Content, Not Tech, Future of Media Relations

Technology will always evolve, but content (and connection) will always be king.

Judging by the bazillions of hours people spend on their tablets, smartphones and laptops, you’d think most people get most of their news from the Internet. But according to a poll by the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans still get most of their news from television.  And although 43% of Americans said they now get most of their news from the Internet (people were allowed to name up to two sources), what does that really mean to companies and organizations trying to work with the media? I say not much.

People often ask me in our media training sessions if the tried-and-true interviewing techniques and tactics that we have taught our clients for nearly 15 years still work in the digital age. My response is to answer their question with another question: ‘When you get your news ‘from the Internet where do you get it?’  95% of the time I bet you get it from a TV station’s or newspaper’s website. The method in which ‘we digest our news may be changing, but the news gathering process has not.  Five years from now TV sets and printed newspapers may go the way of telegraph, but you’ll still have journalists sweating to make deadlines and being as grumpy as ever.

Content, not technology, is king and always will be.  A human being still has to interview you, shoot and edit the video, write the words, pick the sound bites. After all what is a website, blog, video channel, etc. without content?   Surely not very interesting and surely not somewhere you’d want to be.

Anthony Huey is president of Reputation Management Associates, a media, speech and crisis communications consulting and training firm.  He speaks nationally on a number of timely communications topics for a wide range of industries.

Where in the World is Anthony?

Spoke this morning in Minneapolis to Realtor association communications directors from all over the country. Q&A tip 64: Avoid trailing off at the end of sentences. Make eye contact and end strong.

Spoke yesterday to Florida Realtors; today to California IT managers; tomorrow, I'm in Minneapolis. Presenting tip 72: Storytelling is a powerful tool. It helps visualize complex ideas, and it provides that much needed connection to the audience.

Spoke yesterday to financial executives. Business development tip number 1 for all my many construction-industry clients: THE two most important people to winning new projects are your Project Manager and Superintendent. But are you preparing them effectively for interviews?

Spoke today in Chicago at a sales and marketing conference. News interview tip 9: Long-winded answer leads to being "taken out of context." Keep responses 10-12 seconds and significantly reduce the chance your comments will be misinterpreted.

Speaking in Chicago tomorrow. Crisis Communications tip 44: Don't let outside groups hijack your social media efforts. Build a base of supporters in the good times who will rally to your defense in the bad.

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