Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Push- and pull-media

Media are no longer pushed upon us to the same extent as it used to. The way the internet has developed it has given us a greater opportunity to choose what we want to read, watch and listen to. SVT (Swedish National Television) and the BBC offers me the chance to watch their shows online when it suits me, I can cherry-pick what to watch. Podcasts and internet-radio gives me the option to limit my input to opinions that I care about. It is a pull- rather than push-media that has developed.

In his book Public Relations Online (2007) Tom Kelleher argues that in a public relations context, maybe “rather than pushing information with news releases and public service announcements, public relations people have to find ways to convince people to actively seek their information” (p. 24).

Could we perhaps with the help of online social media build and maintain relationships with (certain types of) journalists in a more efficient and mutually beneficial way, so they seek out our information rather than we pushing it upon them? Maybe it needs to be a bit of both; pushing some information but include links to different sources of information which could be relevant to writing a good story, making it as easy as possible for the journalist to pull the necessary information needed to write about the subject matter.

I think this is how a Social Media Release could function. I’m not certain however; I have to read up on how it explicitly is, or could be, beneficial in this way. More to come…

1 comment:

PR Tech Blogger said...

Interesting notion on the push vs. pull theme. I have recently investigated different push/pull technological devices and never thought about how this can translate into media systems. I agree that it is nice to be able to “cherry-pick” what we view on the Internet. With the advancement of technology, there is often what feels like information overload through constant media messages. Pulling systems allows the recipient to have a choice thereby creating a less invasive form of communicating. Tom Kelleher’s suggestion to use more pull systems in public relations is therefore a natural transition.

I have seen forms of pull media in operation. A sign on a bus stop with a short message “Find out what Julie knows” by texting 33555 is one example. I have also seen this method on TV commercials. A short intriguing message or question will appear and then a website address to connect to. I am curious to know what sort of response rate occurs from this pull media?

In response to using pull methods to assist in building and maintaining media relations, it seems that your suggestion of a combination of push/pull communication might be most appropriate. From talking to some PR professionals, they suggest that many journalists do not have the time to seek out sources and information. They would prefer to have the information delivered to them directly. The only downside to providing additional links about a subject might mean that a journalist could find a more “news worthy” story. I guess this is the nature of the industry. When you are not the one publishing the material, it is the chance you take.