Category Archives: new media

New Media Versus Old Media: Both Claim Wins

 

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Old radio set

In July 2013 I posted an article titled Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media. The next week I listed reasons Why Old Media Are Better Than New Media. My point in these back-to-back posts is that both have their strong points.

(Also, I use the word “media” as a plural of “medium,” though I acknowledge that many people refer to “media” as a single entity.)

Here are those lists:

Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media

  1. The internet is open to everyone. No FCC license or printing press necessary.
  2. Net content is available throughout (most of) the world.
  3. Content can be archived on computer drives or accessed via the cloud.
  4. It’s easier to make corrections to web content than to material that’s already been published or transmitted.
  5. Advertising is not as pervasive or obnoxious. Yet.
  6. Content can be more easily targeted to specific groups.
  7. It’s easier to email a file than to send via USPS or FedEx.
  8. It’s quicker to send a text message than to make a call.
  9. Downloading books, movies and music is more convenient and more eco-friendly than purchasing at stores.
  10. Wikipedia and Google provide info that’s more up to date than those volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica and Webster’s dictionary.
  11. Twitter and Facebook serve as community town hall forums for instant sharing of ideas and thoughts on news and events.
  12. Interactivity allows all to participate.
  13. Apps on mobile devices provide immense amounts of entertainment and information.
  14. New media bring continual innovation while old media struggle to keep up.

 

Why Old Media Are Better Than New Media

  1. A framed newspaper article on the wall of your business looks better than a framed printout of the online version.
  2. The Super Bowl looks better on a 50-inch TV screen than it does on a smartphone.
  3. Spill your oatmeal on your morning paper, not a big deal. Spill oatmeal on your iPhone/iPad/MacBook, panic time.
  4. Listening to traffic reports on radio while driving is not as distracting as looking at traffic apps on a smartphone at 60 mph.
  5. Internet connectivity is not so hot on country back roads when compared to the signal strength of a Class C FM station.
  6. A century-old newspaper has more credibility than a ten-year-old news aggregator.
  7. Movie theaters offer an experience that cannot be duplicated at home. And the popcorn is better.
  8. Online death rumors are often hoaxes. Old media are more likely to seek verification.
  9. A segment on local TV morning news is likely to be seen by more eyes than a feature on a popular local blog.
  10. Wikipedia information can be revised and updated by literally anyone. Traditional reference material is vetted by scores of editors.
  11. Neighborhood weekly newspapers provide useful information not easily found elsewhere.
  12. Despite fragmentation, advertisers still reach enormous audiences via TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
  13. A telephone call allows for speedier dialogues than does a series of text messages or emails.
  14. Even in the era of consolidation, no single entity rules old media like Google dominates new media.

(During Summer 2015 I am revisiting several of my posts from previous years.)

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Be Inspired; Don’t Copy

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Last week’s court decision that ordered the artists who created the 2013 hit song Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams) to pay $7M+ to the heirs of Marvin Gaye has reignited talk of plagiarism and copying the works of others. It is certainly a golden era for intellectual property attorneys.

If an artist says his/her work is “inspired” by that of another artist, is he/she necessarily ripping off the original artist? And what inspired Marvin Gaye to compose Got To Give It Up with its memorable bass line? Did Gaye hear something in another song that inspired him? Did the bass player on the session offer any input?

Any examination of popular art (radio, TV, music, movies, books, etc.) during the last century reveals works that were influenced by what came before. An obvious example is the spate of performance competition TV shows that have followed in the wake of American Idol’s success. But remember, performance competitions were popular in the early days of TV and radio and go back, at least, to the days of Vaudeville stage shows.

If you have been inspired by a presentation you attended, an interview you watched, a book you read, a blog post or podcast you accessed online, feel free to talk and write about it. If you quote, attribute. If you share an idea that’s similar or parallel to what you’ve consumed, tweak it enough to make it your own. That’s okay. But blatantly stealing is not okay.

Numerous bloggers, journalists and authors have complained of their best work being stolen by those who have taken advantage of digital technology. In 2015 it is easy to copy and paste content and claim it as your own. But it is also easy to monitor the net and other sources and spot the thievery.

Each of us is inspired and influenced by all the media output that has flowed into our brains during our lifetimes. Sometimes the content you or I deliver may have a familiar ring. But as long as we dish it out in our own words (or music or graphics, etc.), without directly copying, the work we produce can be fresh and compelling. And it may even inspire others.

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Don’t Bury Your Message

beach-message-in-a-bottle-HD

During my media career, I have observed the full spectrum of messaging styles. I am convinced that, in almost all cases, the best way to generate a desired response is to make your call to action direct, clear and unambiguous.

Hard sell commercials on radio and TV may be annoying but they exist to sell a product or service or to motivate you to do something that is likely to lead to a purchase—such as visit a store or website, call for more info or ask a doctor to prescribe a medication.

In our new media world, much of the promotional messaging we receive is more subtle and low-key. Often, the call to action may be hidden deep within useful or entertaining content. The call to action may only be implied or vaguely suggested.

A Facebook post that shows a cute puppy may not contain verbiage that urges you to visit a certain pet supply store. But if it’s on the Petco page, you are likely to make a connection and may be more prone to shop there. When Petco mentions a 20% discount in its posts and encourages you to shop by a deadline date, you may be likely to respond (than to the simple puppy pic).

My earliest guidance on email marketing made a strong case for including useful or entertaining content (to assure a significant open rate) in each email and including a sales message almost as an afterthought. While this may work for some, I prefer to describe what is being offered, issue a call to action, then provide means for response: website, email address, phone number, etc.

In today’s environment where we are being inundated with more messages than
before from a larger number of sources, it is important to state what you’re selling, share a key selling point or two and tell how to buy your product or service. Burying your pitch deep inside your content may not produce your desired outcome.

With that thought in mind, a quick (direct, clear and unambiguous) message about my work: I help businesses tell their stories and promote their products and services via media placements, social media and email marketing (among other channels). If you or someone you know needs help with getting key messages to target customers, please call me in St. Louis at 636-346-3434.

 

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Short Attention Span Theater

We live in a world of truncated content. If you don’t have 3 hours to watch a ball game, you watch the highlights in a 40-second package on TV (or on your phone or tablet).

Don’t want to watch SNL on Saturday night? Catch a segment or two later via Hulu.

News and commentary come in short spurts on Twitter.

I skim. You skim. We all skim.

Though much of this shortened content comes via new tech, the idea of minimizing content is not new.

My grandparents’ favorite magazine was Reader’s Digest, which curated and condensed content from numerous print sources. What they liked most were the humor sections, consisting of brief snippets. My mother was a subscriber to Reader’s Digest condensed books, which delivered short versions of 4 or 5 books in one volume.

In my teens and 20’s, I read The Sporting News every week. The parts I enjoyed most were the “three dot” notes columns from Dick Young and other writers and the news nuggets, often collected under the heading “Caught on the Fly.”

Some of the biggest shows on early TV were comedy programs that featured “blackout” sketches, which could run from just a few seconds to a couple of minutes. (These bits were adapted from the live theater form called Vaudeville.)

When you choose not to click on a video because it runs 4 minutes and you only care to devote 2 minutes OR when you skip a blog post because it runs 9 paragraphs instead of 3, don’t feel bad. You’re not the first to be stingy with your time.

Think of all the students who didn’t actually read Moby Dick back in the day but flipped through the Classics Illustrated comic books or skimmed the CliffsNotes.

A Short Attention Span is not a new phenomenon. The volume of content and number of delivery channels, however, are greater than ever.

With a finite amount of time and seemingly endless content choices, it’s important that we all manage our time as efficiently as possible.

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Dead Media? Maybe Not!

In recent months I have been told:

Newspapers are dead. No one reads the newspaper anymore. But I saw tons of posts and shares of that full-page ad by the Red Sox in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Even if most people saw it on Facebook instead of on newsprint, it was considered important enough to generate enormous social love.

Radio is dead. No one listens to radio anymore, only Sirius and Pandora. But it was interesting to note the volume of outrage when Texas governor Rick Perry recently ran ads on St. Louis radio stations inviting businesses to move to Texas.

Television is dead. Everybody gets their video entertainment from Netflix and Youtube. Yep, let’s skip the HD telecast of the Super Bowl on the 52-inch screen and watch the live stream of the game on our iPhones.

The press release is dead. Nobody responds to a press release anymore. Apparently traditional and online media outlets are now learning about events via ESP.

Facebook is dead; all the cool kids are now on Instagram. Also, Twitter is dead; everybody’s on Facebook.

Magazines are dead. Please mention that to the clerk at 7-11 when he puts the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on sale in a couple of months.

Phone calls are dead. Everybody would rather email or text. If you ever need to summon an ambulance in a hurry, will you text 9-1-1?

Before you exaggerate the rumors of a medium’s or network’s demise, remember that the channels of communication are constantly changing. Ebb and flow happen. Hotness fades. Comebacks occur.

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Why Old Media Are Better Than New Media

  1. A framed newspaper article on the wall of your business looks better than a framed printout of the online version.
  2. The Super Bowl looks better on a 50-inch TV screen than it does on a smartphone.
  3. Spill your oatmeal on your morning paper, not a big deal. Spill oatmeal on your iPhone/iPad/MacBook, panic time.
  4. Listening to traffic reports on radio while driving is not as distracting as looking at traffic apps on a smartphone at 60 mph.
  5. Internet connectivity is not so hot on country back roads when compared to the signal strength of a Class C FM station.
  6. A century-old newspaper has more credibility than a ten-year-old news aggregator.
  7. Movie theaters offer an experience that cannot be duplicated at home. And the popcorn is better.
  8. Online death rumors are often hoaxes. Old media are more likely to seek verification.
  9. A segment on local TV morning news is likely to be seen by more eyes than a feature on a popular local blog.
  10. Wikipedia information can be revised and updated by literally anyone. Traditional reference material is vetted by scores of editors.
  11. Neighborhood weekly newspapers provide useful information not easily found elsewhere.
  12. Despite fragmentation, advertisers still reach enormous audiences via TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
  13. A telephone call allows for speedier dialogues than does a series of text messages or emails.
  14. Even in the era of consolidation, no single entity rules old media like Google dominates new media.

Note: This is a follow up to last week’s post, Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media. Both have their respective virtues.

Why New Media Are Better Than Old Media

  1. The internet is open to everyone. No FCC license or printing press necessary.
  2. Net content is available throughout (most of) the world.
  3. Content can be archived on computer drives or accessed via the cloud.
  4. It’s easier to make corrections to web content than to material that’s already been published or transmitted.
  5. Advertising is not as pervasive or obnoxious. Yet.
  6. Content can be more easily targeted to specific groups.
  7. It’s easier to email a file than to send via USPS or FedEx.
  8. It’s quicker to send a text message than to make a call.
  9. Downloading books, movies and music is more convenient and more eco-friendly than purchasing at stores.
  10. Wikipedia and Google provide info that’s more up to date than those volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica and Webster’s dictionary.
  11. Twitter and Facebook serve as community town hall forums for instant sharing of ideas and thoughts on news and events.
  12. Interactivity allows all to participate.
  13. Apps on mobile devices provide immense amounts of entertainment and information.
  14. New media bring continual innovation while old media struggle to keep up.

 

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