- 90% of media consumption is done via a screen
Research carried out by Google has suggested that all but 1/10 of media consumption happens looking at a screen. Although this statistic includes television, it highlights the increased dependency on mobile devices with an internet connection. According to Ofcom 58% of the population owned a smartphone in 2012, and almost a fifth of U.K. residents owned a tablet; and this number is on the rise. This graphic from the Telegraph shows that internet shopping and social media exceed making calls on our mobile devices.
- The demise of the press
Although some newspapers, such as the Sun would suggest otherwise, print versions of newspapers are in rapid decline. In 2005, when the Guardian bought new printers at the cost of £62 million to accommodate their Berliner format, the editor said that this would be the last printers the paper would invest in. The life span of such machines is about 12 years. Many local newspapers have also been forced to reduce staff, relocate and amalgamate to survive.
- Real-time news
The role of the journalist is changing and the powers and influence they once had has dispersed. The move to online versions has eradicated the copy-date and phenomenon born from the power of social media, such as citizen journalism has transformed the way people consume news. Traditional sources of information have been challenged putting influential content in the hands of the masses, not just the privileged few.
- Online formats allow audiences to engage with content easily
An engaged audience is an audience that can contribute. Media which promotes consumer participation will have a more engaged audience. Modern consumers want to be in control of content; they are active participants in the conversation. Audience contributions give PRs the opportunity to hear genuine opinions and learn about audiences’ wants and needs. This is invaluable information that is easy and in most cases free to acquire.
- Your publics will talk about you whether you contribute or not
Online platforms allow consumers to publish their opinions about you to an audience of millions even if they are complaining. It is surely better to take part in the conversation, respond to their complaints or at least give yourself the opportunity to hear what they are saying. There have been several examples of consumers costing companies big money, and more importantly running their reputations, by refusing to acknowledge the power of the web. See Dell (who spent an estimated $150,00,000 on customer service after the ‘Dell Hell’ blog) or United airlines, who watched their reputation being ripped up to the sound of Canadian band; Sons of Maxwell.
The video has over 12 million views.
- There is a lack of trust in large organisations
People are increasingly looking towards supposed independent, non-bias opinions online before making decisions. Sites like trip advisor are the first port-of-call for many before making accommodation choices for a weekend away. Reputations are organically grown in the field social media where bloggers and posters are influencing consumer decision making. Finding out what is being said and being able to contribute to and influence the conversation is vital.
The way we engage with our televisions is unrecognisable to what it was 10 years ago. Tivo and Sky+ have rendered scheduling and therefore targeted advertising futile. The patterns of consumption is firmly in the hands of audiences who can choose to watch their favourite programmes at any time regardless of when the schedulers chose, and access to inline media players with the click of a button has brought multi-media viewing into our living rooms, offering a huge range of choice thus, segmenting audiences to a much greater degree than ever before.
- Online suits PR
The social web suits the way PR has always defined its target audience; a plurality of publics with a range of different opinions, ideas and levels of engagement. Publics are segmented by their increased choices into specific groups and sub-groups allowing for more specific targeting and evaluation.