WASHINGTON and LONDON, August 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Media companies have always aimed to engage with audiences by delivering quality content in appealing formats. But new digital and mobile technologies have radically changed the rules of successful media engagement, analysts at global research consultancy InterMedia explain in an insightful new article.
"The key to effective engagement is understanding how users create their own information environment through digital and mobile tools," said Dr. Ali Fisher, InterMedia's director of networked communication research and co-author of "Networked Audiences," the InterMedia article appearing in a forthcoming edition of The Channel magazine, published by the Association of International Broadcasters.
Susan Gigli, co-author and chief operating officer of InterMedia, said, "Users are no longer passive audiences, they are participants in the content and news game. Media companies need to reconsider how they relate to these participant networks, and also how they measure the reach and impact of content delivery."
The co-authors stress that social media in particular is causing a fundamental shift in people's attitudes toward content- and news-producing organizations. "Individuals use social networks not only as filters to cope with information overload, but also as evaluators of the quality and trustworthiness of information," Fisher and Gigli write. In particular, media companies need to identify and interact with "influentials" - the new arbiters of quality and trust in the digital realms.
The InterMedia article lays out 10 rules of the road for media companies trying to navigate the digital and mobile terrain:
- Recognize that meaningful engagement happens through "few-to-few" interactions.
- Participate in user networks to generate loyalty.
- Broaden conceptions of reach, motivation, response and impact to reflect the digital terrain.
- Move beyond geography as the standard for defining audiences.
- Identify prominent producers, brokers and consumers of information.
- Give "reciprocity" equal weight to reach.
- View multilingual individuals as key connectors between languages and geographies.
- Propel journalists beyond reporting toward information brokering.
- Tap into the extensive networks of celebrities.
- Strive to retain users' trust as they increasingly turn to their own networks for advice and guidance.
InterMedia (http://www.intermedia.org) is a global research-based consultancy with unique insight on how people gather, produce, share and use information from all sources, both online and offline. A nonprofit social enterprise, we help a diverse range of clients in government, media and international development to navigate complex communication landscapes and apply communication technologies for social benefit.