Monday, June 09, 2014

Mobile revenues 10% of Newspapers is a threat to... democracy?

The future of traditional PR is now in serious doubt.

If there are no newspapers, journals or magazines and when academic publishing is seriously threatened, there will be little by way of independent media for the media relations model.

We see the scenarios with Tom Foremski when he discusses the effect of mobile on news publishing and Dylan Tweney as he talks about academic publishing.

At worst, the PR industry has to put a range of added skills, capabilities and strategic abilities within the grasp of the practitioner.

This is not as simple as being technically competent in Facebook and Twitter applications. We have seen reports of declines in the use of both. The whole area of defending relationships between clients and their constituencies is now a much bigger business than anyone would have imagined ten years ago. PR is re-defined.

As for publishing, there are other societal issues.

For centuries, we have depended on newspaper publishing to lubricate the role of government and social interaction. We have used newspapers as mainline defence against threat to democracy. Today, this is no longer possible and we do not have any idea of the emerging model other than it is evolving and is not called Facebook.

Formeski's point is well made and needs some further consideration: A solution has to be found on an industry-wide scale in order to halt the media's crumbling business model and to begin to reverse the trend and rebuild its fortunes. Individual media ventures, no matter how well funded, or how much high quality content they produce, will not succeed as self-sustaining businesses unless there is a new media business model available to all.

We don't have it. And it's the biggest failure of our digital age because media informs and educates all citizens and governments, and influences the many complex decisions that have to be made."