The relationship between paid media and earned media still has room for improvement.

Certainly, there should be more understanding of how PR leads, how ads generate word of mouth and how owned media fits in the mix.

We’ll save all of that for another day. Instead, I want to quickly share an example of work we’ve been doing with ads…

Calvin Community was founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community in 1965. Today, there are many others in the business of taking care of older adults in central Iowa, but few have the rich history of Calvin.

Still, like many organizations, they need to maintain visibility in a way that goes beyond earning media coverage and producing their own content on and offline. So, we buy ads, allowing control over the timing, frequency and reach of messages as well as managing the expected response from referrers, potential residents and others.

Calvin’s 2011 campaign includes their residents as the authentic identity of a place nearly 200 people call home. It’s been a pleasure to see the response to this work.