Thursday, March 6, 2014

Traditional Media is Not Dead

“There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe … the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.”
– Mark Twain

I was destined to become a communications professor and public relations professional. That’s because as a youngster, I was glued to the television screen. Not only did I watch The Cosby Show, Family Ties and The Golden Girls, I also watched Dan Rather anchor the CBS Evening News. During those days, traditional media (television, newspaper, radio and magazine) were the only sources for the news and features of the day.

Thirty years later, the computer screen is taking the place of the television screen. Websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter are a popular resource for learning about the latest news. Some may argue that, these days, Web 2.0 is more powerful than the traditional media, and that businesses should be more concerned with getting their products or services featured online than offline. Hitching a ride on the Internet superhighway may be growing in popularity in regards to promotional value; however, the traditional media is not dead. Based on my 20+ years in the news and public relations profession, I’ve determined that it plays an important role in any marketing mix. Here’s why:

1. It’s Trustworthy
When a person, product or service is featured during a television news report or in a newspaper article, most people consider it automatically credible because the information is being delivered by a (usually) trustworthy third party. Some Internet resource sites, especially blogs, are created by someone who has access to the Internet and can string words together. Other blogs are just opinions that cite articles on traditional media websites.

2. It’s Powerful
If a friend or colleague were to tell you that she is going to be appearing in a news story on a local television station, your first reaction may be “wow, that’s exciting”. Perhaps you will tune in to watch her or perhaps you will DVR it. There is something special and powerful about anything or anyone who appears on television or is featured in the newspaper. It’s uncommon, it’s distinctive and it’s powerful.

3. It’s No Less Social
You get double the exposure with the traditional media. First, the story is presented to the masses and then it can then be shared on the web. You can add it to Facebook, tweet it out to your followers, post it on your blog or add it to the press section of your website. So, your business is first being featured to those in your community and then to your online fans and followers.
Traditional media is not dead. It is alive and breathing – unlike Rudy’s goldfish on The Cosby Show.

Maria Aselage, owner of HearSay Communications, has been an adjunct professor of communications in The Citadel School of Business since 2007.  During her 20+ years in the communications field, she worked as a television news anchor and reporter and served as the Director of Communications and Media Spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston.  Her company specializes in crisis communications, earned media and video production.

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