The Channel Is Where You Make It

Curator PR

We’ve talked for years about the “changing media landscape.”  The question in my mind is whether that shift has become so pronounced as to declare traditional news channels irrelevant? 

In the last few days, President Obama has appeared on "The Tonight Show," and conducted online chats with Amazon.com and Zillow.com audiences.  Compare that with a stat I heard this morning on NPR that the president has only given one interview to the New York Times in the last three years and hasn’t sat down to give a one-on-one to the Washington Post in four years.  Clearly the president’s communication team believes they can reach more of an audience—and have a more unfiltered conversation—through these new “news” channels. 

When was the last time you caught the 5 p.m. TV news?  When was the last time you checked your Facebook feed?

Is it more relevant to you that a house burned down 25 miles from yours and a reporter is showing it from four angles or that your friend on Twitter shared news about a new bakery in your neighborhood?

What do you care about? At Curator one of the questions we ask ourselves as we ideate is whether or not a consumer will really care about the idea – how will it make them look to their social media audience if they “like” a post and what that says about their personal brand.  Do you care about what traditional news channels report in large measure?  From a marketing standpoint our concern has to be where the audience is and if traditional news channels are not providing the type of content that maintains the attention of a group of consumers we have to look elsewhere.  So when the president wanted to talk about housing in America his communication team choose Zillow to reach an audience focused on buying or selling a home. Makes sense.

Last week we purchased an old Seattle P.I. newspaper box from a store in SoDo called Second Use.  They had pallets of them. It’s a striking image of the decline of traditional news media.

We’re going to put an iPad in the box window and show our reel – we like the "old media meets new" metaphor. 

Credit: BGR.com

The New York Times isn’t going away and neither is local news or the Washington Post (We’re very interested to see what Bezos does with the Post.) There is definitely a place for traditional news – even in this new environment, and we’d be foolish as communication professionals to dismiss them.

So the question I ask myself is how we prioritize these channels as it relates to marketing.  As we talk about the new media landscape the options to reach and interact with a consumer expand even beyond social media channels and bloggers.  The “channels” are endless.  Amazon.com and Zillow became channels.  A channel today can live anywhere your consumer is – anywhere.  This is liberating news for creative communication companies. All that matters is that we make a connection.  What are some of the channels you’re using to do this for your clients?