Why We Still Need Traditional Media

With the ever-evolving world of public relations, social media have been quickly established alongside other great tools in the public relations arsenal. As more people than ever find themselves browsing social media sites, public relations practitioners must continue increasing their efforts to reach those same audiences.

While social media grant us instant access to those publics, we must not forget that traditional media sources are still out there, fighting hard against the increasing competition brought on by social media. Giving some of the spotlight back to traditional media, here are a few reasons why traditional media is still important to public relations.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Pew Research Center found that, while two-thirds of Americans use social media for at least some of their news, only two of every 10 receive a majority of their news from social media. Platforms like news websites and apps, TV and radio still connect to audiences, with even print newspapers having (primarily older) audiences that couldn’t be reached by most of social media.

Traditional media are easily recognizable, adding a sense of credibility to their stories. Despite any distrust garnered around news outlets in the past couple years, odds are, most people will recognize a popular news outlet. We can take advantage of that credibility to boost our own stories beyond what we might do alone on social media.

Whether it be through sharing posts or linking webpages, the source of a lot of the news found on social media comes from traditional media. In fact, most traditional media likely already use their own social media accounts, so utilizing their help tackles both traditional and social audiences at the same time.

There is no doubt about the plentiful benefits of social media for the public relations landscape. At some point in the future, it may completely take over traditional media as a source for news and events. But until then, traditional media will continue on, helping us spread our stories to the masses.

Jacob Massey is a senior majoring in public relations at Eastern Michigan, and he is serving as CFO for the EMU PRSSA. Jacob is looking forward to a career in either politics or sports PR. In a perfect world, he would carry out his work while relaxing on a white, sandy beach in Florida, but he's happy as long as he's working with a great team. Feel free to contact Jacob at jmassey6@emich.edu.

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