Once you know who the traditional media is, as we discussed in our previous post, you'll be able to distringuish who the new media are. So, who are the new media, and how have they impacted the way companies are seen in the media?
Who are the ‘new’ media?
The world experienced the expansion and domination of digital media following the popularisation of the internet. New media has had a profound effect on traditional media organisations as they had to develop and adapt to the new environment. Many failed and collapsed. Social media has also created new challenges for traditional media organisations as people look for cheaper, more accessible, sources of information. Keeping up with the rapid pace of change in digital media remains a challenge to this day.
Many traditional print media organisations continued to do what they had already been doing, only in the digital world. Most people who read the news today read it on websites like that of The Guardian, BBC News, or even US brands like The New York Times. More informal sites produced by individuals or smaller teams called blogs proliferated. The blog format allows media organisations to produce multimedia content involving text, audio, and video all in one package. This has also allowed them to publish content quicker. One benefit of digitisation of traditional media to websites is that newspapers no longer need to wait for the following day to print a paper, which accelerates the cycle of news.
The roles you’ll find at a news website or digital magazine will be similar to those at a printed version. In fact, some people use the word ‘print’ to refer to both printed and digital media.
If websites are the digital extension of printed media, then podcasts are the digital extension of radio. Unlike news websites and blogs, podcasts only received popular interest over the past half decade. Some are informal, like US comedian Joe Rogan’s eternal The Joe Rogan Experience. Some produced by traditional media organisations like The Guardian are more formal. Some are conversational. Some involve a narrative series of episodes. Podcasts are also produced by researchers, producers, and presenters. Often podcast hosts are looking for stories to tell, and so they pose a great opportunity to tell your brand’s story.
Social media are the various platforms that have enabled anybody with an internet connection to become their own publisher. The content could be image-focussed, like Instagram, or video-focussed, like YouTube or TikTok.
When it comes to social media vs traditional media - it might be easy to assume that social media is better than traditional media because of its explosion in the past decade. Some PR professionals might categorise a company’s social media presence under PR. Others would give it its own category. The reality is that there’s a lot of overlap between marketing and PR on social media. Many PR agencies and departments will manage a company’s social media as well as its relations with the traditional media. A company’s relations with social media influencers has also become an important part of its overall PR strategy. We’ll come onto how that works later on in this series.
One other group of people that PR functions might extend to are analysts. Analysts often work for analyst ‘houses’ that gather information about specific companies, industries, and sectors. They then sell this information as part of a service to other companies. Analysts sometimes ask companies for information. They also produce reports that might include that information alongside content gathered from interviews with company executives. Providing that information and arranging those interviews often falls under the functions of PR. Analysts are, however, usually separated from ‘the media’.
The media is always changing. That’s in part because traditional media organisations are still recovering from the popularisation of the internet, followed by the rise of social media.
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