Monday, August 03, 2015

Facebook and Twitter users across all demographics using the social networks as news sources

In July 2015 both the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation found that Facebook and Twitter users across all demographics were increasingly using the social networks as news sources. They are however seeking out different types of news content on each platform.

There are commercial drivers too. Jon Moeller, chief financial officer at Procter & Gamble, said at an investor conference in 2015: "In general, digital media delivers a higher return on investment than TV or print."

In 2015, the UK will become the first country in the world where half of all advertising spend goes on digital media.

Just over £16.2bn will be spent on all forms of advertising in the UK, including TV, newspapers, billboards, radio, online and on mobiles and tablets, according to eMarketer.

Digital advertising is expected to grow by 12% in 2015 to £8.1bn, making the UK the first country in which £1 in every £2 will go to digital media. The internet is expected to overtake TV to become the largest medium for advertising in 2016.
The reason advertising revenue has moved from traditional media to digital media is because it is effective. As for advertising, so too for all other forms of cultural influence.

The net effect, says Moeller, ‘has been to decrease the demand for low-skilled information workers while increasing the demand for highly skilled ones.’ As we shall discover in this book, much of what the PR industry thought was creative and skilled has already been usurped by technologies and only awaits mass implementation.

This trend in the labour markets has been documented in dozens of studies by economists: Author, Lawrence Katz, Alan Krueger, Frank Levy, Richard Murnane, and Daron Acemoğlu, Tim Bresnahan, Lorin Hitt, and others have documented it. Economists call it skill-biased technical change. By definition, it favors people with more education, training, or experience.

This puts pressure on PR now and it is evident there is a need to look to the future in some detail.

An example of the significance of the above trends would suggest that half of all the Press Relations practitioners in 2005 should now be fully trained and equipped digital media experts.

Another group of practitioners might be more active with mobile capabilities because eApp stores and tablets helped drive 157% year-on-year growth in 2011, according to an IAB/PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

Meanwhile, the nature of traditional channels is changing fast as well. There is a much wider range of communication platform.

A survey in the UK by Cision in 2014 showed 54% of journalists who responded couldn’t carry out their work without social media (up from 43% in 2013 and 28% in 2012). Fifty-eight percent also say social media has improved their productivity (up from 54% in 2013 and 39% in 2012).

If the survey is representative, this means a majority of UK journalists are open to a form of communication that is very different to the traditional press release. It is a change that took less than a decade to emerge.