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Something Old Something New

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Earlier in the day, one of the clients pounded the table. “Out! Push the message out! I want to get the message out. I want to get people behind this!”  Visions of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services danced in my head.

“We need ads! ” said the client.  Nothing in the county has a greater impact than does Ulster Publishing,  independent producers of  six weekly newspapers. Read that to mean the dominant Daily Freeman and it’s companions dailies, The Poughkeepsie Journal and Times Herald Record are not seen as driving opinion. 

“Let’s talk about on-line social networking,” I said. 
Later today, a link to a friend and colleague’s blog landed in my e-mauil in-box.  It’s all about setting up meetings with media people, include influential boggers. It’s by one Kelly, a senior account exec at Landis PR in San Francisco. Nice job. The piece has solid tactical points. I’m thinking of “borrowing” it for a series on PR basics.

Next comes an email from another friend and colleage in PRGN, our network of independent PR firms.  Jay Van Vechtan  emailed a compelling e-mail responding to Kelly’s post.

Says Jay: “In days gone by I loved them, but over the years the opportunities for booking a client on a locally produced TV talk, news or radio show has waned at best.  Locally produced morning talk programs have been replaced by syndicated shows.  Morning, noon and drive time news programs have been cut to the bare minimum, all but eliminating time for live, in-studio guests.  Newspapers are in a free fall, with staff cut backs and reduced circulation.  The magazine industry is floundering.  And so where does that leave us?”

Jay moves along with sound, practical suggestions for conducting a media tour in the new Millenium. He recommends outsourcing the work to a group that does satellite media tours, hitting mainly the second rung ADIs.

All the preceding is fine and good. But are those of us in professional communications hanging too long on mainstream media (MSM) and too little on  Web 2.0 social marketing? Sometimes I want to jump up and down waving red flags and say, “HEY it’s changed!”  Sure we have MSM on the one hand and social media with long-tail marketing on the other. 

Listen to Robert Scoble, one of the top bloggers (and representative of Microsoft) talking about social media back in 2007:   “When I say “social media” or “new media” I’m talking about Internet media that has the ability to interact with it in some way. IE, not a press release like over on PR Newswire, but something like what we did over on Channel 9 where you could say “Microsoft sucks” right underneath one of my videos.

“I don’t really care what you call this “new media” but you’ve got to admit that something different is happening here than happens on other media above.”

I’m reacting to messages from clients and colleages at both ends of the day. Yes I really like MSM; indeed grew up as a reporter for The Providence Journal-Bulletin. But Web 2.0 Internet is bringing a tsunami of creative distruction to MSM. Many of us in professional communications find ourselves working harder and harder to get any exposure we can in MSM outlets that are reacing fewer and fewer people with vehices that have less and less content.

Meanwhile Internet communications continues to get larger and larger, more and more focused, faster, slicker, more compelling and tunable than any other media. Individuals can talk back, even have a conversation with one another as well as news makers.  

With all the foregoing passion, I admit that as professional PR and comms resource too many are way under-engaged in social media. It’s not iinertia or blindness, not really. We’re all doing some. What we need is a full-blown process, spec development, and  execution that’s easily managed. Something easy tha all of us can use.

Photo with permission from Full Code Press

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