As the announcer used to say at the start of 70s Sitcom, Soap: “Confused? You won’t be after the next episode…”
I wish the same could be said of the Deloitte media research shared at this week’s Insider Business of Media event in Manchester.
What it suggests is a tale of two worlds colliding – or, rather, assumptions about the state of modern media behaviour being overturned like an overfilled wheelie bin.
Where new developments in media have – naturally – attracted the lion’s share of commentators’ and marketers’ attention, what is interesting is the resilience of old media to predictions of its demise. But, then again, how long will it last?
According to the Deloitte research, 68% of US consumers read print media. However, the Indian subcontinent loves its print media, with a whopping 90% loyalty to hard copy. These are the reasons why – back in 2005 - the country’s “dead tree” readership was booming, although this report suggests those days are numbered.
Meanwhile, in the UK, we apparently watch 30 hours of television per week (though Lord only knows what we’re watching). And TV advertising “remains the form with the greatest perceived impact, even among the youngest”, says Ed Shedd, Deloitte’s technology media and telecommunications partner. He adds: “The belief that the young are not affected traditional media formats is not true. They are still ‘superusers” of them.”
And, harking back to the 2010 general election, Deloitte’s figures suggest that TV was the dominant news source as well as being the biggest influencer of voting choices.
As Shedd says, “The UK is fascinated by new forms of media consumption”. However, he opines, it doesn’t mean that successive shifts in media innovation cancel out what went before: “The more formats there are, the more people use to consume; it doesn’t mean that any get ditched.”
So what does this mean? Well, as you will know, PR Media Blog is the first to say that an understanding of social media for companies and brands is essential. However, it would be premature to dismiss the value and effectiveness of old media as a route to getting your message across.
The challenge is being able to integrate successfully your activities across the old and the new and be sufficiently creative to stand out in both.
Until the last person turns off the “old media” light and shuts the door, you’d better believe there are still people in there.
Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR.