Media professionals offer insights into developments in the industry

Six media professionals joined us to talk about trends and challenges in the media industry. Three were with us in the CMIR and three were online via Google Hangouts.

Todd Heiden

Todd Heiden – International PR Director, Walt Disney World Resort
At Disney, very interested in how people are consuming media.Also need to have very accurate information, as Disney fans fact check any Disney information. That keeps us on our toes. Need to realize communication can be happening any place and any time.

Leigh Seaman

Leigh Seaman – Founding Partner and Executive Producer, Sea2Sea Media
A strength for her is having a varied background before she has moved into her current work. Importance of realizing the need for convergence across media. Also importance of realizing the financial aspect of creating and marketing media.

Howard Finberg

Howard Finberg – Director of Partnerships and Alliances, The Poynter Institute
Poynter has been working with both residential and online education for media professionals and journalism educators. NewsU now has 220,000 registered users around the world and more than 300 courses. Gave a shout out to me and Judy Robinson for the courses we’ve developed for NewsU.

Sam Williams

Sam Williams – Global Business Director, Kimberly-Clark at JWT, London
Kimberly-Clark is having to balance the tension between the desire of the global client and the role of the agency — deciding when to go global and when to go local.

Ed Cohen

Ed Cohen – Vice-President of Research Policy and Communication, Arbitron Inc.
How do we measure all of this in the 21st Century? Survey may not be the way to measure as the audience is so niche.
“No matter what you’re doing, you have to have some kind of number to monitize what you’re doing.”
Concern for radio is that radio used to own the car.” But now we car entertainment system and apps, how can radio provide relevance.

David Brancaccio

David Brancaccio – Special Correspondent for American Public Media
He told us a story — Recently a friend contacted him to say that Brancaccio’s voice was the answering machine for a health care provider that the friend had called. Brancaccio called the health care company and found that the voice did sound somewhat like his. He remembered that in the early 1990s, his boss at Marketplace sold his voice. Technology is moving so fast that it is taking away “Narrative Science” is a byline on Forbes online, and those are robot-written stories, he said. More jobs are being done by technology.”Yes, we can do all these things, but where does the deep journalism happen?”

What conversation should we be having?
Williams – Need to have conversation about the financial dimension. Can’t keep the content and the finances separate. She has to consider the marketability of a product no matter what the distribution form is. Students need to know how their favorite programs get on the air, how it’s produced. Don’t understand how networks work with brands. Don’t realize that most of a television station isn’t locally produced. “We’re like Walmart. We offer a lot of products, but we don’t make any of them.”

How does journalism generate income?
Brancaccio – Challenge for public broadcasting to generate income. Big challenge for television news is that viewers often are only half listening as they are engaged with other media like surfing the web. Advantage for radio is that people can do other things — cook, drive the car — and consume radio.

How will Kimberly-Clark respond to trying to connect with audience?
Williams – How can you truly connect with the consumers. No longer a “push out” model of communications. Need to target where your people are. As an agency and as we talk with our clients, not just going to where the shiny new tory is.

How will you find people and connect with them?
Cohen – We’ll do it but we can’t do it the same way we’ve done it. Use more statistical analysis, more mega panels. Using ROI (return on investment). Becoming more and more complicated.

What impact on public relations?
Helden – We have a new operation that is tapping into 62,000 fulltime and 30,000 part-time employees to get their ideas. As we sit into ideation sessions we want people from all areas to be involved so not siloed.

What is the decision process for moving an idea to global?
Williams – Where clients can get the most out of global marketing is when the big idea can go beyond the country where it was created and can make that idea local. Need to have global people in place.

[Head shots are from their LinkedIn accounts or company websites.]

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