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Warren’s Speech at PR Directions 2011

October 25, 2011

G’day everyone. I’ll only be speaking for a few minutes but in that time, I hope to give you information that benefits your communications initiatives now and into the future. Before I get into it, please allow me to share this short video with you as an introduction to my talk.

The media landscape is changing at a phenomenal rate. Not that long ago “the media” meant newspapers, magazines, television and radio. Now, almost on a weekly basis, we’re told of traditional media institutions like New Zealand Press Association are closing the doors while new media ventures like Twitter are making billions. The conflicting reports from around the world about the true state of the media are confusing to say the least.

As recently as 10 years ago you could penetrate every major news organisation in Australia by inviting only a handful of journalists to a launch. Today, at least in the Western world, traditional sources of news have seen a dramatic fall in their power and influence. They are no longer the sole voice of the people.

I use the examples of New Zealand Press Association and Twitter because of their similarities as well as differences. NZPA was 131 years old when it shut the doors on August 31 this year. At its peak, it had 74 subscribing newspapers. It was where the media got the news.

Twitter is only 5 years old and this year cracked 200 million users creating 200 million tweets per day.

That’s roughly equivalent to over 8000 copies of War and Peace every single day. It can easily be argued that Twitter is now where the media gets the news.

Despite the seismic shift we are experiencing, newspapers in Australia are still king. 57% of Australians say that newspapers shape the issues of the day. 7 out of the top 10 news websites in Australia are owned by traditional newspaper publishers.

It’s not that traditional media is dead; rather that new media has been born. The overall number of media outlets has grown dramatically.

It’s pretty much impossible to paint an accurate picture of the number of outlets that can now be legitimately termed as “media” however here is an interesting little statistic to put it into perspective.

Back in 1981, 550 journalists and broadcasters were accredited by the palace and descended on London to cover the royal nuptials of Charles and Diana.

30 years later for Will and Kate’s wedding, the palace officially accredited 6,500 and there were an estimated 8,500 in attendance.

The days of getting good results from servicing only a handful of journalists are gone.

It’s not only the number of outlets that is changing; the requirements of media have also been blurred.

Radio and television stations now require text and images for their websites. Newspapers and magazines need video clips for theirs. And they are all working with less staff to do it.

Here at PR Directions 2011 you’ll hear from speakers that are experts in their field. You’ll hear about how to deal with social media, crisis communications, strategic communications, branding, rebranding, reputation management, internal comms, external comms. You might even hear a little about media relations.

With such a variety of topics on offer it’s fair to say that not all of the advice will be relevant to you: except for this – the only weapon in your arsenal that can be the keystone of your entire communications initiatives is an online newsroom.

10 years ago an online newsroom was purely a resource for the media. Now a good online newsroom is designed to communicate with all stakeholders, whether they are staff, the general public or the media. It should be the resource for everyone who is looking for the most up-to-date information, access to your social media channels or video and images that are broadcast quality and downloadable.

It’s where you can point the world in a crisis to ensure delivery of a considered, unified message worldwide instantaneously.

An online newsroom should be the first place the media, your staff and your consumers go for news about your brand.

This newsroom, built by Wieck for Baylor, was recently awarded Best Newsroom by PR News in the 2011 Digital PR Awards; beating multinationals Intel and Cisco. It’s a great example of what an online newsroom should be.

A well-built online newsroom handles multimedia, making all of your press releases, images and video easily accessible and downloadable.

It has a search function. It allows media to opt in for email notifications.

It has social media integration. And it provides you with detailed statistics.

Done correctly, it is the most effective way to have your information available 24/7.

It will handle those time consuming day-to-day requests. It’ll handle crisis communications and ensure you deliver uniform messages.

An online newsroom should be your keystone because no other communications tool offers a way to bridge the gap between the requirements of traditional media and new media, allowing you to concentrate on the big picture.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you would like to talk about online newsrooms in more detail, come over to our booth. And have a great conference.

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