Introducing the PESH model

The idea with this model, is to help brands think through their social media presence. We’ve all seen brands enter into social media venues, whether opening a virtual office in Second Life, creating a fanpage on Facebook or taking steps to build a community of their own.  What’s been surprising to note though, is the lack of focus and long term thinking in many of these initiatives. Twitter channels are created around events, then left to wither and die. Campaigns are launched, but only have a lifespan of a few months. More deep engagement and commitment is needed.

The PESH model
The PESH model

Depending on the nature of the company, certain engagement methods work better than others. I’ve taken a stab at defining them below:


This is very much about mapping the venues and initiatives that give a face to the brand. It’s not so much about what the brand says, but what it actually does.  Involving consumers to different initiatives, creating time during which consumers can immerse themselves in a positive brand experience. It’s not about pushing the hard sell , but more about raising brand awareness and driving increase in measures such as net promoter score. Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice on was a quite nice tie in to using an existing community in a manner that raised overall interest about the brand.


Some brands are great in connecting people through their services or technology. The brand itself isn’t at the forefront of the dialogue, but acts more as the enabler of the experience for the community. Nokia has done this quite nicely with Royal Artist Club. In essence, Nokia technology is utilized by the bands, to create their mobile blogs while on the go. Fans can get exclusive backstage footage of their favourite band and have the chance to comment and engage in conversations on a more personal level. There’s no money exchanging hands, it’s just about “giving love, to get love” in this case. These initiatives are more driven by generating sign ups to your enabling platform.


In the end, each brand needs a business model that brings a positive cash flow, in order to keep the wheels rolling. Thinking about where and how you want to go for the “direct sell” is just as important as mapping out where you do not want to do this. RSS feeds or Twitter channels that are specifically skewed towards communicating the latest offers are dimensions that need to be clearly defined before launching. There’s a lot of dialogue about how brands should “sell” within social media. My take is that all dimensions on the PESH model will generate sales, but they all do it in their own manner. In the “supplier” initiatives, brands should identify the best venues for driving their performance driven sales initiatives and be open about the purpose of the initiative. Transparency and openness.


Social media and care walk very much hand in hand. In many companies, the social media teams are part of the care organization, as it is so closely tied to the ongoing online monitoring and need for reactive actions. Social media provides great venues for listening, but at the same time, these need to be clearly identified and utilized in a way that helps consumers find help when they need it and not a call to action to participate in the latest marketing campaign.

In essence, this model is not meant to be a black & white chart, where activities need to be “locked” into a particular compartment. Many of the activities (for example participant) will include other dimensions (supplier / helper), but this model should help plan and differentiate the primary brand initiatives within the space and allows better focus both internally and externally.

7 thoughts on “Introducing the PESH model

  1. Asi says:

    This is a really great articulation of the range of activities and activations brands can do on/with social spaces. it’s a leap forward from the simplistic notions of being useful or entertaining. few comments on how i’d develop this:

    1. i would do an exercise to fill in as many examples as possible into the mix to test the validity of the model as i suspect (you’ve mentioned it already) that different initiatives can fall into more than one compartment.

    2.increasingly, the contrast of social media vs. broadcast (or any other media) media is becoming obsolete. is the T-Mobile trafalgar sqr a social media activity? what about the mcdonalds billboard? so i guess that this model can/should be applied to any marketing and brand comms and if what you’re doing is not falling within one of them (excluding supplier?) than something is wrong with what you’re doing.

    a previous model of mine looks at social media activities from a slightly different angle:

    A. ‘made for’ – campaign-like activities of short burst designed to utilise specific platforms such as whoper sacrifice

    B. ‘extended to’ – activities that live elsewhere (predominantly owned media) but allows some elements to be taken to social spaces such as widgets etc. Orange balloonacy will be an example of that

    C. permanent presence – this is more of a long term design. from a company blog to facebook fan-page.

    As I said, the most important thing with PESH is that it gives you something to aspire to and test your ideas against. if your activities don’t fall into one of the compartment that you’re probably just talking about yourself and that’s boring….


    1. Arto says:

      Hi Ali

      Thanks for your great feedback.

      In terms of your development points:
      1) yes, this is exactly what we are doing at the moment. It’s easy to put these high level definitions in place, but the true acid test is when you start mapping them out against concrete examples. This also helps analyze the “flowthrough” between the compartments. Mental note taken.
      2) good point. We kicked this off as a social media presence exercise, but noted quite quickly it extends to overall web presence. Interesting point on taking it even further = broadcast. It’s quite interesting how your awareness building streams can also be conducted as proactive customer service. Dan wrote a good post on that a few months ago. (

      Great points on A,B,C. Think those can help when diving deeper into what to do specifically in the individual PESH boxes.


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