WHAT IS 360° COMMUNICATION AND HOW TO MAKE USE OF IT

By Thamyris Barbosa
Understand what makes integrated communications such an important tool for your company

Integrated communication (or 360º communication) is a popular term, however, it is not always possible to visualize what this concept really means. For Wilson da Costa, PhD in communications, integrated communication consists in “the articulated connection of efforts, actions, strategies and communication products, planned and developed by a company or entity, with the objective to add value to its brand or to consolidate its image among specific audiences or in society as a whole.”

In other words, imagine that, on an average day, you wake up and get dressed for work. While you have breakfast, you take the chance to have a look at the messages on your phone. When you open the WhatsApp group of your family or friends, you see hundreds of “good mornings”, and somebody sharing a link to the new restaurant in town. You just have a quick look at the information and continue to get ready to leave.

The next day, on your way to work, the radio interrupts the song sequence to present some news. In between a few product advertisements, you hear the name of that restaurant again. Despite not paying much attention to the advertisement, you have already memorized the name of the restaurant.

Later in the same week, flicking through photos on social media, a delicious looking pasta dish catches your attention. Your cousin who lives in the same city tagged her husband in the post. And, to your astonishment, you realise that it’s from the same restaurant that you heard of earlier. Now, curious, you click on the post. A pop up offers you a discount on the dish, in case you register your email. And why not? You register the email and have a closer look at the menu. In this moment, you remember that you need to solve a work-related pendency and close the window. However, at lunchtime, you receive a newsletter from that very restaurant with the special lunch offers of the week.

When ten days have passed, it is your partner’s birthday. Looking for a place to celebrate it, you open the website with the most famous restaurants of the city. There, a journalist describes the environment in detail, dishes, prices and clients of the restaurant that you had already seen on WhatApp, social media, radio, email marketing and, now, on the Internet. So, the deal is done, you will (finally) visit the place.

Perhaps you have already understood, but in case not,  this is 360° communications (or integrated communications) in practise. We can note that the presence of a company in traditional or digital platforms directly impacts on the commercial interest for the company. To get a better understanding of this universe, we can take a look at a model of integrated communication developed by the american researcher Gina Dietrich. This method is called PESO and it unites the four different types of media: Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned.

Paid media – this type of media includes any form of paid exposure of the material. Here we can include everything from expensive advertisements on the back of a glossy magazine as well as a sponsored post on social media.

Earned media – is basically the result of the work performed through media relations. In this we can include published material in a variety of media outlets without any cost added to it as it exclusively depends on the communication of the company itself. It is not possible to control completely how this material will be presented in the media.

Shared media – includes all type of content that is shared on social medias. Many companies already use this resource to develop their internal and external communication.  

Owned media – also known as content production, owned media englobes all the communication produced through company’s own communication channels, such as the corporate site or blog. In this space, it is possible to control completely what is being published and not.

Did you find the topic interesting? Read more about the PESO model here and the standardization of the measurement of communications results.