Students coming to the end of another stage of their lives are about to step foot into the ‘real world’. Before taking this step, however, many final year media and public relations students take part in a fantastic competition.
This year I was lucky enough to be one of the eight judges on the competition panel. The panel which was made up of media professionals, professors, and lecturers, judged the students’ amazing work, which was presented in their final week, just before graduation.
These presentations were originally an assessment task in which students were asked to pitch themselves and an industry-ready creative idea - in just two to three minutes. Depending on their areas of interest, this idea could be presented for print, radio, in a television story, in an advertising campaign, in a crisis management strategy, or on one of many other platforms.
In this open pitch, what interested and intrigued me the most was the students’ complete lack of focus on traditional media. Not one student made reference to print, radio, or broadcast media. Whilst all of their pitches and ideas were fantastic, well-presented, and well thought-out, but:
Not one student made reference to traditional media in any form!
The good news for traditional media is that most of these campaign pitches would have been easily adapted to all forms of media; traditional included. So were the graduating class of this Universtity, right in focusing solely on digital and social media? Personally, I don’t think so.
Before we suggest that they were wrong, however, we have to take a step back; analyse the statistics, listen to what people tell us, and look at what is actually happening!
According to eMarketer, digital media consumption will overtake television viewing in the United States for the first time this year. The same report also expects digital media consumption to rise as much as 16% this year.
Television consumption is being tipped to drop by less than 3%, but the total amount of digital media consumption is set to rise; leading it to overtake television consumption as a whole.
The average adult’s daily online usage is set to increase to over five hours a day, compared to four hours and 31 minutes spent watching television. Keep in mind however, that a huge number of people who are watching television are now using dual screens. The usage of tablets and mobiles during the television’s peak programming hours is surging.
This is such a prevalent trend, that shows like ‘The Bachelor – Australia’ opened with low ratings of around 670,000 and continues to get panned in the ratings war. This is in spite of the fact that it attracted more than 800,000 viewers online over just the first two episodes. This shows that engagement in not only advertising campaigns, but in programming, is key to creating a great campaign and helping your brand or your agency win the customer.
So have television shows like ‘The Bachelor’ been a ratings flop or a new way to reach and engage with a large audience via multiple platforms?
Well, to me, I believe that social media, digital media marketing, and traditional media all now play an important role in the marketing mix; in attracting and keeping new customers.
Advertising itself has not changed, but the way in which we reach our customers has.
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