The days of
single “trusted source” journalism are on the wane. The
profusion of broadband and “always-connected” access to
information is allowing news consumers to choose their
news topics, providers, and media. The result? Greater
opportunities and challenges for PR-minded marketers
exist now than ever before.
flood of news and information is overwhelming editors.
The amount of unedited information being run on news
shows is increasing (see companion story “Let the Viewer
Any person with a digital camera/phone who is in the
right spot at the right time can contribute to a news
show by filming unfolding events. In fact, the BBC asked
viewers to deliver news footage during recent anti-war
Fracture series (view
part three) we discussed how
broadband is changing the way people obtain information.
The paradox of an audience that is growing increasingly
more fragmented while the media is converging is
confusing to say the least.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that deliver
news directly to computer desktops based on individual
preferences will facilitate consumer fragmentation while
encouraging media convergence. The specific media
channel is no longer important when one can easily
choose between a newspaper article, a Weblog posting, a
radio interview or a television news bite, all covering
the same story.
speeds increase and the Internet fulfills its promise,
content will be prepared to order – like ordering dinner
a la carte. When television sets carry the Web and
computers carry TV networks, distinctions will further
blur and the role of the media will change even more.
Consumers, instead of the media, will dictate the news–
which will change how marketers disseminate their
messages via PR.
source” of a single Walter Cronkite is giving way to
thousands of Weblogs. Today’s “trusted source” can be
just about anyone who posts to a blog – and the blog
owner becomes more or less an arbitrator or go-between.
Consumers have become the producers, and yesterday’s
producers are now merely co-producers.
evolution comes opportunity. In an article written
nearly two years ago, we discussed “Pitching Blogs.”
With Weblogs covering just about any type of
industry and interest, the number of potential “news”
outlets is becoming staggering. The odds of finding an
outlet for a legitimate news story grow greater every
accompany these opportunities. Finding the right “voice”
in the correct outlet becomes more daunting as the
number of new outlets grows. And since anyone with a
gripe about your company can find a willing ear (and
mouth) on the Web, the potential need for fire-fighting