Social v Traditional Media Marketing

Social Media and Traditional Media can play well together

Image by Colleen Simon for

The greatest power of a social media network is the conversation.  Traditional media, on the other hand still holds sway over many people’s desire for reliable news.  As an advocate for the use of social media for networking, professional branding, influence and life-long learning opportunities I am often struck by the lack of trust many organisations still place in it as a tool.  I admire the works of young professionals who advocate change and empowerment, such as Colleen Dilenscneider.

Despite my strong belief in the value of social media tools I do not ignore the great impact traditional media has on public opinion and it’s powerful reach.  A couple of weeks ago I learnt a good lesson in how social media and traditional media can play well together.  It was also a good reaffirmation of the value I’ve placed in building professional networks online.

In my role as an Education Officer at Sovereign Hill I have developed an online network for the education branch of our organisation as a means of communicating with teachers, sharing resources and keeping abreast of developments in the education sector.  Part of my intention behind this was to develop public understanding of what Sovereign Hill Education was all about: providing educational resources and experiences to enhance student learning of Australian History.  It was about building a unique and positive identity so that we could extend our reach in supporting teachers and students.

Last week when the draft Australian Curriculum subjects for the senior years became public, a discussion about the place of Australian History within this began.  It was through our network on Twitter that I discovered the mainstream media’s interest in this topic and introduced our role as advocates of good Australian History education.  Then through this connection on Twitter we were invited to comment on the curriculum documents and concerns about the lack of Australian History.

The Age – 10 July 2012

The following day it was front page news The Age and was also covered across Fairfax’s national network (in print and online) of newspapers.  The article served to make people aware of our role as experts in Australian History education and consequently, we were approached by the local TV network, local ABC radio and a large Melbourne radio station for further comment.  This was invaluable exposure for us.

But the traditional media exposure was just part of the story.  What followed was a series of conversations though social media, allowing interested people to comment on the story and discuss with others.  We continued to be apart of this conversation on Twitter and through a follow up blog post, which addressed the theme of a vast number of public comments on the debate.

What this experience showed me, was ways in which traditional media and social media can work well together.  Most large organisations, particularly the traditional media organisations, recognise the role of social media in sharing, building and driving journalism and opinion.  Traditional media may give organisations the opportunity to shout their message, but social media allows them to join in the conversation.  Social media is conversational, reflective, personalised and, increasingly, expected.

Has you organisation had an experience like this?  How have you seen traditional media and social media play well together?

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