By Maury Tobin
A lot of public relations professionals and communicators discuss how social media opened up a new information frontier, but it appears we still wrangle with how to best utilize it or what it means.
Part of the reason is that social media presents this unfiltered mish-mosh of words and images that occupy the digital sphere, but may not have the same importance at the end of the day. Yes, citizen journalists can now shake up the world by illuminating something the mainstream media isn’t, but think about this reality too: in that content stew may exist your friend’s selfie at a wedding and a powerful editorial from The Wall Street Journal.
And if you are someone like me who has a personalized newsfeed gleaned from a range of platforms, it’s easy to understand how news and content junkies embrace the appeal of social media. Nonetheless, it is increasingly becoming clearer that consumers want and need credible information and context from good journalism outfits.
In Tobin Communications, Inc.’s latest PR Podcast, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison discusses the factors behind the ever-shifting news and information paradigm. Harrison says, “We’re already seeing signs of people wisening up to the distinction between something that’s good and something that’s half-baked.”
So that means we’re all going to have to be clever about how we feed the beast.
By Debra Zimmerman Murphey and Maury Tobin
Several weeks ago, we watched the news media gush over Hillary Clinton conducting telephone interviews with TV networks and, as longtime PR ninjas, we found the analyses somewhat amusing. In every election cycle, there are always stories about the inside mechanics of campaigns and what strategies are being used to reach voters.
In this case, wall-to-wall coverage of The Donald – who has trumped many a candidate’s zeal for airtime – motivated Clinton to call CNN and other media operations to gain better control over the media narrative.
But there seems to be a gap in how this story is being told and what it means. Clinton’s move typifies how savvy communicators work. Indeed, while the options for news dissemination and distribution might be as vast today as Anthony Bourdain’s insight into a plate of food, one-to-one conversations with news opinion-leaders still matter.
And the Clinton campaign gets what Tobin Communications, which has been producing Radio Media Tours (RMTs) for two decades, consistently sees: Even in the social-media frenzy (when messages can be delivered unfiltered with a quick click), speaking to journalists is always relevant.
Listen to our recent interview with Chris Krese, a PR executive with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, who points out that continually bypassing the news media is prickly. TCI reminds that social media is important, but so are traditional methods and organic media relations.