Content, Not Tech, Future of Media Relations

Judging by the bazillions of tablets, smartphones and laptops I see people using every day in everyday places from coffee shops to restroom stalls (yes, we’ve all seen it), you’d think most people get most of their news from the Internet. But according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans still get most of their news from television.  And although 43% of Americans said they now get most of  their news from the Internet (people were allowed to name up to two sources), what does that really mean to companies and organizations trying to work with the media. I say not much.

People often ask me in our media training sessions if the tried-and-true interviewing techniques and tactics that we have taught our clients for nearly 15 years still work in the digital age. My response is to answer their question with another question: ‘When you get your news “from the Internet” where do you get it?’  95% of the time I bet you get it from a TV station’s or newspaper’s website. The method in which we digest our news may be changing, but the news gathering process has not.  Five years from now TV sets and printed newspapers may go the way of telegraph, but you’ll still have journalists sweating to make deadlines and being as grumpy as ever.

Content, not technology, is king and always will be.  A human being still has to interview you, shoot and edit the video, write the words, pick the sound bites. After all what is a website, blog, video channel, etc. without content?   Surely not very interesting and surely not somewhere you’d want to be.

Anthony Huey is president of Reputation Management Associates, a media, speech and crisis communications consulting and training firm.  He speaks nationally on a number of timely communications topics for a wide range of industries.