Media Vehicles – Do we care about the drivers?

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In an environment where the boundaries between traditional and social media continue to blur, are media merely a channel for message dissemination?  Or are they a legitimate audience — an opinion maker and influencer?

Historically, a reporter or editor (“the press”) has been characterized as a channel, a vehicle by which communicators distributed a message in hopes it would be portrayed as planned. Feed your message via press releases, press conferences and interviews and your message should be delivered and reported accurately.

However, as social media continues to open new means of engaging readers as participants in the reporting process, reporters, bloggers and cable news anchors have morphed beyond a carrier into a defined target audience.

Editorial page and opinion writers have always been opinion makers. Newspapers and TV news have played and continue to play the role of agenda setter.  But Twitter and such has forced everyone in the news gathering business into the role of influencer and opinion leader.

Just as newspapers need to rethink their business models, PR practitioners need to continue to refine how they target one of our most cherished audiences — the reporters, editors, producers, anchors and bloggers whom we trust to drive our message home safely.

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