PR and the media

5 Nov

I asked a group of students to list all available media channels for an imaginary local awareness campaign.

They began with mass media (print and broadcast) but quickly added social media. Soon they were thinking more creatively about the meaning of media ('means of communication') and were creating events and other opportunities to meet important groups of people.

Contrast this with the chapter I've just consulted in a very recent – and rather good – textbook on marketing communications. The chapter on media management is a straightforward (and very old-fashioned) account of media buying for a conventional advertising campaign. Social media and unmediated communication received no mention.

I recognise that I'm not comparing like with like. I also see that it's easier for students to think broadly since they've not been conditioned to focus on one channel (eg editorial coverage) – but I find the contrast highly encouraging.

The CIPR student representatives I met yesterday proposed many very good ideas for Behind the Spin magazine. Also very encouraging.

2 Responses to “PR and the media”

  1. Philip Fukuto 07/11/2009 at 1:31 am #

    How recent is “recent”? In terms of social media, the main players have been around for five years or less. Whether it’s Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter, the social media is a recent phenomena that needs additional study before definitive strategies and tactics can be defined as canon.
    The greatest divide, and perhaps the aspect that is most encouraging for the field, is the combination of traditional means of gaining media coverage combined with the newer social media. The two added together provides new capabilities allowing for “word of mouth”-esque effectiveness while spreading at the rate of a mass medium.

  2. Richard Bailey 08/11/2009 at 9:32 am #

    You’ve asked so I’ll name names. The generally very good textbook I was referring to was ‘Marketing Communications’ by John Egan, published in 2007.
    I agree with you that the mass media is still an important influencer (dictating what we think about, if not necessarily what we think), but communicators should not be channeled in their approach to the media.

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