Nigel Middlemiss Echo Research Group 16 Mar 2007 The Convergence of Mainstream and Consumer-Generated Media Some empirical insights
1 Convergence: Disruption. Fusion. Co-existence.
Newspaper circulations falling
In almost every Western country, newspaper circulation is down since 1997
In Europe: down by 12%
In Canada and US: a smaller drop (-7% and - 6%).
Only in some Asian markets is circulation up.
Consumption patterns shifting Age demographic Source: Gallup 2006 USA 18-34 yrs 50-65 yrs
Blogs making inroads into traditional media
2 Framework for the Echo study (Part 1)
Online media and blog qualitative analysis UK, USA and Canada July 06-Mar 07 Sources: Journalists / media owners Jeff Weber – USA Today Betsy Morgan – CBS News Oliver Luft – journalist.co.uk Jemima Kiss - journalist.co.uk David Aaronovitch –Times Neil McIntosh – Guardian Vic Crosbie – freelance Paul Mason – BBC and Idlescrawl Patrick Barkham – Guardian Nick Robinson – BBC Colin Brown – The Independent Shane Rickman – Daily Telegraph Tina Brown – ex-Vanity Fair Paul Carr – TheFridayThing Tom Glocer – CEO Reuters Joshua Marshall – TalkingPoints David Watkins – The Guardian Damon Darlin – New York Times Roy Greenslade – The Guardian Mike Sando – NewsTribune Carolyn McCall – GMG Alan Rusbridger – Guardian Dominique Vidal –Yahoo Europe Larry Kramer – CBS Digital Annalies v. der Belt – Telegraph John Ridding – FT Chris Shaw – BBC Channel 5 Fran Unsworth – BBC Pete Clifton – BBC Marc Webber – The Sun
Online media and blog qualitative analysis UK, USA and Canada July 06-Mar 07 Sources: Bloggers Brett Tabke – WebmasterWorld Eric Enge – WebmasterWorld Dan Gillmore – Bayosphere Tom – to Idlescrawl Unity – to Idlescrawl Arty Smokes – to Idlescrawl Eric Dickens – to Idlescrawl GuidoFawkes – OrderOrder.com Tom Watson – Labour MP Jeff Jarvis Hugh Macleod – GapingVoid.com Shel Holtz Robert French AJ Flick
3 Journalists’ lives are changing
‘ The way we were’
"We used to live in a world where people knew their place . They could write a letter to us, and we'd throw that in the bin, and journalists were comfortable with that."
Productivity pressures are rising “ Now with 24/7 news, smaller newsrooms and multiple platforms there’s more pressure on journalists to file stories.” “ The push these days is to turn out as much as possible . There's not a whole lot of investigating that can go on if you're doing a story every day or so. If you're not getting your story from a press release, or a news conference or the police radio, where do the ideas for these instant stories come from? Well, blogs is one answer .”
Bloggers are breaking stories ahead of journalists “ I named the Deputy Prime Minister’s alleged third mistress. But the largest national tabloid feared court action if it did the same. I’m proud to publish server logs showing how many hits I get from Associated Newspaper computers, along with the BBC, the main Opposition Party Office and others.”
Journalists: ‘lazy and fearful’? “ Big-media journalists lazily pinch stories they break. On any given day, you will find on the Londoner's Diary (ES) and other diary columns two or three stories totally lifted - from me” “ I expose the hypocrisy and lies of our political class - something Parliamentary journalists seem reluctant to do, craven and beaten down into submission by the need for ‘access’ and titbits given out by party machines.”
4 Cultural differences: journalists & bloggers
Different codes of conduct “ Journalists and bloggers are doing different things in the truth ecosystem . “ The journalist's role with regard to facts is to check them; with regard to assertions - to doubt them. I have to start the day presuming anything said to me by people who want to get it in print is not true. The blogger may or may not do that. “ We cannot always prove wrongdoing; we can only ask questions. After that, it's over to the standards bodies and the electorate”.
Different degrees of accountability
“ In the end a journalist can be identified and held to account ”
“ The anonymity of certain bloggers is part of the 'web rage' phenomenon. It seems to flick off the inhibition switch that stops people from saying certain things in person. Messages I received that called me gutless or a coward were unsigned."
Different thresholds to entry
“ Benjamin has a web reputation for contributions so benign and pointless that they border on soporific . What is not acceptable is 'sucking the air out of the room’. Other bloggers are windbags”
“ Some bloggers are world experts in their field . The top bloggers are more likely than top newspaper columnists to have gone to a top university, and far more likely to have an advanced degree, such as a doctorate” - Matthew Hindman, Arizona State University
Different degrees of focus “ In the blogosphere you can write a huge article on the smallest issue whereas the MSM have to concentrate on what they see to be the biggest stories of the day.” “ As a journalist you comment on matters outside your area of expertise at your own risk - because there's no shortage of people out there to pull you up short if you make basic mistakes.”
Different forms of behaviour "A lot of teenagers were coming to our link on the ground and they provided the best pictures of the day by getting far closer than the BBC's own camera crews would go. When we said we can't use this because it's too wobbly, they said 'I'll go out and get some more’”.
“ Bloggers are great in warzones, dictatorships, ‘privileged environments’”
“ They’re a useful kick up our backside”
“ The best of them break stories, & add colour - they’re good sources for us”
“ Are we as journalists being dethroned by citizens in pyjamas?” “ Big media brands pull in stories and gain access like no-one else” “ Editorial process is great – puts journos on the spot” “ Bloggers can get stories wrong (Arab musicians)” “ Bloggers are poor cousins – enviously pulling stories to bits” “ They can be as dull as radio phone-ins’” Source: Battle of Ideas seminar, Oct 06
5 The news media are adapting
‘ Old’ media are going multi-platform
“ We want to be platform-agnostic . If you are going to be a 21 st century media company then you’re publishing on the web, in print and mobile. You go where the audience is. “So the UK’s Guardian is:
NOW : investing € 1.5M in video production and hiring experienced production staff. NO MORE: self-taught reporters and camera people putting projects together. FROM HERE ON IN: "We don’t think we can go forward without proper resources and teams”
Journalists are now layering on social media tools so readers can participate
“ Our aim now is to create more opportunity for our readers to communicate with us - and for our journalists to point to things on the web. Our users can
submit comments on story pages
participate in special interest forums
create home pages on our site
use RSS aggregator tools to get links from other news
author blogs attached to us”
“ THERE’S NO WALLED GARDEN ANY MORE”
Blogs attaching themselves to traditional media Source: Nielson Netratings Blogs up 13% December 2005 - December 2006
‘ Micro-journalism’ is here
“ A new breed of journalists - experts and authoritative voices in niche areas - has developed out of the blogging world.
“ Micro journalists sit in between the trained traditional journalist and the casual couch blogger. The challenge is identifying who the best micro-journalists are are”
A new collaboration: networked journalism
“ We’re saying to the bloggers: ‘ You've got muck. We've got rakes .’ Stories can be researched by breaking them into bits and delegating them to your readers: an army of people committed to trawling through public documents, quizzing their legislators or Googling census data”.
A new collaboration: networked journalism
“ Our theatre critic might be writing about Bertolt Brecht, but one of the bloggers that joins the conversation might be a professor and an expert on Brecht. It's the wisdom of the crowds .
“ It's not long till the US mid-term elections - but we can't be everywhere and there are many fascinating races we'd like to cover. So we'd like your help - we'd like to know what it looks like from the ground. I f you'd like to be a " Citizen Reporter " during the election, drop a note to [email_address] ”
MSM are stressing trust % believe source is unbiased / accurate / true Source: Telecom Express Aug 2006 n = 1000
Strengthening trust levels
“ How can people trust that the doctor behind the Doctor’s Blog isn’t an unemployed truck driver?
“ We must take measures against trust-breakers . This photographer was fired; his editor was fired; and we took the decision to remove every photograph he ever took in his freelance career at Reuters – all 920! Photographers now have to sign up to an enhanced code. Reuters is creating photo audit trails with Adobe and Canon”
6 How the newsflow is starting to look
7 Opportunities for corporate CGM
Corporate and political bloggers
EU Commissioner for Communication Strategy Margot Wallström
Randy Baseler, CEO Boeing
Blogs = a corporate comms opportunity too
Blogs that journalists like - or don’t
“ Bloggers have become a powerful conduit for stealthy, word-of-mouth marketing that can make or break the image of a company”
SO “Do be honest, self-deprecating”
GOOD E.G. Robert Scoble's scobleizer.com humanises Microsoft.
“ Don’t try too hard to sell . Things happen indirectly. It’s not a control mechanism like advertising. People are coming to you.”
POOR E.G. Blogging by Dr Pepper of the Raging Cow energy drink (“a milk drink with attitude”)
Blogs that journalists like - or don’t
Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems: “has a friendly but formal style – and succeeds”
Jobster CEO Jason Goldberg: “has had more difficulty. He is accused of misleading his employees with undue optimism in his blog before announcing major job cuts. His style is too jokey to be taken seriously: e.g. ‘Why don't I listen to my PR folks when they tell me to stop blogging? Because I'm different - and I hate being handled."
8 For communicators: ‘un embarras de richesse’
… to understand the competitive climate
Politicians Media General public NGOs Blogs Employees Management Quality Products/Services Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment CSR/Governance Management Quality Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment Management Quality Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment Management Quality Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment Management Quality Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment Management Quality Financial Performance Vision/Leadership Workplace/Employment Products/Services CSR/Governance Products/Services CSR/Governance Products/Services CSR/Governance Products/Services CSR/Governance Products/Services CSR/Governance … .to put scorecards in place Average Excellent Poor
Copyright Echo Research Group Relationship Measures: Trust, commitment, satisfaction, control mutuality Reputational Measures : financial, services / products, leadership, CR, management, workplace quality / others for public sector and F&PS / Researching media and CGM for a clearer picture
Nigel Middlemiss Echo Research Group 16 Mar 2007 The Convergence of Mainstream and Consumer-Generated Media Empirical Insights
Political “attack blogs”
Corporate blogs that journalists respect
“ Automobile manufacturer Toyota uses user generated content to complement its marketing strategy for its fuel efficient hybrid model. In a community section, hybrid car owners, who can create profiles and discuss their reasons for choosing the brand”
Corporate blogs journalists don’t respect
Sony incur the anger of consumers after launching a covert marketing campaign disguised as a blog created by a teenager. The fake blog – or 'flog' – aimed to promote the Playstation Portable (PSP) among the gaming community - but was exposed.
The rise of CGM (citizen/consumer-generated media)
Growing influence on brands / reputations.
Impact of internet felt across all age bands, especially the 16-24s.
In UK in 2005-6, dwindling conventional media consumption
Local media (-8%)
Beneficiaries are the online social networks, such as blogs.
Source: Ofcom report 2006
Blog (n.& v.) “ A blog is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in reverse chronological order. “ A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs and web pages. On many, readers can leave comments in an interactive format. “ Some blogs focus on photographs ( photoblog ), videos ( vlog ), or audio ( podcasting ), and are part of a wider network of social media”.
Start a blog “just like that”
Growing fast Every day 100,000 new blogs and 1.3 million posts are made
Source: Technorati The blogosphere
Daily posting volume Source: Technorati
Nigel Middlemiss Echo Research 13 Feb 2007 Echo Research
The blog tone of voice…
‘ the ultimate medium for brand-bashing’
Can blogs by disgruntled customers or ex-employees harm reputations? YES 66% (Research among PR professionals 2006)
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Nigel Middlemiss Echo Research 13 Feb 2007 Echo Research
5 Bloggers as advertising extension
9 Js being chased by the technology – tail wagging the dog
Researching and evaluating blogs
Do you believe that blogs need evaluating for content and impact? YES 58%
(Research among PR professionals 2006)
“ There is a danger of Cass becoming a dominant factor and City becoming a one-product university.” Trade association “ I think a lot of people think about the Business School and that’s probably where people stop thinking.” Public body “ There is a distinct likelihood that Cass as a brand is already - or is quite capable of becoming - bigger than City University as a brand.” Professional body “ I think it’s the best in the world. I’ve never seen anything more fascinating than Cass in terms of facilities.” Cass UG “ Cass is excellent and compares well with top business schools.” External stakeholder Cass Vox Pops
… by assessing sources….
… measuring content type….
Js themselves blogging
6 Blog comment alongside stories
From disrespect…to respect
AT FIRST: “One senior person was ‘dinged’ for the perception that his posts gave more of a marketing spin than an inside perspective. In one e-mail, an outside reader wrote: ‘ Take down your blog. You embarrass us, everyone who reads it, and you make the world a dumber place .’" BUT LATER: “His explanation of an ongoing controversy about how they handle a customer issue was light on emotion, and therefore appreciated.”
SO THAT: “The organisation has learned to cede some control and expose itself to stinging criticism in exchange for a potentially more constructive dialogue with the public and employees”.
Wire journos vs commentariat
.. so bloggers have what journalists want
Suddenly it’s come of age:
Participatory Media (US)
"At least £100, plus your name on air" the Five News website shouts. "We want videos as well as your great stories and pics", yells the Sun.
How journalism should commingle with new media
1. Create the right environment - be ‘the seeders of clouds’.
2. Make it technically easy to contribute -bloggers will not link to articles that require logins and subscriptions.
3. Focus on the most important skills - filtering and editing
Blogger links to a news site
.. and bloggers are running stories ahead of journalists "At least £100, plus your name on air" the Five News website shouts. "We want videos as well as your great stories and pics", yells the Sun.