The world of business and management loves to use abbreviations to briefly represent complex concepts or situations. This abbreviation should be “catchy” or easy to remember and interesting. One example is VUCA, which stands for volatile (very dynamic and rapidly changing without a definite direction), uncertain (challenging to interpret and predict future developments), complex (complicated) and ambiguous (multiple meanings/multi-interpretations). The term VUCA became known in the business world at the end of the ’80s and started from the military world.

Since then, the world has changed a lot. The COVID-19 pandemic adds to the speed and dynamics of this situation. Apart from threats, there are also opportunities for specific industries. It is estimated that the technological acceleration for online meetings caused by this pandemic is commensurate with 5 years of technological advances in the pre-pandemic period. Two years ago, who was used to having remote conversations via Zoom?

Zoom has become the dominating platform for online conferences or meetings. The problem for many users is that apart from the need for hardware, a stable internet connection with adequate bandwidth is a prerequisite for having conversations smoothly and without interruption. These factors are increasingly important if we make presentations through the share screen feature. I believe that the increasing need is creating new markets, and technology companies will soon fill them.

In line with that, the hybrid model that contains work from home (WFH) elements will also be part of the new normal in the future, especially in fields that do not require physical presence to carry out economic activities. It is predicted that there will be a new norm or pattern in office work, which combines office work interspersed with working from home (WFH). What is uncertain is the division of the portion between the two, which one will be greater. The type of industry will significantly affect the comparison between these two ways of working.

Technological Advancement
What was once considered VUCA is now part of the new normal with the consequence that agility in dealing with situations is a trait that executives need to possess. Then, what does VUCA have to do with PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned media)? Each of the elements in this term has been known for a long time, but the combination of four words into a catchy term like PESO makes it popular among communication practitioners.

In the past, paid media was the portion of advertising that bought space or time in the media for their activities. Earned media is the realm of public relations (PR). This is where the skills of PR practitioners are tested in creating activities or issuing exciting press releases so that the media will publish them without compensation or payment.

What is relatively new is the emergence of shared and owned media made possible by the significant role of social media, especially by influencers. Before the internet allowed messages to spread quickly and widely, there was already shared media in leaflets and door-to-door campaigns. After the internet became a part of everyday life, especially with the emergence of platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, shared media, which is often combined with involving influencers, is increasingly widespread to expand the spread of messages.

Owned media is also made possible by technological advances, especially the internet with all related devices and platforms. Blogs and podcasts are two things that are closely related to the internet, so they can be said to be the “big children” of the internet era. As with shared media, of course, the distribution of the message conveyed is greatly influenced by whether or not the party who spreads the message through this media is famous.

In short, PESO is a campaign model that combines the four elements. For this reason, careful strategy and planning are needed so that the four are in harmony and support each other. With the increasingly dynamic developments in society, combining the four elements of PESO in an integrated and targeted message demands higher agility of thought and action among corporate communication practitioners.


Noke Kiroyan
Chairman & Chief Consultant, Kiroyan Partners

This article has been published in PR Indonesia magazine 80th Edition, issued on November 2021, page 52.


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