20 Feb A balanced media diet
We all know the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet, comprising three square meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. But when it comes to consuming information, what’s on the media menu?
The Information Age, the Computer Age, the Digital Revolution – whatever you want to call it, since the 1970s the way we access and absorb information has been changing drastically. From newspapers to YouTube, there are so many formats to get a news fix, so here’s a balanced meal plan for your media consumption. As a PR professional, it’s easy to get seduced by a diet solely comprised of social media, but print and digital media are both integral to a healthy marketing plan. A good, cohesive PR and marketing plan will include generous servings of all!
In 2013, many marketers were quick to dismiss traditional media, declaring print dead. But print is seeing a resurgence. According to a study by Folio, double the amount of magazines were launched in 2014 as in 2013.
Print is taking a lead from the newer forms of media by ensuring it’s fresh, new, and most importantly, relevant to today’s audience. You may have noticed that some of your favourite titles have had an image refresh or rebrand, and have expanded to include digital and social content, whilst still keeping some content exclusive to those who pick up the print edition.
And hop on any tube in London on a busy weekday morning, and you’ll see as many commuters reading the Metro or a magazine as there are glued to their smartphones.
Print is as vital as the strong cup of coffee that kick-starts your morning routine.
Lunch – Digital Media
Sneak into any office at 12pm and you’ll find hundreds of members of staff eating whilst scrolling through their favourite blogs: Mashable, Buzzfeed, Vice, Gawker, Jezebel, the Huffington Post to name a few.
The appeal of digital media is no
t hard to understand, as it offers highly visual, shareable content that mixes ingredients such as video, news, jokes and quality long-form reporting. And there’s so much choice; there are over 31 million bloggers in the US alone, with the number growing daily.
Of course, with so much content out there, it’s important to find and produce high quality material that offers a unique insight or expert advice into a topic. It’s the difference between buying a packaged sandwich for lunch, or bringing in a homemade baguette stuffed with tasty things.
Like a sandwich and cheeky chocolate bar, digital media offers the perfect balance of substance and fun to keep you going through the day.
Dinner – Social Media
Social media used to be referred to as ‘snackable content’, due to its short, snappy nature that allows for uses to ingest a bite-size piece of news, information or opinion. But social media is now offering the bulk of news for many users, both young and old; the Telegraph reports that creating a customised news feed is the primary use of Twitter for 40% of active Twitter users, and a Pew Research study found that over 1/3 of young people get their news from social media. It’s also the perfect place to research brands and products, with another 40% of consumers making a purchase after posting about it on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
Of course, there are lots of pictures of cats wearing hats, but social media really thrives when it comes to breaking news, with hundreds of different eye witness accounts joining together, often under a hashtag, to build a whole picture of an event regardless of where you might be in the world. For example, Twitter was the only place to go for up-to-date news on the rioting in Ferguson, America, by following #Ferguson.
Social platforms are the sushi of media – popular, trendy, quick and easy to eat, but also satisfying.