How The Pandemic Has Changed How We Consume Our Media – And Why It Matters to Getting Great Results

How people consume media has changed since the onset of the pandemic and it’s a complex battleground out there for content creators and advertisers to reach their target audience.

Introduced factors like increased time at home and lengthy lockdowns have significantly influenced how, when and what people listen to, watch, read or play.

All the research shows people are streaming more content on-demand. They are consuming more digital news.Fewer people are going to the cinema. Less people are listening to the radio on the way to work.

To understand whether the industry needs to shift the way we think about content production, distribution and consumption, lit’s important to understand the different types of content consumption.

    • Routine consumption  – content consumed habitually
    • Spontaneous consumption – content consumed usually while filling time and requiring low concentration.
    • Planned consumption – at least 30 minutes is set aside for the consumption of specific content

The amount and type of content that people consume spontaneously are emerging as a key point to consider for the industry.

Spontaneous consumption describes things like short-form video content on YouTube, scrolling through Instagram, or turning the pages of a magazine on the table at work.

Research by PWC shows spontaneous media consumption is beginning to dominate the landscape and some of the numbers are extraordinary.

Spontaneous consumption accounts for 66% of the video content on social media, 44% of the content of streaming platforms, 62% of content read on the internet, 56% of digital media listened to on devices, and 52% of video games on a mobile device.

The amount of spontaneous consumption means led PWS to make the case that reaching the core audience may be getting more challenging as the opportunity to reach them with a message has to compete with a more fragmented, and increasingly non-advertising supported, range of choices.

Gaining a share of attention in this space requires us to look at a multilayered planning approach that balances the critical nature of reach, with the need to obtain frequency across a multitude of channels.

At RGC, we are keenly aware of changing consumer behaviours and are capable of producing a range of content that gets in front of people, no matter where they are.

Our in-house production studio can deliver high-quality webinars and podcasts to reach audiences when they go to watch or listen to media.

We can create websites and implement digital marketing strategies with SEO that engage audiences when they’re Googling.

And we produce compelling content for traditional and digital media to get in front of audiences online and in print.

The fight to gain and maintain attention has become even more complex since the pandemic and understanding where and how our audiences are consuming media is crucial to great results.

facebook defamation

Facebook Admins In Line Of Fire Over Defamation Proceedings 

Many Facebook users and page administrators are hoping a review of Australia’s defamation laws will bring the country in line with other jurisdictions following a dramatic High Court ruling last month.

Even big publishers are reeling following the decision by the High Court of Australia to grant former youth detainee Dylan Voller the right to sue major media outlets including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Sky News. 

Voller launched defamation claims against the publishers following what were claimed to be defamatory comments being posted on the Facebook pages of these publishers. Voller was a central figure in the ABC Four Corners program of 2016 on the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin, with images of him being restrained in a chair helping to prompt a royal commission into his alleged mistreatment. 

The court said in a statement following its decision to uphold a NSW Court of Appeal ruling in favour of Voller in 2020:

“…the liability of a person as a publisher depends upon whether that person, by facilitating and encouraging the relevant communication, ‘participated’ in the communication of the defamatory matter to a third person.

“The majority rejected the appellants’ argument that for a person to be a publisher they must know of the relevant defamatory matter and intend to convey it.

“Each appellant, by the creation of a public Facebook page and the posting of content on that page, facilitated, encouraged and thereby assisted the publication of comments from third-party Facebook users.”

Also read: Using ‘Branded Data’ To Grow Your Media Profile And Feed Your Content Machine

The decision means that a person running a Facebook page could be liable for defamatory comments made by others on the page. This doesn’t just include large media businesses but all page owners including community Facebook page owners. Media companies had argued that they weren’t responsible for comments posted by the public. 

The ruling puts those on notice that want a presence on social media that they’re also responsible for moderating it.

It hasn’t been decided yet whether Voller has been defamed, but the ruling puts those on notice that want a presence on social media that they’re also responsible for moderating it. 

Potential plaintiffs will now be able to pursue the owner of the Facebook account – the publisher – as well as, or instead of, the user making the comments.

The ABC in its reporting of the decision spoke to Chris Berkeley, the Facebook page administrator of the NSW country town of Canowindra’s What’s On Page, who wondered in light of the court decision whether it was all worth the effort and risk if some defamatory comments snuck through on his page. It’s a question many are now asking. 

Many admins including those for a number of our MPs are now deleting the comments section to avoid the risk of liability. US media giant CNN has made the decision to prevent Australians from accessing its Facebook page as a result and has decided that an Australian presence is just not worth the risk. 

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Australian visitors to CNN’s Facebook page are greeted with this message denying entry

Government And Legal Response

Meanwhile, Australian defamation law reform is hoped to bring our defamation laws into the modern era, hopefully providing a balance between protecting reputations and enabling free speech. 

A review into whether existing rules are appropriate for the internet age, and whether the rules fairly take into account whether or not a person has been harmed has been widely welcomed. 

Australia’s politicians are also promising action with prime minister Scott Morrison promising to force tech companies to take more responsibility for content posted on their sites.

Mr Morrison said to his colleagues this week at a Coalition joint party room meeting, “The global tech giants know we will set the pace and lead the world in ensuring what happens in the digital world has the same responsibilities and same accountabilities that apply in the real world.

“We are going to do more because we are seeing lives destroyed.

“We are seeing people fall apart.

“We are seeing cowards triumph at the expense of good.”

Young woman traider working at night modern office.Technical price graph and indicator, red and green candlestick chart and stock trading computer screen background. Double exposure

Using ‘Branded Data’ To Grow Your Media Profile And Feed Your Content Machine

Every business now has access to mountains of data about their customers, their products and their industry. Mining that data and using it to create exciting and engaging content has become one of the most important ways to supercharge your media outreach strategy and build your reputation as an industry leader.

Branded data is any form or data you use to share with an audience to demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ needs, industry trends or product effectiveness. It can include almost any type of quantitative or qualitative data like customer surveys, market reports and product performance information.

At RGC, we work closely with brands like CartonCloud to develop branded data opportunities like the CartonCloud Logistics Index and real estate services group Oliver Hume on their Quarterly Market Insights report. On a larger scale, you can look at the success of things like the ANZ Job Ads survey or NAB’s Monthly Business Survey to see the value of branded data as a brand-building exercise.

Create News Flow

Increasing media consolidation, networking and the ‘pay to play’ attitude of niche publishers makes building a media profile harder than ever. Stories and ideas that were newsworthy five or ten years ago now routinely end up on the digital spike in newsrooms. As a result, identifying and executing earned media opportunities with a consistent cut through is the greatest challenge of any PR campaign.

The greatest challenge of maintaining an ongoing earned media campaign for many brands is generating a consistent flow of newsworthy stories.

Looking inwards at your proprietary data and compiling it into a tool for media outreach is not just a great way to fill holes in your PR plan but can be the foundation of your entire efforts.

Feed The Machine

The CartonCloud Logistics Index is a great example of using survey data to build effective branded data.

Even through the relatively narrow lens of earned media, branded data, done well, has an extraordinary ability to grow brand awareness and affinity. When you couple its earned media potential with other channels, the return on investment in quality branded data is well worth the extra effort required to do it well.

Effective marketing strategies have a voracious need for content. Your newsletters, social platforms, blogs, and website require a continuous stream of new content to keep them fresh and engaging. Breaking your data down to bite-size pieces can turn one piece of content into many. Turning a detailed report with seven data points into seven (or 14) different social media posts doesn’t require too much effort.

Go Beyond Surveys

When companies consider data as an earned media tool, most don’t get past a customer survey. These surveys are great for targeting specific audiences and investigating particular themes, but they can also be expensive, particularly for brands with modest marketing budgets.

It is well worth mining your proprietary data to create media outreach opportunities. Proprietary data is the information you already have on hand to tell a story about your business or industry. Australia’s largest real estate listing sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, are great examples of using their proprietary data to create valuable insights for their audiences.

Proprietary data is powerful because only your company has access to it, so insights drawn from it are inherently unique. Moreover, there’s also no additional investment required to collect this data because it’s already on hand.

That said, engineers don’t necessarily design their platforms for the purposes of data collection for the media. As a result, it can sometimes be challenging to pull standardised proprietary data that supports the story your brand wants to tell. This data can also be limited by the scope of a company’s platform.

While there can be challenges, crafting a story from proprietary data remains an excellent PR tool. The use of data in media relations is becoming more common, so it’s important that data is positioned correctly to the media and provides real value to journalists to stand out.

There are four key steps in generating media coverage that leverages proprietary data:

  1. Imagine your perfect headline. Start where you want to finish and work backwards from a great headline. Beginning the branded content process with the result in mind makes it easier to sift through data to uncover relevant insights that can tell that story.
  2. Understand your audience’s needs. Once you’ve identified the significant conversations in your industry, you can evaluate where your company’s data can support reporting on these trends and provide a new perspective or additional context.
  3. Mine and simplify your data. Data can be complex, and breaking it down into easy to understand terms is essential to amplifying its value. A great way to make data more understandable is to present it visually, so infographics, tables and graphs can be valuable tools.
  4. Understand your target media’s needs. Then, once you’ve built a story supported by your data, identify media contacts who would find these insights interesting and relevant to their reporting and determine your outreach plan.

Of course, the key to using your branded data, like all media outreach, is ensuring you are telling stories or imparting insights that are interesting to your audience. Creating or mining data is a waste of time unless you can package it into “news you can use”. This can only be achieved if you understand your audience and the problems you need to solve for them.

what-is-public-relations

What’s the difference between public relations and publicity? Think planes and roads

For many people there is little distinction between public relations and publicity and the terms can be easily interchanged. The fact is they are vastly differently fields that require their own unique skills developed over many years.

The easiest way to draw the distinction is to think of roads and planes. When you want a road built you call a civil engineer. When you want a plane built you call an aeronautical engineer (or two). They might both be engineers but you wouldn’t get the civil guy to build a plane or the aeronautical girl to build a road. The same should go for your communications.

What is Public Relations?

Public Relations has never been easily defined. For some it encompasses anything that involves talking to people that aren’t customers. For others it’s organising parties and inviting celebrities along.

I have been using the same definition for many years*.

PR is the strategic crafting of complex stories and interactions with a range of publics. It’s the focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined, determine what and how people ‘talk’ about you. It addresses issues and it takes time and resources.

Under this definition, the process of public relations is complex, time-consuming and more often than not, expensive. It involves formative research, strategy development, tactical thought and ongoing evaluation and program re-setting.

The goal of public relations is to complete this sentence with as much detail as possible.

 In order to (insert objective) we will (define a strategy) by (list creative tactics that solve the problem)

 You could end up with something like:

 “In order to drive preference with buyers during the consideration phase, we will activate the online voice of existing customers by creating a game that requires multiple reviews on Facebook and Yelp and that focuses on the reliability of the product.”

A good public relations person is strategic, thoughtful and research-focused. They can stand back and look at the big picture and break it down into small actions that get you to your goal.

 publicityvpr

What is Publicity?

Publicity is another beast altogether. Generally, when smaller companies say they want to do some public relations, they really mean they want some publicity. They want their name in the paper, on television and on the radio. They want a profile and they don’t want to spend millions of dollars on buying advertising.

Publicity is getting unpaid media (radio, TV, press) to pay attention, write you up, endorse your products, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Good publicity is always good for your brand.

From a marketing perspective, publicity is one component of promotion which is one component of marketing. Other elements of the promotional mix can include advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling.

Good publicity does not necessarily require a lot of strategic thought. It is about identifying good stories and pushing them out to the media on a consistent basis. Publicity shouldn’t get bogged down in the minutiae of messaging, it shouldn’t be over analysed. You don’t get to craft a ‘perception’ in the media, the goal is simple brand awareness.

The best publicists always have an intimate understanding of the media. Their time is best spent on the phone, talking to journalists, looking for opportunities and chasing them relentlessly.

So next time you have a communications issue be clear on what you want and make sure you get the right person. The last thing you need is to take off in a plane, designed by an expert road builder.

* I am unsure where this is originated and happy to provide reference links if anybody can find the original source.