Friday, January 11, 2008

Why I still rely on mainstream media

Okay, am I the only one who relies on mainstream media to tell me what is happening on the Internet?

I never find out anything “as it happens” on the Net. It first takes a news story to appear in a newspaper or on the radio to alert me of some provocative YouTube video or interesting website.

For example, I learned about the Diet Coke/Mentos great experiment through the Globe and Mail. It seems Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has released an awesome YouTube video with Chuck Norris yet I only learned about this a few days ago from CBC Radio. The Sunsilk wig-out video came to me courtesy of Toronto’s City-TV’s news broadcast, and both of Dove’s viral campaigns came to me via trade publications. While all of this is going on, I’m a bit oblivious to it all until one of my trusted media sources tells me “it’s out there so you’d better check it out.”

I think the role of mainstream media is very much under-valued in the social media ecosystem. There is definitely a “working in tandem” theme between the digital social media world and the old media guard alerting most of us on what is going on out there. I actually like the fact that mainstream media acts almost as a bit of a filter and guide, pointing us to what’s cool and newsworthy so you’re not perpetually lost in the digital pipeline.

So while companies rush to the web, YouTube and the like to get their messages out there, a little help from authoritative media helps everyone navigate some very busy social media waters.


Martin Waxman said...

That's a wonderful insight, Julie. I also find that MSM alert me to some of the best online news/posts/etc. Sometimes, I'll blog about what I read, watch or hear. Sometimes, I'll be really old fashioned and just clip a story. But I suppose it's still cooler to be 'anti-establishment'.

Scott said...

I couldn't agree more with the "filter and guide" concept. There's always new stuff popping up online and most of us don't have the time to scroll through a hundred blogs to find out what's hot....

I still rely on the Globe, the Star, etc. to keep me posted on anything I might be missing. Late night television is good for that kind of thing too. Especially Conan :0)

ZoeyBella said...

I agree with the idea of mainstream media (for selfish reasons as well as professional ones). The Internet is a great source of info when you want it, but there is just something about credited journalists and news sources.

Lisa Caroline Leung said...

It's true, the mainstream media is a good filter for many people, bringing some of YouTube's best to the masses. It's unfortunate though that the best work is sometimes overlooked, and more often than not mainstream media picks up on it long after its original Internet buzz has died down.
Personally, I get the best stuff from my network. There's sort of an unwritten law that you don't pass anything of unless its GOOD. If you do, you lose respect and reputation, and eventually no one looks at what you've passed on. So when someone I trust sends me a vid, I know I am about to be entertained!

Alicia Mason said...

As a PR student, the importance of social media is discussed so much that we often don't realize how we hear about what's happening in social media. I believe that the importance of mainstream media to my generation is being neglected because of the growing popularity of social media. It's nice to stop and think that mainstream media is still so important in PR and it isn't all about social media, as we are sometimes led to believe.

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Thanks for everyone's observations and comments. I appreciate the views. To Alicia, mainstream media is incredibly important not just to us in the PR biz, but to corporate Canada and any business trying to reach a savvy and important consumer. My clients appreciate getting a few mentions on some blogs, but get them front page of the business section of an important daily newspaper, keeps them signing us on all year round!

Christine Smith said...

Trusted sources, including colleagues who spend way more time trolling these sites than I do, are always helpful. For example, a colleague recently put me on to the 60 Minutes interview last Sunday with the 23-year-old CEO of Facebook. Brilliant stuff for analyzing what not to do when 60 Minutes comes calling.

Terance said...

Great post Julie.

I agree in many ways that the MSM is still the best filter in Canada.

However, since you brought up Mike "Dinosaurs roamed with Humans" Huckabee, I want to talk politics and media.

I should mention that the U.S. MSM has failed its constituents when it comes to political coverage, especially Orgs such as CNN and endless pundits such as Tim Russert.

It is far easier to get trusted coverage on the Internet than through the MSM south of the border.