How to manage your brand reputation in 2024: the PESO model

Cindy’s just opened a bakery in her hometown.

When she was young, she used to bake all sorts of cakes and pies with her mother. Even after all these years, those memories never faded. After getting a degree, she worked various jobs, but none of them actually made her feel alive.

“What’s my purpose in life?” she kept asking herself.

Years kept on passing by. She got married and gave birth to a beautiful girl. But something was missing…

One day, while baking a cake for her daughter’s birthday, everything fell into place. 

“Why don’t I make a living out of it as well?” she realized.

But Cindy had a huge problem.

Of course, she was a fairly talented baker and she knew how to do many recipes. But what’s the point of creating a great product if nobody knows about it?

Yes, Cindy’s problem was that she knew nothing about marketing.

“If I don’t know how to promote and manage my business, how will people find out about me? What will my brand reputation be?”

Luckily for her, the Internet exists.

While searching for a solution, something caught her eye.

“What’s the PESO model framework?” she asked herself while clicking on the article.

Well Cindy, let me tell you.

The PESO Model© was created by Gini Dietrich, the founder of Spin Sucks and was officially launched in 2014. To put it simply, it provides a framework for marketers and communication professionals to integrate the four types of media in their strategy in a way that actually works.

Alright, but what does PESO stand for?

As told by Gini Dietrich herself, the right order of the letters would actually be OESP, but it just wouldn’t sound the same, would it? 

That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that the order of the letters does not coincide with the correct timeline of their implementation.

  1. Paid: this type of media refers to everything that involves money – sponsored content, boosted content, email marketing, SEM. Many marketers prefer paid media, because it has immediate measurable results. When it comes to digital marketing, the most popular forms of paid media are social media ads (Meta, TikTok, LinkedIn, X) and Google Ads (which includes Youtube as well). Depending on the geographic location and occupation of your target audience, you can try placing ads on other platforms, such as Bing or Yahoo.
  1. Earned: aka media relations. This is a type of media that keeps changing overtime. For instance, a few years ago we would have said that your best friend when it comes to earned media is the traditional journalist. While it still might hold some truth nowadays, we cannot ignore the fact that times have changed and a marketer has to consider other pathways as well, such as appearing on a podcast as a guest or backlinking.
  1. Shared: basically, organic social media presence. Although we know that paid media has many benefits, it’s important to show some authenticity and prove that selling is not your sole purpose. Depending on the industry, your organic content can educate, entertain or offer valuable information and news to the audience. More than that, shared media can represent a very efficient way to do some damage control (or, as I like to call it, reputation management) if you find yourself in a crisis situation, like receiving a bunch of negative online reviews. Keep in mind that it’s also important to choose the right social media platform for your business. Cindy might want to promote her bakery on Instagram and TikTok, but someone who operates a SaaS business will probably want to pay more attention to LinkedIn.
  1. Owned: which is what I’m doing right now. Self-produced content is fundamental for any business that wants to achieve great results and an impeccable brand reputation. Besides originality and relevance (which should be a given), the most important thing about owned media is for it to be distributed on channels that you have 100% control over. This means that owned media should be published on your own website and not on other platforms, like Meta or LinkedIn. Yes, I know that your social media content is, well, yours. But do you really have that much control over it?

Why should you use the PESO model?

Not only it includes every single type of media a marketing plan needs, but its clear structure and its catchy name really makes keeping track feel easier.

Moreover, it is a marketing model that can be used by any business, no matter its size. Whether you have a startup and your only employees are you and your dog, or you are part of a business that requires a 600 square foot office space, PESO is the way to go.

You can either apply the PESO principles to promote your business or to manage your brand reputation. Platforms like Meta, Google or WordPress provide you with statistics and analysis tools that can help you measure your results, so you can see if your marketing campaigns are effective or not. Those numbers can make or break your strategy, as they represent the closest point you can get to objective results.

However…

What does your audience *actually* think?

Cindy realized she was doing a good job after receiving her first 5-star ratings. Her customers’ raw and unfiltered opinions meant everything to her.

Clients were coming to Cindy’s with their children and their parents. It was such a cozy and warm place! Everybody knew that her bakery was the place to spend some quality time with loved ones while enjoying some baked goods. Her brand reputation was amazing.

Until…

As time passed by, fewer and fewer people were walking in the bakery. Cindy couldn’t understand why – the products were the same and the atmosphere was as comforting as ever.

One day, while scrolling through the Internet, she encountered a 1-star review for her bakery.

“Don’t go there, the cakes are not good at all. Also, it’s not family friendly.”

Cindy was shocked and devastated. That’s why customers were not returning to the bakery anymore!

She knew she had to solve the issue, so she decided to do some reputation management by using the PESO model. After a series of ads, blog articles, social media posts and interviews for the local papers, Cindy was finally back on her feet. Her brand reputation was saved.

Even though everything turned out fine in the end, Cindy did not want to go through this experience again.

She wanted to find a review management service that could aggregate customer reviews from all the platforms. Not only that, but she wanted the possibility of filtering the reviews by ratings and by used terms.

Cindy contacted FeedCheck regarding her problem. After receiving the demo, she realized that it was exactly what she needed: a review checker that kept her updated 24/7.

She knew that, thanks to FeedCheck, her brand reputation would never be compromised again.

Conclusions

The way your brand is perceived by the audience is influenced by many factors. It is your responsibility to make sure that you keep track of everything that might change the public perception of your business.

The PESO model is a framework that can do wonders when applied the right way.

If you want to make sure that your marketing strategy is working, FeedCheck might be a good solution for you. After all, the customers’ opinions are what keeps a business going.

Referrals

“What Is the PESO Model©?”. Spin Sucks. https://spinsucks.com/communication/peso-model-breakdown/

“A 2024 PESO Model™ Primer for Communicators”. Spin Sucks. https://spinsucks.com/communication/pr-pros-must-embrace-the-peso-model/


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