The Global Communicators Primer to Non-traditional U.S. Media

Today marks the last in a series of excerpts from my recent position paper, “The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide.”

Once upon a time, a media relations person needed to be familiar with only the newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and television and radio stations that covered her issue. That horizon has broadened significantly in recent years with the advent of such online publications as The Huffington Post.

In addition, blogs, which haven’t as wide a popularity worldwide in other countries, have become more of a factor. There are those who will argue that blogs are not truly media outlets; that is a deeper argument for another day. Suffice to say, there is a small minority of bloggers who adhere to ethical media standards and who reach wide audiences. The trick for the international communicator comes in determining which ones are legitimate, widely read, and worth pursuing.

New media has also been added to the landscape, and should be folded into your communications ventures. Make it a part of your overall communications plan; never isolate it. After all, channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are nothing more than new tools. Yes, they can be powerful when used wisely, but they are simply extensions of tried and true techniques like the news release, the op-ed, and the interview with a reporter.

Use of new media differs little from your other approaches. Decide what audience you want to connect with, then determine what new media channels touch them most effectively. Of course, it is a good idea to follow your targeted audience on new media channels to get a better idea of their thinking and how you can add value to them.


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