Management: Working with the Media
yourself as a credible information source from the first
Provide one face to the media as gatekeeper and primary
frequent updates and avoid long gaps between contacts
prepared to answer hard questions
an issue is outside your expertise, say so
available to take calls and conduct interviews 24/7
news doesn't stop on the weekend – reach out to
expose your spokespeople to the media without the proper
key messages and stick to them, even when the media pushes
media coverage and correct inaccuracies quickly
– Over the last few years, blogs have grown from an outlet for
tech-savvy geeks to something that will shortly be a mainstream
communication vehicle. Corporations and even the media are using
blogs as part of their marketing strategies. They've even become a
channel for breaking news as happened when a group of bloggers
uncovered the inaccuracies in Dan Rather's report on President
Bush's National Guard service.
professionals are beginning to integrate blogs into the media mix,
instead of considering them a stand-alone entity. But, blogs are not
appropriate for every communications program and those who use this
technology need to be mindful of the role it plays and its place in
a marketing/communications strategy.
Transparency – Traditional media's credibility has suffered
over the past few years and some outlets are considering new ways to
regain the trust of readers and viewers. The objective is to involve
them in the news gathering process…but as observers, not
participants. For example, Business Week recently began
offering weekly podcasts about each issue's cover story, which
include interviews with the magazine's reporters and editors to
offer insights into the story behind the cover story.
The objective is
to make the media a bit more intimate and less haughty, and narrow
the distance between themselves and their audiences.
Ethnic (particularly Hispanic) Media – On any newsstand in
the country you can see examples of American media's segmentation
aimed at mothers, surfers, golfers, teen-agers, celebrity news
junkies, and an entire range of ethnic media…especially so with
media aimed at the rapidly growing Hispanic community.
In every one of
the country's top-ten markets, there is a daily Hispanic newspaper
and at least one radio station directed to Hispanics. In many, there
is also a television station catering to this sector. Sports
Illustrated and even ESPN have Spanish-speaking networks.
this trend signals both an opportunity and a warning to understand
the cultural sensitivities of these disparate market segments before
trying to harness their growing power.
of Content – "Podcasts" is a word – non-existent five years
ago – we use almost every day. That change is the result, not of
society's need, but of technology's ability to drive demand.
Technology is at
the root of many current media trends. Not long ago, news could be
viewed or heard from one's living room or other stationary location
housing a TV or radio. Today, you can carry news and entertainment
in your pocket with an iPod (or other MP3 device) or cell phone.
And the younger the market/audience, the easier it is to reach it
through emerging technologies. Indeed, in some cases it's the
Digitalization – When The New York Times announced
that it would merge the operations of its digital and
print news, it signaled the last step in the evaporation of the line
between print and online content. Prior to this action, online
content served as an adjunct to print. Although print publications
will survive, in the future, according to experts in the field, the
reverse will be true.
Consolidation – The model of one media company owning
outlets across multiple channels isn't new. Those who follow the
industry recognize that this trend toward consolidation is likely to
be the norm for some time.
that, in the absence of government regulation of media
consolidation, the only form of checks and balances is technology.
As an example, they point to the rise of satellite radio as the
result of the market's search for an alternative to the
standardization of radio stations – in both style and content –
which was the end-product of the rampant consolidation in radio.
Disintermediation – The merging of technology and the
24-hour news cycle has increased the amount of news available to
consumers. The result is that consumers are less interested in the
source of information than the content. The average consumer can no
longer tell the difference between the news release and the news
story, especially on the web.
and marketers, this presents an opportunity since consumers – while
still concerned with authenticity – will not rely as much on
Syndication (RSS) – This rapidly growing technology is
becoming the preferred way for many business people to receive
information and is on the verge of widespread use.
increasing number of ISPs rejecting e-mails based on a certain
threshold number from a given source, marketers are moving toward
this new technology that allows them to syndicate headlines to
subscribers and websites.