Why don’t you just switch off your television set and go and do something more twinteresting instead?

Why indeed? The fact remains that most people still get their media kicks from watching TV, not from tweeting. In the broadest of media landscapes, while the balance of power between passive and active engagement is shifting, TV is still the place people feel most influenced and are the most receptive. This was discussed at this week’s Insider Business of Media conference in Manchester by keynote Ed Shedd, head of UK media sector at Deloitte.

My outtake from this was that the broad media landscape is increasingly rich and diverse, with the addition of social networks and media and gradual integration between the old and the new. It’s not the case that old media is dead and the web rules…yet.

Shedd pointed to some interesting findings from Deloitte’s Media Predictions Research 2010 and elsewhere. Less than 1% of registered Twitter users actually create Tweets, for example. Yet, anyone in the tech PR community will agree that the mantra ‘must tweet, must tweet, must tweet’ rings through their ears continually. Another surprising sign of convergence between old and new media was that video on demand is taking the world by storm, but in the form of DVD vending machines not web downloads.

In tech and B2B PR we must remember these facts and remind ourselves and our clients that the web, social networks and media are simply another powerful way to reach audiences, IF those audiences are using these methods. We simply have more tools at our disposal and more channels to work with, in an integrated and carefully considered way.

We can be more creative in the way we talk to our audiences as a result but the same definition of PR (Frank Jefkins) that I learned in college in the 90s remains: “Deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain understanding between an organisation and its publics.” PR is still primarily about deciding who you want to talk to, what interests and engages them, and how you are going to achieve a dialogue with them. The old methods are, for the moment, as important as the new.

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