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 all day today in Fort Wayne, Indiana at a construction association leadership academy. Negotiation tip 33: Don't mirror your opponent's demeanor, especially if the tone/questions are negative.

Spoke this morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Crisis tip 17: Don't do news interviews directly in front of the crisis scene. The news media want to show you in front of the "trainwreck." Resist!

Worked today in Denver with a soon-to-be very large credit union association. Presenting tip 6: Remove physical -- or virtual barriers -- that disconnect you from your audience (lectern, table, spacing, bad camera angle, distracting background, etc.).

Speaking this week in Colorado, Tennessee and Indiana. Messaging tip 19: Too many talking points leads to watering down of core message. PRIORITIZE!

Spoke today in Columbus, OH. Virtual tip 6: Here's my take on camera ON vs. camera OFF debate. If in the "old days" meeting was a phone call, then cameras OFF. If it was an in-person meeting, then cameras ON. Set expectations in meeting invite whether it'll be camera ON or OFF

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