Megan Gidley (pictured below) is a unit coordinator and eLearning advisor at Swinburne Online. She has more than 10 years’ experience in the PR industry working on brands as diverse as Coles and Monash University. In this opinion piece she argues those decrying the end of quality news merely need to look elsewhere to find it…
There is no denying that the media landscape has changed over the last decade and is continuing to shift. Driven by the perpetual evolution of the internet and increased access to affordable smart devices, the way we consume news and information is ever changing.
Whether you’re a communicator who’s been in the industry for decades or you’re finishing the final year of your degree, the implications of a rapidly changing media landscape will affect you. Here are my top three tips to make sure you thrive in the communications world today.
Keep an open mind
The evolution of the media landscape has seen a sharp increase in online media outlets and bloggers covering anything from computer technology to horticulture. This is great for communications professionals because it means we’re no longer restricted to a handful of physical newspapers and trade magazines.
Exploring publications beyond those that you’d initially think of can yield excellent results and most importantly you’re able to reach new and engaged audiences with the messages from your organisation or client.
Take the time to research what’s out there; the short term pain could be your long term gain as new opportunities present themselves.
While it’s important to keep an open mind, you should always do your due diligence on potential publications that you’re pitching to. The internet doesn’t abide by rules of legitimacy and it’s up to you to make the judgement call on whether the outlets you approach are for real.
Often talked about for the power and influence it wields across vast audiences, social media now plays a big role throughout the entire media industry.
As a modern communicator it’s essential that you bring a basic level of social media understanding to the table. Knowing how to schedule posts, read analytics and understanding how each of the main platforms works is something that should be as easy as developing a media list.
Understanding social media and its accompanying channels is a worthy addition to your skill set and will demonstrate that you recognise today’s landscape is now more than just the mainstream news.
Don’t forget the now
The modern media landscape is shaped in such a way that we’re consistently inundated with new information and interruptions. Where once we relied on going through the papers to get our daily news, today we receive constant updated online through our social media platforms and other publications.
The ‘always-on’ lifestyle means that for many of us, we simply don’t feel there’s enough time in the day to spend properly catching up on the news. By this, I mean really understanding the big picture issues that are affecting the world, our country and our industry or clients. But, as professional communicators it’s our job to be on top of the latest news and issues and the time it takes to do this will always be time well spent.
Doing so keeps our approaches relevant and timely, while demonstrating our knowledge of the industry, sector or market we operate in to ensure our organisations or clients are given the best advice possible. Regardless of the changes that have taken place in the media, there will always be a place for news, so make the time to be part of it.