Embracing “new media”

UNTJ4460- PR Communication

Daniel Pfeiffer, former Obama senior staffer gave an interview with Bloomberg discussing the administration’s changing media strategy. He talks about the changing media landscape and how the White House has had to deal with that while at the same time getting their message out to the American people.

An example of this changing strategy can be seen in President Obama’s YouTube interviews that he gave following the State of the Union. This week, the White House announced that the President would be giving interviews to Vox and Buzzfeed News, two organizations that are relatively new to the media landscape.

The Vox is known for its “explainer journalism” approach to the news. The interview seemed to leave critics wanting more.

The Buzzfeed interview was a little different. Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith interviewed President Obama on a wide-ranging view of topics. In the deal that Buzzfeed worked out with the White House they also got a chance to shoot a video with their Motion Pictures team that was done in their style to help promote the healthcare.gov deadline on February 15.

The short video, which features the president taking a picture with a selfie-stick ended up being the more popular that the interview. In a little over 24 hours, the video was watched over 23 million times, which speaks to Buzzfeed’s success in understanding how to use social media to share viral content.

No matter the person in the White House, I think that tackling the changing media landscape would not be easy for anyone. No one can say where journalism will be in the next 10 years. But with more and more people not receiving information from traditional forms of news, it will be interesting to see how politicians embrace this change, how media outlets use the tools available to them to share their news, as well as how brands can adopt these same strategies. As public relations professionals, we need to understand how we can get our message out to our audiences as the means of pushing out news is constantly changing.


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