Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Blistering Pace of Media

Remember not that long ago, when getting up to date about your hometown news or world events was an appointment with your morning cup of coffee and the newspaper?

Or when you would tune into the evening news at 6pm or 11pm to get caught up?

And then do you remember when news channels launched on cable, and you could catch a breaking story live within minutes of when it was happening?

And now, news, the definition of news, and the way news is delivered to us has completely changed.

News Defined
For the purpose of this post, we'll define 'News' as any communication about any event that takes place. This could be a hard news item, such as the tragic events that took place at Virginia Tech last year. This could be about feature-based news such as a story about how your company is helping to improve the lives of those in your community.

Or it could be a moment in time, defined and created by your customers as an experience with your product or service. In any of these types of news, the pace in which news gets created, reported, and distributed can now be measured in seconds rather than minutes.

"...the pace in which news gets created, reported,
and distributed can now be measured
in seconds rather than minutes."

Everyone that has a cell phone today is a potential news reporter. They can shoot video and have it distributed on CNN, like that of Jamal Albarghouti, the graduate student at Virginia Tech who captured the frightening sounds of gunfire on April 16, 2007 during the massacre at Virginia Tech.

"Everyone that has a cell phone
today is a potential news reporter."

In a different scenario, a customer can interact with your brand, and if connected to social tools such as blogs, Twitter, or plain old SMS text messages, can distribute to potentially thousands of people within seconds, a commentary on their experience – and chances are the followers of that individual have an audience following them, redistributing the message to thousands more in an instant.

This type of word-of-mouth can be incredibly valuable or extremely destructive if not managed and acted upon correctly.

"Twitter in Plain English"
Courtesy: Common Craft

PR Firms and Marketers Take Note
For most of you, I am hoping, this is not going to be anything new. But I know of a number of very solid PR firms and individuals that are still doing business the old way. That communication is still managed by doing releases, making pitches, getting clips, doing media tours, working contacts, blah, blah, blah.

For those of you not converted, pay attention.

Cell phones, the Internet, and YouTube (check out CNN on YouTube) are changing the game completely. People are 'reporting' about companies in a whole new way, at a whole new pace.

While I was preparing this post, a former Circuit City colleague, Doug Meacham, sent me one of his latest blog posts where he calls out the ‘Top 10 Reasons for Monitoring Brands in Social Media’.

Perfect timing for the conclusion of this article.

So what do you have to say? Can you keep up?

What are you doing to keep up with the blistering pace of media?

Leave us all a comment.



Beau Brewer said...

Hi Todd,

Interesting blog and interesting question.

At my company, we're trying to stay ahead of the curve by positioning ourselves at the intersection of 2 current growth trends: product placement and online video.

Zadby ( essentially creates an online marketplace where brands can commission product placement in online video.

This model fits well with today's pace of change because it forfeits the illusion that we can keep up with current trends and know what our customers want. Instead, you crowdsource creativity and allow the masses to pick up the hot trends. You manage your risk by paying for performance, and you control your image by rejecting content (created on spec) that conflicts with your brand desired image.

Glad to send you some more detailed information if you're interested.

I joined your LinkedIn group and I look forward to following your blog in the future.


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