Traditional media is on the social media bandwagon big time. That fact was quite evident during a panel discussion I enjoyed moderating this week at the Economic Club of Chicago.
Panelists Emily Barr, President & CEO, Post-Newsweek Stations; Gerould Kern, Editor, Chicago Tribune, and Torey Malatia, CEO, Chicago Public Media, discussed how their organizations are adapting to the new world of news dissemination. In the past, traditional media resisted use of its content by others, but today there is a symbiotic relationship with news aggregators (Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Google News, etc.) which help drive hits to the originators’ sites. Today, traditional news organizations are aggressively embracing and innovating social media and mobile approaches. The once predictable news cycles are history.
Panelists acknowledged that consumers are in command of their personal media preferences and they are becoming their own editors. In so doing, consumers will pay more to get the news they want. Example: Print and online subscriptions to The New York Times now generate more revenue than advertising, which is a sea-change from the days that ads were the cash cow for newspapers. Kern said, “People will pay only if they see real, unique value in what we offer them. We must deliver news that is unique and valuable to people and distinctive to us as a news source.”
During the panel discussion and earlier conversations with the panelists, I pulled together the following 10 suggestions for individuals and organizations pursuing their own digital and social media strategies:
- Focus on Goals
- Identify Target Audience
- Keep it Simple
- Start with Early Wins
- Make Content a Priority
- Two-Way Conversations
- Engage, Don’t Just Observe
- Coordinate All Communication Collateral
- Be Authentic