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Ketchum Media Myths 2006

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Ketchum Media Myths 2006

  1. 1. 2006 Media Usage sUrvey
  2. 2. Media Myths: Exploring Six Media Fictions ............................2 Table of Contents Media Realities: A Roundtable Discussion of Nine Key Truths About Media Today ..................................9 Street Smarts: Identifying Future Trends ...............................14 Additional Survey Findings....................................................17 Survey Methodology .............................................................20
  3. 3. Ray KotcheR Senior Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Ketchum Public relations keeps evolving. Relationships, credibility, influence and persuasion lie at the heart of the discipline, but how best to reach and connect with a specific target audience is what keeps changing. Whether it’s the broad and familiar reach of placing a story on the Today show, or instead channeling that time and effort into producing niche content, what’s clear is there is never a simple formula for determining the right media mix. What’s ever more clear, as holographically illustrated by Time magazine’s choice of person of the year — “YOU” — is that media preferences and choices rest in the hands of individuals, and our discipline has the ability to select and pursue media opportunities on a highly individualized basis. Ketchum recently partnered with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center to conduct a survey that examines what gaps might exist between what communicators are doing to share information and what consumers really pay attention to in their search for information. A primary finding of the survey shows a continued reliance by consumers on local TV news and newspapers for trustworthy information, despite the array of new media sources bombarding them today. Those new choices, of course, complicate the job of the communicator, as the survey also shows consumer interest and delight in the bounty of informational channels available — from those on the Web, to those considered more traditional. For a multi-tasking world, it seems media consumption habits could best be described as “multi-media.” And beyond new and traditional media, it’s also apparent that friends and family are frequently the first stop when gathering believable advice or information; however, credible opinions from trusted people still are substantiated by turning to other media sources. Our report is an exploration of media fictions at a time when media planning is more exciting, and more complex, than ever before. Our experts in new and traditional media relations, word-of-mouth marketing, the blogosphere, and other facets of public relations have prepared a fascinating look at the prevailing media myths and new media realities based on their work and this study. We hope you are intrigued by what you read here. I’d welcome your feedback at 1
  4. 4. MEDIA MyThS: exploring Six Media Fictions 1. traditional media are dead. 2. only blogs are relevant. 3. Social networking sites are just for kids. 4. young adults don’t read newspapers. 5. Word of mouth cannot be managed. 6. the company Web site is the best way to communicate. The comprehensive media-usage survey by Ketchum and the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center uncovered surprising responses from the 1,490 American adults and 500 corporate communicators surveyed. Indeed, the findings serve to dispel six media myths that have developed in recent years. Six communicators, each with an interest in a particular media legend, strongly challenge these myths and explain why the data strongly support their challenge. 2
  5. 5. MYTH ONE: traditional media are dead. Every day we see news coverage about the rising popularity of non-traditional media — or another story about staffing cuts at local and national news outlets. So it’s no surprise that many people would think traditional media are in trouble. But layoff stories are more an indication of media companies’ desire to keep shareholders happy — not the actual demise of traditional news outlets. Despite the rising popularity of citizen journalism, consumers still view traditional SuSan BRophy media outlets — especially local TV news and newspapers — as their most trusted is a Ketchum vice sources for credible information that impact their lives. The survey found that nearly president and media three-of-four adult respondents rely on local TV news for key information, while strategist, based only 13.4 percent of them turn to Web logs, or blogs. And consumers are four times in Chicago, with more likely to use local newspapers than blogs. 15 years of media For consumers, newspapers and TV news have long been the gatekeepers of relations experience information. While it’s more challenging to be a gatekeeper when you’re surrounded working with by bloggers, traditional media will continue to hold the credibility edge — especially business and as more “citizen journalists” join the blogging world. It’s going to be even tougher consumer media. to discern the facts from opinion and fiction. And consumers will likely respond by giving even more credibility to traditional media sources. So for PR practitioners and our clients, traditional media — print and broadcast, especially — continue to be a prime driver of consumer attitudes and choices. That means strategies that focus on reaching consumers through traditional news outlets — especially at the local level — will continue to play a vital role in the success of any program. consumers’ Media usage: traditional Media are not Dead 73.6% Local tV news Major network news 71.4% 68.9% Local newspaper 47% cable tV news advice – Family/Friends 43.7% 38.1% Broadcast news Web 23.3% advice – coworkers 21.7% company Web site 18.4% national newspaper 17.1% Social network Sites 13.8% celebrity endorsements Blogs 13.4% 8.3% Business news Web Videocast 5.6% 4.8% podcast 4.5% Mobile Media 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 3
  6. 6. MYTH TWO: only blogs are relevant. While there’s little debate that Web logs, or blogs, forums and social networking sites are legitimate sources of information and influence today for consumers, the notion that these new media channels are superseding traditional media is, at best, aspirational. Consumers do not rely on single sources for news and content. They prefer traditional media channels and, in particular, local TV and newspapers. The A technology Ketchum/USC study indicates that use of these channels trends at roughly enthusiast, 70 percent, while use of blogs and social networking sites trend at 13 and patRicK FoaRDe 17 percent, respectively. This is fairly consistent across gender and age. And is vice president and perception of media credibility also remains stronger in traditional channels. general manager Still, we can’t forget that blogs, forums and social networking sites are evolving of eKetchum, the into powerful word-of-mouth channels. Blogging, of course, was born from agency’s digital self-expression, not from journalism. Bloggers, like editorial writers and essayists, media-development are inherently opinionated and, many times historically, have not been overly group. concerned with veracity or objectivity. In the past few years, though, bloggers with strong credentials have emerged to provide commentary that is thoughtful, researched and fact-checked. These bloggers are behaving more like traditional journalists. Yet the blogosphere still hasn’t established the standards for accuracy and verification that guide traditional journalism. Bloggers themselves belie the uber-relevance of new media. They rely heavily on online news outlets that, typically, are extensions of their offline counterparts, to source their commentaries. We should maintain a balanced perspective on blogs and other new media channels and use them wisely. Online is an important part of the media mix but so remains traditional media. consumers’ Blog usage: Blogs are popular But not the Only Medium 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ neW MeDia Blogs 18.7% 23.9% 10.1% 10.9% 7.2% 8.3% neWSpapeRS Local 52.3% 63.9% 65.7% 70.6% 78.7% 83.4% teLeViSion Major Network News 60.0% 42.7% 70.7% 72.8% 72.7% 77.5% Local News 59.2% 69.3% 75.0% 76.6% 78.5% 81.7% Cable News 40.5% 47.8% 43.3% 50.7% 48.4% 52.6% neWS WeB SiteS Broadcast News 30.6% 42.0% 38.6% 37.7% 37.1% 40.1% WoRD oF Mouth Advice – Family/Friends 50.5% 51.2% 46.4% 43.7% 39.0% 29.6% 4
  7. 7. MYTH THREE: Social networking sites are just for kids. In the media attention around youngsters growing up too fast, too soon, it’s become commonly accepted wisdom that online social networks — commonly represented by brands like MySpace and Facebook — are the province of ‘tweens. That’s not entirely true. While leading studies demonstrate that modern children are “pre-wired” to handle interactive technologies like instant messaging, mobile phones JoSh ShaBtai, and social networking in a way that many adults aren’t, the Ketchum/USC Ketchum’s senior study and others reveal that older demographic groups are participating new media specialist, in online social networks in growing numbers. Indeed, eMarketer reports is a self-described that more than 30 million mothers are online and 70 percent visit social geek who regularly networking sites like ClubMom and translates new Other social networks, built around sports, are capturing male audiences media technology in the 25-to-54 year-old age range; the Sporting News’ online community into creative, boasts more than 500,000 of these users. Social networks are even popping easy-to-understand up for the 50-plus set. Just a few months ago, opened its doors applications for as the first social network devoted exclusively to baby boomers. clients. Even MySpace, the social network most commonly cited as a playground for the young, appears to be growing up. On Oct. 5, comScore Media Metrix revealed that more than half of the network’s visitors are 35 and older. And, more revealing, it found that only about 12 percent are younger than 17 years old. Social networks just for kids? Not anymore. consumers’ usage of Social networking Sites: they’re not Just For Kids 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ neW MeDia Social networking sites 41.9% 30.9% 15.1% 9.9% 3.8% 1.3% 5
  8. 8. MYTH FOUR: young adults don’t read newspapers. If media researchers are to be believed, 30-somethings like me are far more interested in television, blogs and YouTube than in dirtying our key-tapping fingertips with a newspaper. But to those who subscribe to this oft-repeated media myth, I offer this advice: Don’t believe everything you hear — or read. The Ketchum/USC survey indicates that at least half of us 18 to 34 rely on newspapers for information, hardly an inconsequential figure. Newspapers are patRicK o’BoyLe great. I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal for the excellent coverage and is a graduate because I get a kick out of those expressive, hand-drawn renderings of politicians, student in the business leaders and other personalities. I read The New York Times for its University of eclectic variety and all-around approachability; nearly every page has Southern California’s something to interest me. For long, in-depth articles with a California angle, Strategic Public I turn to my local Los Angeles Times. And whenever I visit another city or Relations program country, I always pick up a local paper to get a feel for the place. at the Annenberg In today’s world of media conglomerates and political spin, though, it’s necessary School for to diversify one’s news sources. I surf news Web sites for the up-to-the minute Communication. reports that news junkies like me crave. Radio offers a fascinating world of international news and political commentary. And television provides the moving images that other media cannot. But what these media do not give us are the little things that make newspapers so appealing: easy portability, texture, the smell of printer’s ink, crossword puzzles. And many from my generation hope that the venerable newspaper never truly becomes the anachronism that some already have decided to label it. consumers’ usage of newspapers: young adults Do Read newspapers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ neWSpapeRS Local 52.3% 63.9% 65.7% 70.6% 78.7% 83.4% National 16.4% 19.0% 16.9% 18.7% 24.6% 16.9% 6
  9. 9. MYTH FIVE: Word of mouth cannot be managed. While it’s true that word of mouth can’t be controlled, it can be managed. Let’s break down the two types of word of mouth that exist to get some structure to it. One is organic word of mouth and the other is amplified. Organic word of mouth really starts on the drawing board of a new product or service. It’s creating something that, by its own nature, is so compelling and thoughtful and targeted to meet a specific need that people naturally are inclined to want to talk about it and share it with others. The simple process of listening to what consumers and buyers say pauL RanD, they need and actively and creatively working to fill that need is one of the basic Ketchum partner foundations of managing word of mouth. and the agency’s global chief The second type is amplified word of mouth. This is when we as marketers simply development and allow something to organically catch on and spread. It’s anathema to the way most innovation officer, marketers think and operate. We want to have a greater sense of direction and control. is a member of the Amplified word of mouth originates from truly listening to and understanding what board of directors consumers want and need and then actively working with them to create a company’s and chairman of products, services or offerings. That listening is more critical than ever as new media the communications emerge and as influencers—those who sway our opinions on everything from what committee of the products and services to buy to what movies to see—play a more important role Word of Mouth in our decision making. Knowing, for instance, that influencers devour new media Marketing and also serve as a key audience when managing word of mouth helps marketers Association. decide what marketing dollars to devote to new media to reach them. Word of Mouth can Be Managed: influencers access Multiple Media Usage: Decision Made, Opinion Formed or Product Chosen GeneRaL puBLic inFLuenceRS use credibility use credibility neWSpapeRS Local 68.9% 7.2 84.3% 6.8 National 18.4% 7.5 35.1% 7.4 teLeViSion Major network news 71.4% 7.2 75.2% 6.8 Local news 73.6% 7.4 77.8% 6.9 Cable news 47.0% 7.4 63.3% 7.1 neWS WeB SiteS Business news 8.3% 7.1 16.4% 6.8 Broadcast news 38.1% 7.5 48.8% 7.1 neW MeDia Blogs 13.4% 5.2 20.7% 5.2 Social networking sites 17.1% 5.1 18.6% 4.4 Podcast 4.8% 6.5 8.6% 5.9 Videocast 5.6% 6.2 11.2% 5.7 Mobile media 4.5% 6.2 4.2% 5.7 WoRD oF Mouth Advice — family/friends 43.7% 7.3 55.6% 7.1 Advice — coworkers 23.2% 6.6 34.6% 6.3 Celebrity endorsement 13.8% 4.7 19.2% 4.0 coMpany WeB Site 21.7% 6.9 27.5% 6.8 7
  10. 10. MYTH SIX: the company Web site is the best way to communicate. I admit that I was a late adopter of Web technology. When I was asked to assume responsibility for the Sears intranet 10 years ago, I initially objected since I thought it would detract from more important communications tools. I felt the same way about the company’s sizable commitment to its new, click-intensive Web site. Since then, I’ve eaten my words — at least a few of them. No business today can operate without a clean, continually updated intranet and Ron cuLp, Web site. However, as Ketchum’s seminal media-usage survey confirms, no managing director organization should put all of its communication efforts in one basket. of Ketchum Midwest, At Sears and other organizations with which I have consulted over the years, has 30 years of communicators rightfully have increased their attention on Web-focused experience with communications. Some companies with limited internal PR staffing have come Fortune 500 to rely on posting the same messages or news releases on their intranet and corporations, Web sites, and then declare that they have communicated adequately. If only including Sears it were that easy. and Sara Lee, and in government The Ketchum survey validates my long-held belief that each communications and public service. opportunity must be evaluated in light of how it should most effectively be conveyed to the respective stakeholders. In some cases, cascading messages from management is sufficient, while other issues might require a fuller approach that includes direct media outreach, internal print, video, broadcast e-mails and word of mouth. corporations Rely on Web Sites But consumers Do not 60.6% corporate announcement 6.8% 56.8% new/existing product announcement 17.8% 44.2% Response to problem/crisis 8.5% 47% influencing opinion 22.1% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 n Industry professionals’ use of company web sites n Consumers’ use of corporate web sites 8
  11. 11. MEDIA REAlITIES: nine Key Findings 1. When it comes to media think “local and personal.” 2. the human channel is critical, especially word of mouth. 3. consumers use a range of media. 4. Media use is generational. The older you are the more you prefer traditional media, while young adults experiment. 5. corporate communicators rely too heavily on their company Web sites. Corporate communicators should use all media when spreading their message. 6. timing matters in reaching consumers. Corporate communicators should consider consumer needs as well as company schedules. 7. think strategically before using celebrities. 8. influencers devour all media all the time. 9. influencers adopt new media earliest. 9
  12. 12. MEDIA REALITIES: a Roundtable Discussion The media-usage survey by Ketchum and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center pointed towards nine key media findings. In this roundtable discussion, a panel of communicators familiar with the survey explores it and its principal findings. Media Realities Roundtable Participants eD KeLLeR, chief executive nichoLaS SciBetta, officer of Keller Fay Group, Ketchum senior vice president co-author of The Influentials, and global director of the and president of the Word of agency’s Communications Mouth Marketing Association and Media Strategy Network JeRRy SWeRLinG, professor tRacey MaFFeo, and director of public relations Ketchum vice president and the Annenberg Strategic and specialist in reputation Public Relations Center at the management University of Southern California DaViD RocKLanD, Ketchum WiLLiaM G. MaRGaRitiS, partner and global director of corporate vice president, research, served as moderator worldwide communications and investor relations, at FedEx RocKLanD: It’s hard to find a publication about platforms, media consumption is splintering with public relations that doesn’t talk about how rapidly different channels being used in different ways at the communications landscape is changing. Some different stages in the information-gathering and experts go as far as to contend traditional media are decision-making processes. In turn, as communicators, dead and that the blogosphere is our future. Others we need to be more flexible and adept at assessing say that today’s young media consumer doesn’t read the our objectives and using the right media with the right newspaper or watch local or national news on television. content at the right time. This will enable us to deliver It seems, too, that there are a fair number of media communications that have greater impact, credibility communicators who have bought into these myths. and resonance among our target audiences. Our survey of media professionals and consumers shows that, yes, the world is changing, but not that fast. And, MaRGaRitiS: In today’s society, it’s vitally important many of those “dinosaurs” of media relations — your to align all your marketing and communications local TV news at 6, or the daily newspaper on your programs, channels and audiences around an integrated doorstep or on the Web — are, in fact, the real ways media strategy. The study’s data show we need to consumers get information. Let’s ask some experts to have a much more targeted, selective, well-thought- comment on the findings. out and disciplined approach tiered with the right tone and content to maximize our resources and return on RocKLanD: What key finding resonated most for investment and achieve maximum impact. This reflects you from the survey, and why? how sophisticated and discerning consumers are today in the information sources they tap to shape their opinions and behaviors. MaFFeo: Flexibility and adaptability. The survey findings indicate that rather than converging to new 10
  13. 13. SciBetta: The message emerged loud and clear MaRGaRitiS: The importance of local media and that traditional media still live as a driver of consumer its high credibility clearly jumped out at me, and it’s attitudes and choices, and to ignore or de-emphasize something we need to pay more attention to. So, traditional media can be a liability to a company. instead of just fishing in the ocean, we’ve got to fish in The human element, especially word of mouth, also the ponds, too. And that encompasses word-of-mouth is crucial to reaching and influencing consumers. communication, which is very much linked to that local communications approach. SWeRLinG: Seeing “personalized” word-of-mouth SciBetta: The degree to which all media is local and communication involving friends, relatives and neighbors quantified to such a dramatic extent, and personal. Consumers are looking for authenticity and among nearly all age groups, blew me away. I believe trust, and local media is one channel they turn to for it. this medium will grow even stronger as media continue to fragment and people increasingly become cynical SWeRLinG: Adults 18 to 34 are the most well-rounded about institutional sources. If that happens, there demographic group in terms of media use. You are some potentially ominous implications for wouldn’t think that from the buzz that young adults communications professionals, possibly including the don’t read newspapers and prefer all the new media. need to throw all the old, accepted models out the But this group uses all types of traditional and new window. So we should start now to better understand media as well as evolving media. We should think of these “personalized” channels of communication. them as the “swing” generation, with a foot in both the traditional media world and the new media world. the LocaL anD tRaDitionaL RocKLanD: What survey finding involving corporate SiDeS oF MeDia: communicators surprised you the most, and why? Local media is what consumers turn to first: MaFFeo: The apparently contradictory findings • Local TV news (73.6 percent) and local that corporate communicators rank among the newspapers (68.9 percent) are the top heaviest users of traditional and new media, but that sources for consumers, while podcasts corporations are failing to understand and adapt to (4.8 percent) and mobile media media-consumption patterns among target audiences. (4.5 percent) come in as the lowest. The study shows industry professionals rely too heavily Traditional media is tops for credibility: on their Web sites to convey information. • On a 10-point scale with 10 representing MaRGaRitiS: There’s no question that corporate the highest level of credibility, national communicators are relying too heavily on their Web newspapers and news Web sites rank highest sites as a communications tool. You shouldn’t drink (7.5), while two new media, blogs and your own bathwater. Which brings up the issue of one social-networking sites, rank the third- and and style in communication. It’s important to get away second-lowest (5.2 and 5.1). from corporate speak. We as industry professionals should Ketchum/USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center survey, 2006 be authentic and candid and use simple English in our communication and not fall back on traditional corporate speak. And controlled corporate speak is what tends to permeate these Web sites. RocKLanD: What survey finding involving consumers surprised you the most, and why? SciBetta: The study confirmed that consumers use a multi-channel approach to get information, MaFFeo: The wide credibility gap between traditional with 18-to-34 year olds the most well-rounded in media and new media. We communications professionals their media usage, while corporate communicators’ traditionally have viewed the “filter” — whether a heavy use of their corporate Web site to reach journalist or influencer — as a powerful tool in providing them may mean they’re missing several pit stops increased credibility of information. In recent years, that consumers rely on to get information. In though, much emphasis has been placed on the today’s fragmented media landscape, corporate credibility of unfiltered information such as blogs, communications may very well need to employ particularly in light of reports of declining credibility for a media-planning-style approach to reach traditional media. The survey, though, reveals that consumers strategically. consumers give the highest credibility scores, on a scale of 1 to 10, to traditional media and the lowest marks RocKLanD: What underscored for you that new to emerging media. Local TV news, for instance, gets a media have a definite place in the media mix? credibility rating of 7.4, while blogs receive only a 5.2. 11
  14. 14. professionals of all sorts — going into doctor’s offices, coRpoRate coMMunicationS anD investment firms, car dealerships and stores with reams conSuMeR uSaGe: of information and expecting to engage in dialogue. This is a major change from past generations who tended Corporate professionals appear to put too much to take the word of experts at face value. The change, then, faith in their Web sites as the most effective is not only in the “mode” of communications — the avenues for delivering company information: technologies for communicating — but the “expectations” • 49.4 percent of corporations use their of the communications. Web sites for corporate announcements, but only 6.8 percent of consumers go MaFFeo: Influencers play a central role in shaping there for this information. consumer beliefs and behaviors. They also are active users of new media. They also challenge accepted ideas. • 48 percent of corporations rely on their Web I found it interesting that while influencer consumption sites to announce new products, while just 17.8 across all media platforms but one — mobile media percent of consumers look for this news there. — were higher than the norm, the credibility they place Ketchum/USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center survey, 2006 in all media platforms was lower in all but one — blogs. MaFFeo: We’ve all heard it said that content is king. SWeRLinG: Frankly, influencers have never been We need only dissect how large media conglomerates more important than they are today. They are truly and telecommunications companies are making plays multimedia-”minders” and they consume everything. to own and manage content and channels to see this So if you’re a communicator seeking to influence playing out in the marketplace, blending traditional specific audiences, you must factor into your strategic and new media platforms by redeploying or reframing thinking the influencers who affect those audiences. content in new ways. The survey findings not only One way to do that may be through the use of new reinforce but also expand upon this concept, particularly media, which influencers use to a much greater extent as the findings point to trends in the usage of new than anyone else. media among influencers and among audiences in the 18-to-34 demographic. RocKLanD: How did your view of word-of-mouth communications change as a result of the survey’s SciBetta: The study recognizes and we must findings? recognize that influencers — society’s information editors, if you will — are early adopters of new media MaFFeo: The survey challenges some of our beliefs and consume the greatest amount of new media and assumptions about who consumers are going to when compared to other groups. Their influence with for information and how they are using it. The findings consumers is so important that companies should demonstrate that it is, in fact, a blend of word-of-mouth definitely include new media into their media mix. and traditional communications that drives perceptions This is not to be confused with what we sometimes and influences consumer behavior. Finally, and most see as an irrational exuberance with new media at the notably, it reinforced the fact that — like other channels expense of other channels of communication. — word of mouth influences some decisions more than others, and we need to be adept at understanding the SWeRLinG: I’m amazed at how many people are using role that word of mouth plays in forming opinions and social networking Web sites, such as and in deploying influencer and word-of-mouth generating is emerging rapidly as programs effectively and appropriately. another popular online network. Among new media, these online social connections rank highest in usage, SciBetta: That the human element, of which word with more than 17 percent of the adult respondents using of mouth is an example, is critical to reaching and them. Among 18-to-24-year-olds, more than two in five influencing audiences. Even given its importance, visit the sites, so they promise to grow in importance as communicators need to be disciplined and targeted in the younger generations grow older. how they leverage word of mouth in reaching various stakeholders. For example, the study shows that RocKLanD: What role do you see influencers playing decisions on vacation and travel are greatly influenced today, and will they lead us to new forms of communication? by word of mouth from family and friends, while business Web sites rank highest when consumers are seeking information to make decisions on stocks. KeLLeR: Our research has shown that influencers are always pointing the market to new forms of communications. They led the way in the adoption of SWeRLinG: Seeing quantified, in black-and-white e-mail, cell phones and blogging. Less talked about, terms, the profound effect that advice from family, but equally important, they’ve led the way in engaging friends and co-workers has on people — it was stunning. 12
  15. 15. Not only do consumers seek out this advice, they public relations practitioners. We know that influencers generally consider it very credible. When you throw generate a great deal of word of mouth. However, not this in the pot along with the explosive growth of social everyone is an influencer, and all conversations are not media and the atomization of general media, add a started by influencers. Maybe it comes back to basics, big pinch of public cynicism, and stir well, you have a a good messenger with a “sticky” message at the right recipe for an entirely new approach to communication time in the right place. that we are only beginning to fathom. RocKLanD: How would you advise a company about its RocKLanD: What do you consider the best practices media communications as a result of this study’s findings? for affecting word of mouth through public relations? MaFFeo: Deploy more personalized communications KeLLeR: Engagement is critical to word of mouth. In through diverse communications channels and a sense, public relations has always done this — with platforms that effectively communicate your message journalists, public officials and other similar figures. The among target audiences and in a way that best suits challenge for public relations is to expand its definition the audience and the medium. of influencers. With the word-of-mouth marketplace, technology has given “everyday” consumers the tools SciBetta: Develop a highly customized and fragmented to create impact. Thus, PR firms need to engage not media mix. The intersection of new media, traditional only the power centers of big media and institutions media and the human element is the key for creating but also the influencers on the Web and in communities effective and strategic media relations. It enables across the country. We’re seeing the shift already — companies to engage with consumers while also note the numbers of PR firms that are including bloggers providing surround sound for their messaging. on their contact lists. SWeRLinG: Media is not one-size-fits-all. That’s the MaRGaRitiS: Focus on cultivating emotional appeal easy answer. People use different, multi-channel models — trust, admiration and respect — and build reputation when considering different types of purchases and issues. capital — your workplace and culture, reputation, And those models are changing at lightning speed as your citizenship, social responsibility, environmental new, technology-based resources become available. stewardship, the quality of your products and service, As a result, communicators must have a thorough and your integrity and ethics. Your corporate character understanding of their audiences, and they must stay very and value system must take on a more prominent role in current with the media being used by those audiences. storytelling, but it also must be authentic. Find credible ways to get stories out that showcase all of these The harder answer is that everyone in our profession characteristics, and they should include local stories. needs to be thinking about constantly reinventing what It’s about focusing within your organization on we do. Ours always has been a mass-media-centric cultivating loyalty, for loyalty really now trumps business that has focused on building relationships. customer service, and it serves as a way to earning That model now must accommodate these new and your way to the word-of-mouth channel. emerging channels. And if communicators don’t build relationships with them, they do so at the risk of their RocKLanD: I would like to comment on this question organizations and their careers. as well. This probably, is the hardest question facing the poWeR oF the huMan channeL: When making purchasing decisions for any number of product categories, consumers rely most on word of mouth from family and friends: • planning a vacation: Advice from family and friends (38.7 percent); local newspaper (7.4 percent); blogs (2.9 percent) • Buying a new car: Advice from family and friends (35.3 percent); local newspaper (10.5 percent); blogs (0.2 percent) • Spending on consumer electronics: Advice from family and friends (33 percent); local newspaper (10.7 percent); blogs (3.7 percent) Among new media, social networking Web sites rank highest (17.1 percent) in usage for word of mouth, and mobile media the lowest (4.5 percent). Ketchum/USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center survey, 2006 13
  16. 16. STREET SMaRtS The latest trends in media usage by consumers, gleaned from the Ketchum/University of Southern California Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center’s 2006 Media Myths and Realities Survey We’re not Loco: Media trends Local Consumers of all ages still rely on local media for an overwhelming amount of their information, despite the advent of blogs and other new media: • The leading media are local TV news (73.6%) and local newspapers (68.9%). • In the median range are news Web sites, used by 38.1%. • New media are the least used, with blogs (13.4%), videocasts (5.6%), podcasts (4.8%) and mobile media (4.5%) ranking the lowest. Likewise, local media rank among the most credible media on a 10-point scale with 10 representing the highest level of credibility: • Local news received a 7.4 rating, just below the top-ranking national newspapers and news Web sites, each at 7.5. • Celebrity endorsement received the lowest rating (4.7) for media credibility. taKeaWay: pR practitioners can’t forget the importance of reaching consumers through their local media, whether print or broadcast, because consumers rely on them anD believe in their credibility. pR professionals also should recognize that it pays to educate consumers’ family members and friends because they listen to their advice. Word-of-mouth avenues are worth exploring. not your Father’s Media World anymore Delete that image of the family dog delivering the newspaper to dad to read. Women embrace a wide range of media today in about the same percentages as men. • Besides local news, broadcast news is used by two-in-five men (40.2%) and 36.1 percent of women. • Word of mouth from family and friends captures the attention of nearly half of women (48.8%) and 38.7 percent of men. • Social networking sites (e.g., MySpace or Facebook) are used by 19.4 percent of women and 14.8 percent of men. • And nascent mobile media already is used by 5.1 percent of men and 3.8 percent of women to gain information. taKeaWay: communication professionals must recognize that women today, especially those aged 25 to 54 who are a prime consumer demographic, rely on many media channels, not just traditional media. indeed, they are faster to embrace some new media such as social-networking sites than are men and, surprisingly, they look to corporate Web sites more frequently than men. it’s more imperative than ever for communicators to understand the media tastes of their audience. 14
  17. 17. Don’t undervalue the human channel When they’re seeking information to help make major purchase decisions, consumers first seek out their family and friends for advice: • When switching banks or financial institutions, 34.7 percent of consumers surveyed say they use advice from family and friends compared with 8 percent who get information from local newspapers. • 35.3 percent rely on word of mouth for information on buying a new car, contrasting with just 10.5 percent who use local newspapers for this. • 38.7 percent depend on word of mouth to make decisions about planning a vacation in contrast to 7.4 percent who depend on local newspapers. taKeaWay: Since word-of-mouth influence ranks high among consumers, public relations campaigns should consider avenues for developing that influence – whether through grass-roots marketing, free product samples and coupons, or other approaches. it’s also worth exploring how to best employ the social networking Web sites as influencers. timing is everything Consumers seek information at different times than when corporate professionals communicate information: • 27.1 percent of consumers look for information during back-to-school time, while 19 percent of professionals communicate during this time. • 15.6 percent of professionals communicate during religious holidays, but only 1.3 percent of consumers seek information then. taKeaWay: corporate communicators should consider when their consumer constituencies look for information and, when possible, be flexible and adapt timing to their constituencies’ needs. celebrities: Good for entertainment, careful on endorsement Celebrity endorsements can be effective in influencing purchasing decisions if used strategically, but overall consumers rank them low in credibility. • Just 13.8 percent of respondents use celebrity endorsements to form purchasing decisions, and celebrity endorsements received a credibility rating of only 4.7 of 10. • A mere 2.6 percent of respondents rely on celebrity endorsements for purchasing personal care or household products; only 1.5 percent for purchasing consumer electronics; and less than 1 percent (0.9%) for either spending for a new car or a vacation. taKeaWay: the low standing of celebrities may be misleading since the media love to cover celebrities and that might influence consumers who watch the resulting publicity. after all, where do most of the fashion trends start? this “trigger effect” explains why public relations practitioners should think strategically before employing a celebrity. 15
  18. 18. influencers are Super Media users As their name implies, influencers — those people who shape consumers views about what we purchase and how we think about products and services — use media at much higher levels than typical consumers and they serve as the public’s editors and multimedia “minders”: • 35.1 percent of influencers use national newspapers, nearly double the 18.4 percent of the general public. • 55.6 percent of influencers rely on word of mouth from family and friends, compared to 43.7% of the public. • 63.3 percent of influencers turn to cable TV news while less than half of the public (47%) use it. • One–in–five influencers (20.7%) read blogs while just 13.4 percent of the public do. taKeaWay: Since influencers adopt new media earliest and are more influenced by new media than a variety of different consumer groups, public relations practitioners should identify them, seek to gain their insights about the new media channels and glean how these new channels can best be used by clients to communicate with their consumers about their brands and their companies. Where you Live May affect your Media habits Media usage varies quite substantially among cities and regions. Seven cities — Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington D.C. — were oversampled in the survey, and distinct differences emerged. • While residents of all the cities depend heavily on local newspapers, the percentages relying on local TV news varies from 58.6 percent in Los Angeles to 81 percent in Pittsburgh. • As for social networking sites, such as and, only 7.2 percent of Atlantans and 6.9 percent of Pittsburghers use them, while nearly one-in-four (23.4%) New Yorkers visit them. Chicago residents especially rely on word-of-mouth communication among family, friends and co-workers, while word of mouth is less relied upon in Los Angeles and San Francisco. • Regionally, only 17.5 percent of Midwesterners rely on a national newspaper, while one-in-three Easterners (34%) read at least one. As for online business news sites, only 6.4 percent of Midwesterners visit them, compared to 12.2 percent of Westerners. And more than twice the percentage of Easterners use mobile media (6.2%) than Midwesterners (2.9%). • Rural Americans’ media habits don’t vary all that much from people who reside in cities and suburbs, although fewer rural residents read a national newspaper. But more rural residents use their cell phones to gather information than do suburbanites. taKeaWay: the u.S. may be a melting pot, but media preferences can vary substantially by geography. corporate communicators should understand these differences if they are to reach all their targeted audiences successfully. and they shouldn’t write off rural americans. their use of new media such as blogs and podcasts doesn’t differ all that much from those who live in cities and suburbs. 16
  19. 19. additional Survey Findings Media usage: Regardless of city, Residents everywhere Rely on Local Media Gp ny Dc atL chi pitt La SF neWSpapeRS Local 68.9% 66.0% 67.2% 69.5% 65.1% 74.8% 58.7% 71.9% National 18.4% 27.3% 53.9% 24.2% 14.2% 22.0% 19.1% 27.8% teLeViSion Major network news 71.4% 72.7% 62.8% 72.1% 75.0% 67.8% 65.1% 68.3% Local news 73.6% 70.7% 69.4% 71.2% 75.1% 81.0% 58.6% 69.3% Cable news 47.0% 38.4% 43.5% 48.5% 40.7% 47.5% 45.4% 48.3% neWS WeB SiteS Business news 8.3% 9.7% 13.1% 11.7% 6.6% 6.0% 8.3% 16.1% Broadcast news 38.1% 38.8% 40.7% 52.0% 45.4% 35.3% 34.3% 31.8% neW MeDia Blogs 13.4% 17.5% 12.8% 19.7% 12.8% 13.0% 18.8% 20.8% Social networking sites 17.1% 23.4% 20.8% 7.2% 21.7% 6.9% 20.3% 18.7% Podcast 4.8% 7.3% 5.3% 4.6% 5.2% 0.8% 10.3% 11.0% Videocast 5.6% 6.0% 5.1% 5.5% 4.6% 3.3% 10.8% 9.3% Mobile media 4.5% 8.1% 5.8% 4.9% 4.5% 0.8% 7.3% 4.3% WoRD oF Mouth Advice — family/friends 43.7% 49.8% 40.3% 42.8% 50.3% 45.5% 37.0% 38.7% Advice — coworkers 23.2% 23.9% 24.2% 31.2% 30.6% 25.1% 21.2% 18.3% Celebrity endorsement 13.8% 18.7% 9.6% 14.6% 17.4% 22.3% 15.9% 11.2% coMpany WeB Site 21.7% 19.4% 34.7% 19.4% 28.6% 30.1% 23.0% 28.6% 17
  20. 20. across Geographies all Media use is Local and personal uRBan SuBuRBan RuRaL WeSt MiD eaSt neWSpapeRS Local 67.4% 69.4% 69.6% 65.2% 69.2% 67.6% National 21.1% 19.5% 13.4% 23.3% 17.5% 34.0% teLeViSion Major network news 68.3% 73.8% 70.6% 66.7% 72.0% 69.5% Local news 71.4% 76.9% 70.1% 63.8% 77.6% 70.5% Cable news 49.2% 47.7% 43.3% 48.8% 43.6% 43.6% neWS WeB SiteS Business news 10.4% 7.8% 7.0% 12.2% 6.4% 11.4% Broadcast news 41.2% 37.4% 35.9% 33.1% 41.1% 44.2% neW MeDia Blogs 13.3% 14.7% 11.0% 19.8% 12.9% 16.9% Social networking sites 17.2% 19.8% 12.0% 19.5% 15.4% 16.7% Podcast 5.3% 4.9% 4.2% 10.6% 3.4% 5.7% Videocast 5.1% 6.5% 4.5% 10.1% 4.0% 5.5% Mobile media 5.2% 4.1% 4.4% 5.8% 2.9% 6.2% WoRD oF Mouth Advice — family/friends 43.2% 46.0% 40.3% 37.8% 48.3% 44.4% Advice — coworkers 23.5% 24.3% 20.8% 19.8% 28.3% 27.7% Celebrity endorsement 15.6% 13.8% 11.4% 13.6% 19.5% 14.5% coMpany WeB Site 21.9% 23.6% 17.8% 25.8% 29.2% 23.9% Media use is Generational 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ neWSpapeRS Local 52.3% 63.9% 65.7% 70.6% 78.7% 83.4% National 16.4% 19.0% 16.9% 18.7% 24.6% 16.9% teLeViSion Major network news 60.0% 72.7% 70.7% 72.8% 72.7% 77.5% Local news 59.2% 69.3% 75.0% 76.6% 78.5% 81.7% Cable news 40.5% 47.8% 43.3% 50.7% 48.4% 52.6% neWS WeB SiteS Business news 8.8% 13.1% 3.3% 7.1% 9.7% 9.4% Broadcast news 30.6% 42.0% 38.6% 37.7% 37.1% 40.1% neW MeDia Blogs 18.7% 23.9% 10.1% 10.9% 7.2% 8.3% Social networking sites 41.9% 30.9% 15.1% 9.9% 3.8% 1.3% Podcast 7.8% 10.2% 4.7% 2.7% 1.8% 0.6% Videocast 6.9% 10.5% 4.9% 5.0% 3.6% 1.9% Mobile media 11.3% 9.5% 3.7% 0.8% 2.0% 0.0% WoRD oF Mouth Advice — family/friends 50.5% 51.2% 46.4% 43.7% 39.0% 29.6% Advice — coworkers 32.1% 30.2% 27.5% 24.5% 16.3% 5.8% Celebrity endorsement 14.1% 20.2% 14.0% 15.3% 7.3% 8.5% coMpany WeB Site 20.7% 28.4% 25.3% 26.4% 17.5% 7.5% 18
  21. 21. consumers use a Mix of traditional Media to Get information General corporate product/Service Reputation/ crisis Stock usage announcement information Recommendation Response purchase neWSpapeRS Local 68.9% 41.0% 34.3% 10.7% 33.4% 6.7% National 18.4% 16.9% 6.1% 3.1% 16.6% 15.3% teLeViSion Major network news 71.4% 38.5% 25.5% 7.8% 38.4% 3.9% Local news 73.6% 30.4% 29.2% 9.4% 34.9% 3.1% Cable news 47.0% 31.4% 13.8% 5.0% 32.0% 12.5% neWS WeB SiteS Business news 8.3% 15.3% 2.8% 3.1% 10.2% 26.0% Broadcast news 38.1% 18.7% 5.6% 4.3% 16.3% 8.8% neW MeDia Blogs 13.4% 1.5% 4.0% 1.7% 1.4% 1.3% Social networking sites 17.1% 0.7% 0.9% 0.7% 1.5% 0.6% Podcast 4.8% 1.1% 1.2% 0.4% 2.0% 1.4% Videocast 5.6% 1.1% 1.7% 0.4% 1.7% 1.3% Mobile media 4.5% 0.7% 0.8% 0.5% 1.2% 0.9% WoRD oF Mouth Advice — family/friends 43.7% 3.3% 24.0% 28.4% 6.6% 16.6% Advice — coworkers 23.2% 4.1% 9.6% 11.4% 5.4% 10.1% Celebrity endorsement 13.8% 0.7% 4.9% 1.6% 0.9% 0.6% coMpany WeB Site 21.7% 6.8% 17.8% 22.1% 8.5% 20.8% influencers are More influenced by new Media than other consumer Groups n Women n General Public n Moms n Men n Influencers 25 20 15 10 5 0 Mobile Media Videocast podcast Social networking Sites Blogs 19
  22. 22. Methodology Used for 2006 Media Usage Survey Ketchum and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center joined together to conduct the Media Myths & Realities in America 2006 survey. The survey explores media usage of 1,490 adults from the general U.S. population and 500 communications and marketing industry professionals. It also examines gaps in consumer media usage and how communication professionals plan and implement their media programs. Industry professionals were surveyed based on general media usage, frequency of use and effectiveness of media used. The general public was surveyed based on media usage and the credibility of the media they consumed. The online survey was conducted during a two-week period in September 2006, beginning September 6. Communications and marketing industry professionals were defined as having five or more years experience with responsibility for communicating company news, products and services, stock information, corporate earnings and other announcements to external audiences. Nearly half of the professional respondents worked for companies with 1,000 or more employees, with respondents representing a total of 27 different industries. Of the 1,490 consumers, 7 key media markets were identified for “oversampling.” At least 100 respondents were selected from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. 20
  23. 23. About Ketchum An innovator in communication since 1923, Ketchum delivers seamless service around the globe through its 23 offices and 48 affiliates in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. With its five global practices, Brand Marketing, Corporate Communication, Healthcare, Food and Nutrition, and Technology, Ketchum offers clients a unique breadth and depth of marketing and corporate communications expertise. A leading global public relations firm and the PRWeek 2002 Agency of the Year, Ketchum is a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. Additional information on Ketchum and its award-winning work can be found at you would like to speak with someone at Ketchum regarding the Media Myths & Realities Survey, please contact either David Rockland at or Nicholas Scibetta at