Targeted Messages more Important than Ever

by Roger Pynn

Communicators – marketers, advertising folks and public relations people – talk a lot about target audiences, and as Brian Reich points out in a blog entry at the Public Relations Society of America’s blog ComPRehension, new media and new technology may be causing static between message sender and message receiver.

Communications models have long taught us that the responsibility for a message being received lies with the sender, because static and noise can interrupt even the most carefully crafted message on its way to the receiver.

Reich, author of Media Rules!, offers an important precaution: don’t let the toys and the new technology become your new static.

He’s so right. Far too much of the dialogue among public relations people today is about the medium … not the message … which brings us way too close to proving Marshall “the medium is the message” McLuhan right. It isn’t about Twitter and it isn’t about your iPhone.

Message is always first. Without a message you have no reason to communicate. Whether we choose some old fashioned form of delivery (like a postcard or a newspaper) or instead create a viral pathway through a social network, we ought to be more concerned with targeted messages.

Let’s not leave the target audience asking “WHAT?”

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