February 12, 2014
(or...They may eat paleo, but audiences want to binge on media)
The digital age has taken its toll on the newspaper business. Newsrooms across the nation have downsized and some have thrown in the towel entirely. The newest generation of consumers spends less time watching traditional broadcast news, opting instead for social media and real-time online feeds to get its news.
However, these changes don’t mean that people are less likely to consume media, nor does it mean that marketing and public relations professionals should ditch their efforts to keep their contacts with the traditional news media sources.
In fact, the opposite is true
Americans are consuming about five percent more online media per year. More than half of the media people consume is through the television or radio. Audiences may be opting to slim down for 2014 nutritionally, but in terms of media consumption they’re going for the buffet.
It’s true that anyone can create content today via blogs or social media. However, that doesn’t mean that content will have any viewers – nor does it mean that your PR strategy should include reaching out to substandard offerings. The information being shared, whether it’s in the form of a podcast, blog or article, must remain of high quality to gain any traction with consumers or with media professionals. Just because the landscape is changing doesn’t mean these pillars of the media chain should be ignored within PR strategies. Quality content is still preferred and utilized more often, and it may stand out even more in the tide of substandard material editors receive.
There are issues with trust when it comes to online content such as that produced by bloggers, who may or may not be using their real names. Since there is little or no accountability, there is no guarantee that the information provided is based in fact. Conversely, most traditional media professionals still stake their professional existence on the idea of truth and balanced reporting. While you should honor and work alongside brand champions who are out there cheering on your brand or company – one of the strong trends for 2014 – make sure you’re working with PR pros who still understand the need for truth.
The traditional news media are striving to please their audiences – particularly the younger crowd, which seems to prefer to get its news on its mobile devices. Traditional media have not only embraced this change, they are competing for more consumers in this space. It’s working: Many of the nation’s top publications are seeing big improvements in the numbers for their online activity and readership when they hone in on mobile viewing. Smart PR strategies will also zero in on the efficiency of mobile news feeds, and they’ll add a healthy dose of creativity to the ways they present information to the mobile user.
Embracing the newest technology toward engaging with audiences is vital, but leaving traditional media behind is not something that will likely ever be a part of the message strategy for any company. Axia Public Relations knows how to craft this perfect balance for your company, and is ready to bring the right blend of savvy and expertise to the challenge. Contact us today.
– Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is an Emmy-Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national and emerging brands such as American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, Brightway Insurance, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, It Works!, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles, Southern Comfort, Verizon and more. Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations at @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.