“For the the Times they are a changin’…” The collapse of daily print journalism and traditional broadcast media spells catastrophe to some, opportunity to others.
Today, I had an opportunity to sit in on a marketing pitch being delivered to one of my clients by a local radio station’s advertising executive. I happened to be there for an eventual meeting about the development of a DesignWise plan for an “integrated” advertising campaign – one that would include earned media in the form of traditional press releases, coupled with a strong emphasis on the diverse forms of social network media.
Later, I provided my client with the following quote from Sut Jhally, Professor of Communications at the University of Massachusetts and founder of the Media Education Foundation:
“Advertisers have to go to where the audience is… if they want to sell products. They have no option but to go where the audience has gone. If the audience has gone online, gone to iPods, gone to Facebook – wherever the audience has gone – that is where advertisers must go.”
As I listened to the “old-school” radio pitchman trying to encourage my client to buy a package of “spots,” I envisioned the sharp changes that are sweeping over the worlds of journalism and marketing, as we transit from traditional broadcast to online media. I saw those paid radio spots simply floating away in the breeze much like the dry seeds of a dandelion blossom…
Maybe they would land somewhere on favorable ground and sprout forth as a new plant. Most of them would simply blow away like dust in the wind.
It is time that universities, online or otherwise, update their curricula…
I realized that I had come to help my client plant and grow a garden. That’s the profound difference between traditional broadcast media (radio, TV and newspaper advertising) and networked social media… In the old school, we continually threw out spots, hoping someone would eventually see or hear one. In the new school we intentionally plant and cultivate a growing presence in new media resources that remains there and grows larger in in outreach as time passes.
The online gardener’s new tools include:
- a blog-based Web site with an ongoing stream of fresh content,
- a well-crafted Business Page on Facebook (with more than a billion members),
- a YouTube channel (which in itself is also the 2nd most popular search engine) with origiinal videos,
- micro-blogging your message and joining in the conversation taking place on Twitter,
- learning about “local” with Google Map Pages and sites like Yelp, Angie’s List among the rapidly expanding dimension of location-based technology
- ask fans to write reviews in Google and Facebook and public forums like TripAdvisor and, Yelp,
- take advantage of the free and ever-evolving set of Google’s gardener tools.
It’s no longer if. It’s when…
… the question is no longer “if“ you decide to employ new media. As newspapers shrink and disappear right before your eyes and radio audiences now listen to what they want on iPods and smart phones, it’s now a matter of “when” you decide to plant that garden.