Media options have evolved. New circumstances drive us to reconsider and redefine our media vocabulary.
Let's start with a basic definition: Media is any of the unlimited amount of ways to get a message to a target. Traditionally we think of "paid media" like TV, radio, newspaper ads, billboards, etc. and "earned media" which is the coverage in the press and news sources. We also talk about "digital media" such as banner ads, paid search results, and online games. We need to get out of the "digital" and "traditional" silos and break our definitions into four slightly reorganized categories:
1. Paid Media - Sometimes referred to in the digital world as "Seed Media" because purpose of this type of media is to seed the the world with information that could eventually become a lead. (A "lead" is defined as someone who has opted-in to your "owned media" somehow. More on "owned media" in a moment.) Here there is no difference between paid digital buys or more traditional forms of media. It's, in practicality, the same. Email and traditional direct mail are paid media. All the experiential media like street teams and events, or guerrilla, or any non-traditional tactics also fall into this catagory.
2. Earned Media - While this is still publicity, PR and Media relations, today it also encompasses all the social media reviews, ratings, blogs and personal emails people send each other. This is also a type of "seed media."
3. Owned Media - this is something you actually own where you try to drive someone to opt-in with you: such as your websites, Facebook/Twitter, and retail locations. Opt-in is defined as giving you their contact information.
4. Socially Referred Media - this is where you empower people to share their brand experiences (such as share buttons) and incent them to do so (with offers, coupons, perks, etc.). This is a program to build brand advocacy. Each of these for categories of media could be it's own book, but this a good start to get thinking about what our options are instead of putting our media thinking into silos of digital and traditional.