John Hambrock
  • Acceptance rate: 69.5%
  • Tuition and fees: $41,480
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,219

Savannah College of Art and Design

  • Private – Savannah, Georgia
  • Fun fact: SCAD hosts two unique arts festivals in Savannah, including the Sidewalk Arts Festival, which consists of chalk drawing competitions, and the Sand Arts Festival, which features sand sculptures on Tybee Island.
  • Famous alumni: India.Arie, Danny!, Bevin Prince
  • Acceptance rate: 65.7%
  • Tuition and fees: $34,970
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 9,695

Design can be pretty broad. The above list provided the Top 10 schools for design as a whole, which can include but architecture, fashion design, etc. There are, however, additional options for design schools that deal specifically with design with respect to advertising, typically referred to as advertising schools or portfolio schools. While many of these schools have adopted unique formats, that do not constitute undergraduate program, they can be hugely beneficial to somebody who is certain that they are interest in design for advertising. Below is the list of the top rated portfolio schools and ad schools.

Top Advertising and Portfolio Schools

Miami Ad School

  • Locations in Miami, Minneapolis, New York and San Francisco
  • Fun fact: Three Miami Ad School grads were named “The Most Creative People in Advertising Under 30” by Business Insider in 2015.
  • Famous alumni: Sam Shepard, Jenna Livingston, Felix Richter
  • Acceptance rate: 93%
  • Tuition: $38,800 (total program cost for two years)

The Creative Circus

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fun fact:  Creative Circus places 98 percent of its students in paying jobs in their first year after graduation
  • Famous alumni: Rick Williams, Jesse Juriga, Elizabeth Cauvel
  • Tuition and fees: $45,012 (total program cost for two years)

VCU Brandcenter

  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Fun fact: VCU Brandcenter is just an easy day trip away from Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, the Blue Ridge Mountains or Washington, D.C.
  • Acceptance rate: 45-48%
  • Famous alumni: David Baldacci, Stephen Furst, Gerald Henderson
  • Tuition and fees: $45,316 (total program cost for two years)

Savannah College of Art and Design

  • (see above in Top 10 Design Schools list)

San Diego Portfolio School

  • San Diego, California
  • Fun fact: Despite being a remotely young ad school, San Diego Portfolio School helped its students earn 32 Addy awards.
  • Famous (notable) alumni: Sarah Allen, Vincent Barretto, Josh Naughton
  • Tuition and fees: $10,050 (14 month certificate program) – $1,995 (6th month workshop)

Application season is rapidly approaching, and has no plans of slowing down. So hold on tight! There are tours to be scheduled, admissions essays to be edited, and memories to be made.


Tuitions based off of listed tuitions for 2015-2016

US News & World Report’s College Rankings List for Marketing

Animation Career Review’s list of Top 50 Graphic Design School Programs in the US – 2015

Promotion LA’s list of The Best Advertising Schools and Portfolio Schools – 2014

Welcome to fresh, bold and true.

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marketing strategy

These aren’t just three words we hang on the wall. This is what we live by. Every day, we look at the work we create and ask three questions: 

  1. Is it fresh? Has it been done before? A lot? Or, is it something smart you don’t see every day?
  2. Is it bold? We don’t believe in timid ideas or tiptoeing around with design. If you have an idea, make it sing!
  3. Is it true? When it comes to brand storytelling, the truth will set you free. It will also create relationships, build loyalty and all that good brand stuff. 

So, next time you see an ad, a website, a brochure or even a logo, give it the fresh, bold and true test.

It’s Raining Silver, Gold & Platinum at Henderson Shapiro Peck

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It’s Raining Silver, Gold & Platinum at Henderson Shapiro Peck

Roswell, Georgia – June 13, 2016 Henderson Shapiro Peck (HSP), headquartered in Roswell, Georgia offers a full-range of marketing services to its clients, including, but not limited to, branding, design, public relations, advertising, and so much more. This year, HSP has been doubly honored. The agency has been recognized by both the Communicator Awards and Hermes Creative Awards, taking home a total of 14 trophies.

With over 6,000 entries, the Communicator Awards is the world’s largest international awards program. It recognizes companies for innovative ideas in the Marketing and Communications industry. The Hermes Creative Awards is also a worldwide matchup, which celebrates the creative process for both traditional materials and emerging technologies. Competitors range from individuals to Fortune 500 companies, making the Hermes one of the largest of its kind.

This year the Communicator judges selected HSP’s Keeper of the Code book cover for the Marketing/Promotion of a Book gold. The agency was awarded silvers for Keeper of the Code Book Video Trailer, the Brain Expert (Dr. Jim Robinson) Corporate Identity, C2 Education Point-of-Purchase Materials, and 70 West Builders for Business-to-Consumer Brochure and Overall Design of a Brochure.

The Hermes selection committee gave the agency a prestigious Platinum award for Keeper of the Code’s Integrated Marketing Materials as well as gold for Advanced Gastroenterology 1 Hour Advertising Campaign, Alex Luxury and Classic Car’s Logo Design, and the Merial Custom Vaccine for Video Marketing product. Honorable mentions were received for Advanced Gastroenterology Colonoscopy for Two Ad Campaign, 70 West’s Marketing Materials Design, and the Delete Blood Cancer Ad Campaign.

To learn more about HSP, visit or call 678-352-7100.

About Henderson Shapiro Peck:

Henderson Shapiro Peck (HSP) ( is an award-winning, full-service marketing agency founded in 1994. The agency services include strategic marketing plans, small business start-up marketing, branding, advertising campaigns, media planning and buying, creative services, tradeshows, public relations, web design and video production. The main divisions and area of expertise for the firm include technology, healthcare, retail and building/construction. In 2011, the agency introduced two new divisions, HSP Publishing, and HSP Philanthropy.

The agency has also received numerous accolades. Highlights include 40+ creative awards and being named one of the Best 25 Small Companies by Working Mother Magazine. Debbi Shapiro was recognized by Enterprising Women Magazine as a 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year, and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle/Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Person of the Year. Partner Jill Peck served as President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Atlanta Chapter.

Media Contact:
Phone: 678-352-7105

Top 5 reasons we have a blog

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Okay, to be honest, we hate top-five lists but we thought we’d get this one out of the way early. So here’s our list!

1. Give our slant on things related to advertising, marketing and branding.

2. Stay connected with the worldwide webs.

3. Shamelessly plug things we’ve accomplished.

4. Talk about our pets.

5. Because every one else is doing it.

What you won’t find is: political rants, meaningless drivel filled with technical buzz words, doomsday prophecies about the death of advertising and more top-five lists. 

Stay tuned for some refreshing, concise content.


1875 Old Alabama Road
Bldg. 900, Suite 910
Roswell, GA 30076

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f | 770.640.2015