As a journalist, online media is not our best friend. Though it’s such a strong and versatile tool, it’s a journalist’s worst nightmare. I know everyone here is in PR, so you’re probably thinking, “why should I care?” Well, in some ways, you shouldn’t care. After all, you just want your company’s information out there, right? And what’s an easier way to send messages than through online media. With the rise of social media, anyone can send a mass message to whomever, whenever they want to.
So what’s the problem? Control. More specifically, lack of control. The market for journalists have been deteriorating with the rise of online media because today’s public can get “news” from so many online sources. With the lack of control, people can go online looking for news and end up with garbage. When it comes to online media, it’s hard to find reliable information if you’re just the average person not knowing what to look for. With social media, everyone now has the ability to post whatever they want to, and in a way, can be a reporter. This is when things get out of hand, and why this is an important factor for PR professionals. Companies want to get their information out there. Social media has it to where your company can send that message immediately to their audience. Their audience can then post a message from your company somewhere else. Better yet, they can write “news” about your company somewhere else. Average Joe isn’t a trained journalist so Average Joe puts out unreliable information. Though Average Joe may support your company, Average Joe doesn’t have the necessary skills to report news the right way, and now, you have this misleading information about your company that you have no control over.
Pulling this all back together, online media is a powerful tool that should definitely be utilized. However, when it’s in the hands of the public, it can get out of hand. When using online media, we have to learn how to protect the public from themselves.