Posts Tagged ‘Future of the media’

When PR Experts Emerge As Tastemakers…

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Last Friday I attended PRSA T3 conference and as promised, I wanted to share a glimpse of my experience with you. The incredible line-up put together by conference co-chairs, Rich Teplitsky PRSA Technology section chair and my #PRStudChat partner, 2.0 expert and author Deirdre Breakenridge, offered a full day of lively sessions,  including an intriguing session by Christine Perkett, President of PerkettPR, on “Driving your own influence: PR experts as influencers.”  Here are some of the key tips and takeaways from Christine’s presentation, provided by Heather Mosley of PerkettPR.

In the field of public relations, as within any other industry, “stars” emerge. Those who offer value and receive exposure gain attention. And while in the field of PR it is usually our clients who take center stage, Christine’s presentation highlighted tastemakers such as fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone and social media experts such as Brian Solis who have become influencers in their own right. She encouraged those seeking to become influencers to share; write a book, offer quotes for a book, blog and tweet. Christine also cautioned that while sharing and participating in social media is essential, equally important is the need to offer value. Consider everything you put out there especially in writing, and what value it offers to others.

Following the session, Christine shared a few thoughts with me for young PR practitioners who seek to become influencers.

So here is my question to BurrellesLuce readers: What are your thoughts on PR experts as influencers? Is it the role of the PR practitioner to stay behind the brand, or do those PR influencers who are able to emerge as veritable tastemakers offer an added value to both clients and their community?

When It Comes to Online Media, Just The Facts Are Free . . .

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual report is once again upon us. As in the past, it confirms that the majority of us get our information online and that we do not want to pay for it, subscribe to it, or pay-per-click for an article.

The facts may be free, but getting them collected, edited, checked, and delivered to you online or otherwise still costs money. Like almost every else When It Comes to Online Media, Just the Facts Are Freeyou do in this life, you do get what you pay for. The old joke of “hiring’em young while they still got all the answers” may work fine for opining in the blogosphere, but may not cut it in the “knock three times and tell’em Dan sent you” world of investigative journalism.

Then there is this little issue of legality. At the recent OnCopyright 2010 conference put together by the Copyright Clearance Center in New York City, a self-proclaimed investigative blogger lamented the chilling effect of the many defensive lawsuits filed against him. While we may be prejudiced against the larger media organizations at times, they can stand up to this type of intimidation. To preempt the criticism they vet their sources and data prior to publishing and if that’s not enough they have financial resources to support their position.

Back to free; the cry is that everything should be free on the Internet . . . Well it never has been and never will be. The content and information you get every day on the web is being paid for by somebody, usually advertisers. For lots of reasons we can look at later, this subsidy is just not cutting it.

So if we want reliable, vetted information we have to support its creation. In other words, we have to pay for it. The organizations that are creating vetted content are searching for a way to do this. There are a number of models being tried currently.

  1. The pay-wall which is in place at a number of sites and variations are being implemented by the Financial Times and the New York Times.
  2. The pay-by-article model for which you pay only for what you read á la iTunes.
  3. A central subscription service for many participating providers.

I believe all of these are doomed to fail. However, I do believe there is a fourth solution that could prove viable and consumer-friendly. It would be a hybrid of the pay-by-article model and the aggregated subscription combined with some as of yet unreleased technology.

Over the coming weeks, I look forward to examining more closely some of these monetization options and having a bit of discourse on the topic. In the interim, I strongly recommend that anyone whose livelihood, especially journalists and public relations professionals, is tied to media read the Pew Report. And share their thoughts with myself and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Video Killed the Radio Star, But What Will It Do to the TV Star?

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Video killed the radio star, but what will it do to the television star?

Tuesday night I attended VideoSchmooze, a panel discussion loaded with heavyweights from within the television, cable, and video industry. We heard from executives at Hearst, Comcast, NBC and BlipTV – all of whom attempted to forecast the uncertain future of broadband/mobile video marketing and technology trends, paid vs. ad supported business models, and what the key broadband priorities are going forward for these companies.

Back in May I blogged about TV being at a crossroads as more people watch videos on mobile devices, PC’s, and laptops and what the new model for television might look like going forward.

Well here we are five months later and the question still remains: “What is the best way for video content providers to maximize profits from this explosion in online viewing?”  The challenges that exist are many. If companies like Comcast are successful with the launch of “TV Everywhere” (providing content on multiple platforms for existing customers at no extra charge) by the first of the year, how will this “untethered content” be monetized? How do you prevent cannibalizing incumbent models that remain key revenue streams for media companies (DVD’s and syndication)? How do you accurately measure the viewership online and will the ads be more targeted to the viewer?

For any of this to be a viable option the panel agreed the viewers would first have to be authenticated as a paying satellite or cable subscriber; the content would have to be protected through some sort of DRM (digital rights management) to prevent the undermining of the existing revenue streams (DVD’s and syndication) and there has to be a way to attach an add value to this nascent technology.

The question I find most interesting is “Who will dictate this new model? Will it be the cable providers, content providers, or the consumers?” With all this background noise, one thing is for certain: content remains king at a time when consumption is coming from more “non linear” mediums (e.g., smart phones and laptops PC’s). I live in Manhattan where there is a choice of over 18,000 restaurants, and while I’m always game for trying a new place, I usually return to my tried-and-true – the place where the food is simply just better. I’m not sure how the content will be distributed in the future, but one thing I do know for sure is that whoever figures out how to get the premium content I want and in the way that I want it will earn my loyalty. I’ll continue to try the latest and greatest technology but will always return to the place serving the best content. And as they say, “where there is good content there is ad consumption.”

As a marketing and public relations professional, how do these trends affect you? Please share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

The Stork Does Not Deliver Free News

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Steve Shannon

Bravo to Rupert Murdoch for having the guts to say and do what others in the media industry have been wringing their hands over for quite some time: “We intend to charge for all our news websites…If we are successful, we’ll be followed by all media.”

Naturally, and as expected, many of the folks I follow on Twitter and in my Google Reader all piled onto poor Rupert. The worst of the comments: he’s an old man who doesn’t understand that Internet news yearns to be free, yada, yada, yada.

Here’s what I do know about Mr. Murdoch: he bought the Wall Street Journal and kept it on a subscription basis, despite the fact that even he stated he’d remove the subscription wall. I also know that Mr. Murdoch is one very clever businessman who has built a behemoth of a business empire. Who is anybody to question him? Clearly, he’s learned something from the Wall Street Journal and he’s going to put that lesson to work in his other media properties.

Murdoch’s critics point out that if his properties enact a subscription wall around their content they’ll lose audience. To that I would say, and I’m sure Murdoch is too, SO WHAT? What does any media outlet get by giving its content away for free? Next to nothing. It’s a well known fact that online advertising is not a workable model so what does News Corporation, or any other online media outlet, have to lose by asking people to pay for and value the content? Right now, traditional media is taking it on the chin financially. They can either die a slow death by staying with the free model, or show some guts, as apparently Murdoch is going to do, and rightfully charge for their valuable content. They may die faster, but on the other hand they may find the revenue model that WILL work.

Another specious argument is that by enacting pay walls around their content, media properties will lose their link love from the likes of Google and other search. To that I say, who needs it? Nobody goes searching for news; they want it pushed to them. Many claim that they now get their news via Twitter.  But how? By people who are quoting and linking to news that is reported by traditional media!

Too many folks have chugged the Internet Kool-Aid and are confusing medium with the product. In terms of the media industry, the Internet is still nascent, and media is still finding it’s footing, albeit not as fast as other industries. Whether journalism and news are in print or online, that doesn’t matter; the people producing it need to make money. And that’s the bottom line on this issue. My bet is on Murdoch and that subscriptions will definitely be a part of the equation.