Media fragmentation has pros and cons, especially for those looking to see their business in the news. For consumers, the trend of media fragmentation means increasing choice between and consumption of a range of media — including online, mobile, television, radio, print and more. For marketing and sales professionals, media fragmentation can create increased difficulty in reaching target audiences. Gone are the days of relying on the daily newspaper to know what’s going on in the world. Today’s consumers can find out just about anything with a few clicks on a smartphone. But, that doesn’t mean that newspapers, television, and radio stations are obsolete.
Know Your Audience
One huge negative that’s come with media fragmentation is loss of trust. Trust in the mass media is at an all-time low. Two-thirds of Americans believe the mainstream press publishes fake news. To combat this, you must again figure out your audience. What are they reading, watching or listening to? What do they trust? Those are the outlets, reporters and mediums you should be utilizing to get your message across.
It’s important for companies to remember that different media coverage impacts different people. There isn’t one section of the media that you should ever “write off.” When you think about what ideal media coverage looks like, think about your audience first. Who do you want to target? Business leaders, stay at home moms, college students, entrepreneurs? Every audience has a typical media medium that they tend to go to first for news. Use this strategically when you’re planning your communications plans.
Think about non-traditional news channels too, such as social media. These digital channels are where conversation and personalization of content are important. This can sometimes become overwhelming because of the number of channels that are available. It’s part of what leads to media fragmentation and loss of control and visibility for traditional publishers.
How PR Can Help Media Fragmentation
Because audiences are so scattered, few brands are able to reach them with advertising alone. Not only is traditional advertising cost prohibitive, but modern buyers have many avenues for information that they trust. On the other hand, savvy consumers can spot advertising messages and are more distrusting of information coming directly from brands less than ever. A solid public relations campaign allows you to position your brand in a way that takes advantage of third-party brand credibility to build trust, overcoming these obstacles in a way that advertising can’t. On top of that, after a piece of media coverage is secured, it can be shared through a large number of channels — including digital marketing channels, as well as sales and HR — for free. Trusted journalists can give your brand more credibility than you can buy.
Generating attention and beginning to build trust in a fragmented media landscape is tough. Utilize channels that you control, such as YouTube or your company blog, to help get started. Have a strong communications plan built with strategy for media outlets that you don’t control — such as television news or a trade publication. Finding the right outlets that connect with your target audience can help build trust. Work closely with respected journalists to get your message out there. And, always listen to your audience — after all, they’re the make or break of your brand.
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