I can’t understand what all the fuss is about…

When I started out running my own company 15 years ago we created a database (now standing at 12,000 personally made contacts). One of the fields it still contains is ‘preferred method of contact’, in which in the early days we duly recorded ‘phone’, ‘fax’ or very occasionally ‘email’ and ‘telex’!

Now the medium has changed. For many of those and more contacts it is twitter, facebook, SMS, email or phone – but the principle remains.

That’s why I can’t understand what all the fuss is about with ‘New’ media. We’ve always had ‘new’ media. And why is it called ‘social’ media? Surely all media is social? Billboards are very social and they were new once. As Jean-Francois Decaux says; “The beauty of our medium is that you can’t turn the page or switch off.”

Our role as marketing & PR professionals is to select the preferred media and that preference is usually the one more likely to be seen and responded to by our target audience – and ultimately the one/s to generate the biggest returns on investment in the shortest time.

In today’s business world we all need to embrace change, and I do, but for many the jury must still be out on measuring the time invested v. the benefit gained and in monetising ‘new’ social media.

Remembering too, that as the channels multiply, the audiences and our mindshares get smaller and smaller – the words from Bruce Springsteen’s 1992 classic come to mind “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”. Air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution…. information overload….media pollution might be next.



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