According to David Chalke of AustraliaSCAN, communications in the 21st Century are being framed by the so-called “New Media”, but not necessarily in the way the spruikers contend.
The reality is the “New Media” are not media in the traditional sense at all; they are, in the main, turbo charged, old school, word-of-mouth, chat, gossip, scandal and hyperbole.
This is not to diminish the influence of ‘social media’, but to suggest that you should not consider them in the same light as the “Old Media”.
Coincident with the rise of the digital media and user generated content, public confidence in the old institutions has eroded. Scepticism is rampant and all the four traditional ‘estates’ of the realm are in disrepute.
So, with distrust of the system endemic, the power of unmoderated chatter is disproportionate to its objectivity or its accuracy. The disruptive power of the digital world comes less from its means of delivery than from the authority of its source, people, or bodies the viewer/listener has personally chosen to follow: “People like me who share my view of the world”.
The great paradox of the digital revolution is that rather than turning us all into global citizens open to a wealth of new ideas and views it has encouraged us to fragment and cluster into a myriad of self-affirming mini tribes.
For those who like communication models the 21st Century is shaping up to be more like the 19th than the 20th. It is increasingly apparent that the controlled model of mass communications through mass media for mass produced products and services was a brief aberration of the late-20th Century. The near anarchy in the 19th Century of the pamphleteers, bill posters and street corner spruikers is being replicated courtesy of blogs, RSS feeds, UGC, Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc. or what is called the ‘Fifth Estate’.
Managing communications in this world requires unaccustomed agility and responsiveness from marketers. Strategy is not dead, but is now best served by engagement and local delivery.
To paraphrase Tip O’Neal, all communications is local now.
Hear more from David Chalke at the 2014 Government Marketing & Communications Conference, held August 6-8 at Rydges on Swanston, Carlton, Melbourne. Early bird tickets are available until July 2 – click here to register.
The Australian Marketing Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of the 2014 Government Marketing & Communications Conference Sponsors.