March 16th, 2010Building trust in a social world
Media is changing dramatically right before our eyes. We all know this. The seismic shift unfolding over the past 15 years is still close to the beginning of its life. We are all digital toddlers learning to speak our first few words. Some have managed to connect a few words together to form basic sentences and others are still pointing at things and saying “this” or “that”, “dog” and “cat”, but most of us are still watching from the sidelines, sometimes occasionally updating our Facebook status, to let people know that we are trying to understand this new language.
Nowhere has the change been more visible than in the habits of journalists, news organizations and PR practitioners. The shrinking newsroom and the social web has changed the job of a journalist forever. They can no longer just report on a story, but now they must incorporate the voice of the reader, in almost everything they do. Theses voice comes in the form of: short response videos, reader comments, blog responses, mash-ups, digital photos, ireports, tweets, and more…. The inclusiveness of opinions is critical to the success of the modern news organization and this shift has already occurred.
At the same time, the authoritative voice of the media is spreading out and in many cases is being usurped by individuals that have no formal background in journalism, but are passionate drivers of news and trusted much more than many journalists. Their ability to contribute to the conversation through the connective and immediate power of blogs and citizen journalism sites, has flattened the playing field and given us exponential places to learn about the topics we care about.
PR practitioners have moved quickly to adapt to these changes. They have moved from pitching and broadcasting to educating and informing, from controlling the message, to openness and inclusiveness, from influencing a few in high places, to engaging with many across a multitude of digital locations. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Whrrl, Flickr, Message Boards, Chat Rooms, the list of locations of influence goes on and on and on… The media landscape changes, but the core tenets of the profession are still intact, making our clients shine, as best as possible, and building trust with influencers, by providing VALUE to them.