10 Aug The Thought Leader is You
Every herd has a thought leader. Often it’s a grizzled old-timer who’s not going to get riled up about every passing coyote or plastic bag rattling on the barbed wire.
So while the yearlings are tearing around spooked by a passing truck with horse-eating blue tarp monster flapping, the thought leader can be found with half-shut eyes and one ear on the action.
It used to be news media editors who served this function. They got to decide what was worthy of our full attention.
No more. The Herd–the “crowd” in crowdsourcing–is gaining as much influence in what stories get told and passed along at the watering hole as traditional news media.
Here are some of the changes social media are forcing on marketing, PR efforts and businesses as a result.
- Customers now exert more control over brands and fully expect companies to participate in dialogues with them. Powerful brands are now built by the buyers themselves through innumerable conversations–both online and off–with people they trust.
- Traditional media outlets are in decline, both in terms of audiences and profitability, so there are fewer opportunities for businesses to get attention through traditional broadcast media.
- Free and other online services such as Craigslist have resulted in a 70% reduction over the past decade in newspaper classified ads, and daily newspapers are an endangered species.
- Viewing highly rated shows on computer desktop (Hulu, for example) is becoming more popular than watching TV.
- Terrestrial radio is in trouble financially; in 2009, advertisers slashed spending on terrestrial radio advertising by $3.2 billion, down 18% from 2008.
The good news is that organizations can now directly speak with their customers/audiences without the filter of reporters and editors. No one person can decide whether your story is news or not, or decide not to run it, or change the context with an ill-phrased headline.
Here comes the herd. Better run with it.
Moore Creative, www.merryannmoore.com
Bill Nussey, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/22466.imc
Frank Reed, http://www.webpronews.com/blogtalk/2009/09/10/the-future-of-radio-on-the-internet