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The Communications Treadmill

In the past few years our communications paradigm has evolved almost overnight, giving communicators a new set of tools with which to tell their stories. On one hand, traditional media has evolved; in the post-digital TV switch broadcasters have multiple channels to fill with content, while newspapers and publishers are experiencing a decline in readership and many are looking for new ways to do business. While on the other hand, the online space is rapidly evolving as new social networks emerge, new media distribution options abound, and audiences are able to connect with the news and information in which they are most interested.

Through that evolution though the communicator’s job has also evolved from a practice of press releases, pitching, and media opportunities – into one that combines those tasks with the integration of new media opportunities and strategies. Today, in addition to traditional tactics communicators have to think in terms of blogs, local websites, Podcasts, Facebook, and now even Twitter.

So with all of these new tools, the question is which one’s are right for your organization (or client)? Well, since it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of these new tools given the brisk pace of the proverbial communications treadmill, here are a few tips that can help guide your decisions on what direction to take for your particular initiative:

1) Timing is Everything: Some campaigns will naturally lend themselves to using these new outlets, while others will tend to be best suited with more traditional outreach methodologies. The fact is there is a time and place for using these tools, and by no means should communicators feel pressure to use them with every single client and initiative. Usage of these new tools is really client and campaign specific, and not every campaign will have a fitting use of these new tools.

2) Make Your Campaigns Dynamic: With the new media landscape, today’s audiences all consume their news and information differently. That means that some audiences will tune into their local news outlet, others will visit a newspaper’s website, some will take their media on the go with them on a portable device such as an iPhone, and yet others will simply exchange information with friends and family though the likes of Facebook and Twitter. That said, it is important that your campaigns be dynamic so that they share your news in various capacities to reach your audience no matter where they may interact with your message.

3) It’s About the Story: Regardless of the outlet at hand, whether your Twittering about your campaign, doing a TV interview, or producing a Podcast it is about the story you’re telling. At the core of all of these tools it comes down to how you’re telling your organization’s (or client’s) story, how you’re engaging the audience, and how you’re using these new tools to open up the dialogue with your target audiences.

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