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Advertising and PR in the New Media Era

Wherever people of similar interests congregate marketers are soon to follow.  It happened with newspapers and radio.  Then in the 1960s broadcast television ushered in the great era of advertising which was followed 25 years later by the proliferation of cable programming. The requirement to segment an audience for targeting and tailoring of message is the driver of communications.  Gender…cultural background…age…income…topics

Wherever
people of similar interests congregate marketers are soon to follow.  It happened with newspapers and radio.  Then in the 1960s broadcast television
ushered in the great era of advertising which was followed 25 years later by
the proliferation of cable programming.

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The
requirement to segment an audience for targeting and tailoring of message is
the driver of communications. 
Gender…cultural background…age…income…topics of interest…these
demographics and considerations influence nearly $300 billion in advertising expenditures
a year in the United States.

It’s no
secret we are now in a midst of a sea-change in the media advertisers use to
connect with customers and prospects. 
For instance, digital signage networks powered by vendors such as
Microspace Communications (http://www.microspace.com)
deliver interactive and promotional content to consumers in retail, health club
and restaurant venues.

This type
of new media appeals to advertisers because it affords the ability to target by
demographics and interest, as well as to reach consumers when they are in the
buying mood.  Consider Instant Access
Media’s i-am TV (http://www.i-am.tv)
which broadcasts video programming via satellite to a network of high-definition
TV’s located in the country’s highest-traffic sports and neighborhood bars.

The Internet has proven to be the advertisers’ channel of choice in this
era of new media.  The numbers certainly
prove this out.  According to research
firm Global Insight (http://www.globalinsight.com/),
Internet advertising expenditures in 2007 reached $21 billion.  While this remains shy of the $46 billion
spent on broadcast television, Internet ad buys increased 26 percent this past
year while TV dropped nearly two percent.

Moreover, Internet advertising expenditures are now greater than radio
($19 billion), as well as magazines and trade journals combined ($18 billion).

What does this shift in media preference mean for public relations
professionals?  We have to follow the
advertising dollars, delivering content through the Internet and other channels
of new media to extend awareness and generate third-party credibility. 

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It’s the credibility requirement that presents the challenge because in
the new media environment PR cannot rely on journalists and industry analysts to
validate positioning and messaging.  At
Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), we have learned that creativity in
communications is paramount and can be delivered in a number of ways:

1.  Development of crisp, concise
press releases written in an editorial format with carefully selected key words
for Web searchability.  My colleague
Chris Parente (http://cparente.wordpress.com/)
wrote an article last year explaining why the press release is more important
than ever to help companies connect with key stakeholders.

Call Off the Funeral, the Press Release is Alive and Well

http://www.marketingprofs.com/7/press-release-alive-well-parente.asp

2.  Ongoing participation in social networks such
as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, etc. through the development of a comprehensive
profile, maintenance of an extensive list of contacts and participation in
groups of interest.

3.  Creation of “personalized” social networks
using Web platforms like Ning, Flux or Bumpzee to engage with key audiences and
promote thought leadership.  Examples of
vendor-created communities with influence include InMobile.org and The Customer
Collective.

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The tenets
of public relations remain constant regardless the media.  It’s about dialogue and discussion rather
than merely promotion.  That’s how you
build credibility and why PR is an important complement to any advertising
program.

 

Marc Hausman is president/CEO of
Strategic Communications Group, a public relations consultancy based in Silver Spring, MD. 
Read more at:  http://www.strategicguy.blogspot.com/.
 

 

About the author

Hi! I am the president and CEO of Strategic Communications Group, the only public relations consultancy of its size with an extensive track record helping the world's largest and fastest growing technology, software, telecom and healthcare organizations achieve measurable return from social media marketing programs.

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