There was a time when there was no Social Media. Print Media reigned supreme for News. Then came Television and there was the classical binary between Print & Electronic Media. However, it was the emergence of Online Media and as if that were not enough, the hydra-headed Social Media which blurred the boundaries of all concerned. And how!
Consider this. I woke up this morning to a bindass Instagram post of a beautiful, glamourous and charming lady who has put up a lovelorn post, missing her better half who is away on a military posting. Nothing unusual there. Only that the person in question is a popular news anchor whom I had followed because, well, I like her news anchoring! Not every journalist is going off-track on social media though. Most are busy populating there byline print story or A/V clips of their news reportage/anchoring on their social media platforms to connect one-one-one with their readers/viewers, with the dynamic scope of instant feedbacks and conversations around their stories.
Now consider this: Missed your morning newspaper in your morning rush to the work place? Worry not! Catch up on your way or upon reaching destination, in your friendly handy mobile screen or the ubiquitous laptop. All newspapers and News channels have their online presence in their websites.
In the websites of print publications, you will find the various news stories presented in tune with the website format. You still want the exact look n feel of your morning newspaper? Worry not again! An e-newspaper is available right there in the website where page by page you get a downloadable PDF of your newspaper.
The Television channels are equally online savvy. There are live streaming of news on the online platforms, apart from the options to view recorded stuff.
Then there are the App extensions of the newspapers and the TV channels providing these services plus a couple of interactive or value-added features thrown in for good measure.
But Wait. Let the downpour of social media enter the fray to make things really thick. Most newspapers, TV channels and even online media platforms have their social media handles. This means they are present in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more, from where they can flash or tweet whatever they want to or highlight whichever story or issue they deem fit. Add to it the personal social media handles of the journalists about which I wrote in the beginning of the article and how they can use those handles to beam something professional or something entirely personal to their “Contacts”. Similarly it is not uncommon to find a hot-shot crime reporter managing his own popular YouTube channel, while Audio visual content of TV channels themselves abound aplenty in the YouTube universe.
Now comes the crux. What does it all mean for the Corporate Communication professional? Well, for one it is definitely a bonanza for them as each media brand has its multiple avtaars across platforms. This increases the chances of getting your message across to a wider audience. It is like this: Could not get your product launch into the pages of a national daily? Not even a Business Daily? Try their online presence or their apps. By the way, some of the leading publications have also started their own regular podcasts! Try there…
However, trying to reach out to the media or its avtaars is not your only option. In fact, sometimes your first option can be not a media brand but a well-meaning “Influencer” brand who has people eating out her/his hand, thanks to their million plus following on this or that social media platform.
But there is a catch. In case of a crisis, the same negative news may be staring at your hassled face from the multiple platforms and forums. Not to mention the barrage of toxic tweets and trolls that are almost like the second skin of the social media platforms that can turn out to be not so social at the drop of a hat.
Moral of the story – Love it or hate it, the increasingly complex relationship between media, online media and social media is here to stay. The mandate for the Corporate Communication professional is to use its nuances to one’s advantage.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.
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