The magic of broadcast media – don’t discount it yet

Steve Davis, bottom left, in the QandA audience in Darwin

Some earnest guy, bottom left in the QandA audience in Darwin. Who could he be, I wonder?

It is tempting for those of us who are close to the constantly-surprising range of Social Media tools, to write off mass media as a fading, clumsy, wasteful medium, at least from a marketing perspective.

We read reports on flagging circulations and viewer numbers and are bombarded by predictions like:

  • Newspapers will be dead within three years
  • TV has been killed by pirates
  • 62% of media content consumed by people born after 1980, has been made by people they know

But a few things this month have reminded me of the buzz, the magic, that mass media can create when it does things right.

And these three events have covered radio, print and television.

Don’t underestimate the ’15 minutes of fame’ dynamic

As part of this year’s October Business Month, I have been blogging here at the RITE Series and meeting some industry groups face to face.

It has been incredible watching my RITE network grow as I have been brought into contact with hundreds of people I would have most likely never met.

But then I saw myself on the OBM television commercial, then on the cover of Darwin Life magazine and finally found myself having chats with Pete and then with Greg and Mel on Mix104.9. I was also in the audience for Q and A on Monday night and have had lots of clients and family members contact me to say they saw me and to seemingly ‘congratulate’ me (for doing nothing).

I must confess, even though many of those stats about the waning universal pull of mass media, nothing quite matches the ‘buzz’ of getting your 15 minutes of fame. It is good fun, it is a conversation starter AND it turns you into a promoter of whatever media channel featured you.

We are simple things, us humans!

Stroke our egos, give us a moment of attention, and IT GETS YOU EVERYWHERE!

What is behind this enduring medialust?

I think our thirst for ‘respect’ which goes hand in hand with having someone pay attention to us (or us being heard) is the key ingredient here.

I have noticed that people become more interested in hearing what you have to say or in meeting you, once you have been BLESSED by mass media. Of course, this can work the other way – there is such a thing as bad publicity.

The dynamic of being acknowledged on mass media is the dynamic of ‘third party’ attribution.

The thinking goes: If they were mentioned by Darwin Life Magazine, they must be interesting or cool, therefore I need to look at them a little closer, etc.

Some business people try to BUY this prominence by putting themselves in their ads and then by making reference to their ads as if they had been sought out by Tony Jones and included in the Q and A panel. It is not the same.

Even though I advocate us focussing on our customers and their needs, and the production of content to help them solve problems through our online social marketing and our face to face customer service, it will always remain important to keep a weather eye on current affairs and topics hot in the media.

If a moment arises when YOU have something VALUABLE to contribute, you need to be ready to jump in and attract the attention of media outlets – they need you as much as you need them.

The danger, I think, is when we spend too much time courting these fleeting moments of ‘fame’ and not enough on our customers and prospects who will hopefully be around us for a long, long time if we treat them like THEY are the celebrities in our lives.



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