Engaging Your Audience through Multiple Channels
Posted by: Maria Doyle
Jan 04, 2011
I recently attended a session on “The Convergence of Marketing & PR in a Digital Age” presented by PR Newswire’s Director of Emerging Media, Michael Pranikoff.
Michael started off with a statistic stating that in 1965 you could reach 80% of adults with three 60-second advertising spots on the major television networks – ABC, CBS and NBC. Today, you would need 117 prime time commercials to produce the same result. His point?…
We are no longer a homogeneous audience paying attention to a limited number of news outlets. Technology has enabled the media to reach very narrow audience segments with specific content.
Another interesting statistic: today, 72% of people on the Internet belong to at least one social network, which translates to 940 million users worldwide. (This rings true – both my parents and my kids are on Facebook – eek!) And today many people are “friending” and “following” brands that they like. So, what does this mean for corporate brands, and their marketing teams?
- First, it’s important to realize that most people don’t distinguish between “traditional media” and “digital media.” People are just looking for information, and these worlds are overlapping and melding, so there is no need to silo these functions within a corporation.
- Second, consumers (including B2B buyers) have direct access to all sorts of information from many different sources, not just news reported by the media. This means as PR practitioners and marketers, we need to think holistically. We need to be aware of both the corporate “brand voice” as well as the “social voice” – the human, interactive, two-way communications that are taking place involving your brand.
- Third, companies need to drive the conversation. Contrary to the belief that the proliferation of social media means you are no longer in control of your brand message, it is important to shape the conversation so that you have some measure of control over it.
Michael talked about the “long tail of corporate content” referencing the concept discussed in Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. Applied to content distribution, PR Newswire says that they tend to see an immediate spike in pick-up of news, but then there is a “long tail” as the news gets redistributed through search, sharing and blogging.
To make the most of this trend, he recommends that organizations “keep talking” in order to shape the conversation about their brand. Specifically, create more frequent, but shorter messages. This will level out the spikes in content distribution.
Attending this presentation was an excellent reminder that we need to continually reevaluate our assumptions and past experiences with PR and marketing as the way people gather information continues to expand. PR and marketing communications are key elements of the “brand voice,” that can also spark the “social voice” to reach our target audiences through multiple channels with timely and relevant information.
Here’s the link to one of Michael’s presentations on SlideShare. And Happy New Year to all!