Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Some Notes On Why Every Company Needs To Become A Media Company...

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 12, 2010

With the demise of "mass media" the old rules of having a media presence have changed. Here are some notes on why companies need to develop some of the same skills that media companies have, in generating great media.

- Large companies have had an advantage in hogging the media limelight because of their large teams of corporate comms people and use of large PR agencies. They worked with a relatively small number of journalists in print, TV, and radio.

Over time those journalists were educated on the company/clients and it was possible to establish a large media presence across different platforms and channels.

- This traditional approach is fairly expensive and it takes many well paid professionals to create and maintain media relations. It's not something that was available to smaller companies.

- This traditional approach ensured a high quality media product such as an article in BusinessWeek, or a segment on a national news TV program, because the media was produced by large teams of media professionals.

- With the shrinkage in traditional media and it's ongoing challenges, this approach to building a media presence is much more difficult today. There are fewer media professionals to work with, and the ones that remain are overworked and have to do more with less.

That's why companies need to be able to produce professional looking videos, podcasts, and other media content because the traditional media is shrinking -- it can't do that job for them.

- There is now also a large media channel defined as "social media" which is very fragmented and that cannot easily be reached through traditional media relations. Companies have to do this themselves.

- Smaller companies/competitors now have the ability to gain a large media presence for much less money by producing videos, podcasts, by blogging, by being active in social networks. This also means that those activities can earn notice from traditional media.

- Thus, smaller companies/competitors can quickly build a decent sized media presence for little capital costs. Yes, there are labor costs but there is an opportunity to quickly build a media presence. Large companies aren't agile, they take a long time to make any decision, they don't have the skills inhouse to create media in the appropriate style.

It is similar to the situation faced by large traditional media organizations -- competition from small, agile media companies.

- Every company must become a media company so that it can claim the high ground in its space. Because if it loses that position to a competitor, it is very difficult to dislodge them. Once a company establishes its media leadership in a particular space it has won an important battle.

Look at how Zappos seemed to come from nowhere and become the top site for online shoe purchasing.

- We are facing an onslaught of media. A media tsunami is heading our way. Staying above that onslaught is incredibly important otherwise a company will disappear under all that media noise.

By using the best practices of a media company, it is possible to stay above the noise level and continue to be seen by customers and prospective customers. If you aren't visible you don't exist. Every company, every individual active online, must step up their game to stay visible, to stay relevant.

Please see:

Every Company Is A Media Company

Meeting Cisco's Head Of M&A And Realizing Every Company Is A Media Company

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[Every company is a media company (EC=MC) is one of the most important concepts to understand. It truly is a transformative concept for businesses. That's why I've set up a separate web site with colleagues. It will take the work of many people to help companies become media companies. If you have related posts you'd like to contribute on this topic, please let me know at [email protected] Also, I'm now offering some consulting services around this concept to help support my work here on SVW. You can call me 415 336 7547 to discuss.]


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