Is traditional media still relevant in an integrated world?

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Is traditional media dead? This is a topic you hear being discussed time and time again within our circles. It’s undeniable that traditional media’s dominance has been eroded by the emergence of social media and the internet, or ‘new media’, but to suggest it is dead is to massively underestimate the importance of television, radio, newspapers and magazines in the modern world.

So, has new media completely taken over, or are the traditional physical formats still relevant? Can they work side-by-side with one another in a more complex media mix than ever before?

Traditional media considered more trustworthy

New media’s emergence has certainly shaken up the marketing and PR world, but it still has a long way to go to match the credibility of traditional channels. Traditional media has spent years building credible brands that audiences trust and it’s for this reason that a story featured on a traditional outlet will carry more weight than one published on even the most popular online blog. The recognition factor that comes with being featured in traditional media should not be underestimated.

A recent study by Australian PR firm Crossman Communications found that even if consumers used new media, they still held traditional media in higher regard when it came to credibility. As Jackie Crossman, managing director of Crossman Communications explains:

“Despite the advance of mobile and social media changing how and what we read, watch and listen to, the research shows that it has not fundamentally changed who we trust. It also suggests that the popularity of an online site does not necessarily mean credibility.”

Therefore, securing a story in a major publication will resonate with consumers more effectively than if the story was covered on new media alone. It’s also important to remember that if your story features on a traditional media slot, you can expect a trickledown effect as your piece is picked up by bloggers and discussed on social media anyway.

If traditional media was no longer relevant, surely it wouldn’t have the ability to set the agenda in not just its own world, but the digital one, too?

Traditional and new media rely on each other

Whether they like it or not, traditional and new media need each other. As you will see, their reciprocal reliance is a positive thing, because together they can work in perfect harmony.

For example, if Peppermint Soda secured a radio slot on the subject of social media, you can guarantee we’d promote our appearance on our social media channels.

Why? Because doing so allows us to leverage the credibility enjoyed by traditional media and position ourselves as experts in the field. Crafting these tweets would also create a buzz about our appearance before and after it happens. Seems a no brainer? That’s because it is.

The relationship between social and traditional is by no means a one-way street. Traditional media now finds itself reliant on new media to help increase engagement with its audiences. For example, it’s common for a publisher to seed their content on Twitter, host debates on Facebook and encourage readers to comment on the footer of their articles. These are all methods that see the old world merge with the new to spread key messages further, increase engagement and keep an audience coming back.

Reaching your audience

The benefits of integrating traditional media into your PR mix become clear when you consider the diversity of modern day consumers. Nowadays, people find out what is important to them from a combination of both old and new media. Consumers will take to their phones to catch up on the news, or to find out what’s trending. Even so, that doesn’t mean they won’t take time out of their day to read a paper or listen to the radio in work or pick up a magazine in a waiting room.

The amalgamation of old and new media is perfectly illustrated by the modern phenomenon of dual screening, where a person will browse the internet on a tablet or smartphone whilst watching television.

As you can see, today’s consumers are diverse in how they enjoy their media – this means your brand needs to be just as diverse when it comes to reaching them. To see traditional and new media as separate silos instead of overarching spheres is to completely fail to see how to market your brand in the modern world. To reach modern consumers, make sure you are visible in the places they look for information. This means understanding your audience and creating a targeted, integrated strategy that reaches consumers online, offline or through a combination of both.

Need to know more?

If you want to know more about how you can create a modern PR strategy that works in today’s integrated world, speak to our team today.

We can advise you on the best approach to ensure your strategy elevates your brand above your competitors.

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