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Tilak Chowdhury
Communication DGM, India BU
Published on November 20, 2020

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Unleashing the Power of Owned Media

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. — Aldous Huxley

- Crédits : © Rymden

The famous adage by Aldoux Huxley seems to apply perfectly when it comes to owned media. By definition, owned media simply translates as the media that a brand/ company or individual owns or controls. The brands and companies have also started realising this in the wake of the rise of fake news and the global lock down caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Fake news or false news has the potential to impact brands greatly. We have already witnessed the damage Fake News has caused globally by spreading misinformation about COVID 19. It is in circumstances like these, the general public and stakeholders like media, government look up to owned media of the companies and brands for clarification and authenticity. It is how the brands manage and deploy their owned media sometimes helps build credibility about the companies.

Here are a few reasons why companies must take owned media more seriously: 

1. Direct conversations without filters

Owned media has the biggest advantage – it is controlled by the brands themselves. And they can publish data that they want to share without any filters or mediators like reporters. Thanks to social media and the rise of micro influencers in the form of employees and loyal customers, brands are able to spread the correct information and image about their brands at a much more reliable and economic way.

We have recently seen Tesla using their owned media brilliantly. Elon Musk is the best Brand Ambassador for Tesla in the short term as he is an icon every tech lover and investor follows closely. And a tweet or post from him in the Tesla owned media gets the best outcome the company can desire.

2. Economical

Mass media, both earned and paid, comes with a cost attached. Owned media, on the other hand, can be used more lavishly without worrying about the cost.  Multiple messages and infinite number of frequencies can be planned which helps in having a better connect with the audience – be it internal and external.

3. Benefit from your loyal followers

There are lots of loyal followers who follow your owned media and they are usually there by choice. These followers – both internal and external, are more likely to share your messages on their personal networks on social media and this can help you get more reach. These followers also develop a special bond with the company as they start thinking themselves as the informal brand ambassadors of the company and may actually start defending and promoting your brand when you are not around to do the job in a world that is active 24X7. It is possible that you may choose some of these loyal followers and formally recognise them so that they start feeling wanted and respected by the brand. They start feeling like micro influencers who can change perceptions on your behalf.

4. Increased approachability

In the world of mass media, most conversations used to be one sided. The owned media (including the social media channels controlled by the company) presents a unique opportunity for the leaders of the company to reach out to the stakeholders and have informal conversations on a regular basis. This can help the stakeholders engage with the company at various levels and it can immensely benefit the company in times of crisis by already having established a favourable image in the minds of the stakeholders.

5. Being Human

When media is paid for, there is a natural tendency for brands to focus on money making hard selling topics to be featured in the media. Since owned media is comparatively cheaper, it provides an opportunity for non-core areas of the business to get highlighted too. It helps in promoting CSR activities of the Company, the little efforts taken by the Company to make this world a better place and the human values, which may not directly translate into profits, also get a chance to get visibility.

Conclusion

In the days when mass media was the only media available, it created a natural barrier for many small businesses that they found too difficult to cross. Thanks to the evolution of social media and websites, every brand has an equal opportunity to reach out to the billions of customers worldwide and reach out to stakeholders.

Today, around 4.5 billion people use the internet and with companies becoming more and more global, it is imperative for every company and brand to take their owned media and social media seriously and optimise them to reach their stakeholders with minimum investment and yet get maximum engagement.

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