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?

Just wrapped my last job of the year. Looking forward to getting off the road for a bit. A sincere thank you to all my clients who made this year feel a bit like old times. Going silent for a few weeks. Happy holidays and God bless everyone!

Working the next two days with an Ohio transit authority. Crisis Tip 51: Emergency response plan and crisis communications plan are NOT the same thing. You need both.

Spent the afternoon in Sacramento moderating a fantastic construction manager's annual meeting. Public Relations tip 2: Want reporters to pay attention to your news release? Write more like a journalist, less like a PR person.

Spoke twice today in Columbus. Worked this morning with a State of Ohio agency, and this afternoon with a construction group. Meeting facilitation tip 5: More Variety = More Energy. Mix things up to keep your audience constantly engaged.

Worked this morning with an Ohio-based insurance company. Crisis communications tip 7: Quickly address misinformation and rumors in the early hours of a crisis, or risk losing control of the narrative.

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