Feb 2, 2009

Fewer People Use Network News, More Turning to New Media

TV from the 70s with antenna and clcking channel selector. Retro.
One of the barriers to using social media is cultural/corporate. This means that decision makers and leaders may not share the zeal of the advocates. They may think that social media tools are used by a small niche of people, so why take the risk and adopt these crazy channels?

From a Ketchum Public Relations survey released two weeks ago:
Consumers are using a wider variety of channels than ever before. Newer channels, such as blogs and social networking sites, are gaining more and more traction. The survey found that 26% of consumers use social networking sites, compared to 17% in 2006. The usage of blogs nearly doubled (24% in 2008 compared to 13% in 2006).

This is especially true among influential consumers – the 10% to 15% of the population who initiate change in their communities – of which 43% read blogs by nonjournalists (compared to 16% of the general population) and 32% read blogs written by journalists (8% of the general population).

Conversely, the use of more established media channels continues to wane. The survey revealed that 65% of consumers use major network television news as a source of information (down from 71% in 2006). Local television news saw a sharper drop – 62% in 2008 compared to 74% in 2006. [Emphasis added by me]--From Media in the 21st Century. Read more.
So, traditional network news use is decreasing and the use of social media is increasing. While the overall numbers are still in favor of traditional media, the trends look like the balance will shift.

While this study was for traditional PR, we all know that a major focus of the government is to communicate--from peanut butter recalls to hurricane evacuation orders, from prescription drug benefits changes to the demise of analog TV signals, from immigration reform pros and cons to bank bailout pros and cons. Adding additional channels to your communications strategy is just plain good business. For government, that is.

More, including tables with media usage numbers, here.

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