The face of a new media company

With all the talk about the upcoming Facebook IPO and the insights into their revenue (85% from advertising), it's hard not to consider them a media company. And if you've ever seen a presentation by the Facebook sales team, you've already figured that out. They start with data and effortlessly segue into ads. 

Then there's YouTube, (soon to be launching original channels with shows by well-known producers), not to mention Google+ and all the other Google products.  Twitter may claim otherwise, but aren't they really a social newswire?  LinkedIn has hired editors.  Pinterest is still in beta, but as a souped up catalogue with social elements, imagine the possibilities. 

Of course there are other more 'traditional' social media sites like the Huffington Post. Aggregators like Stumbleupon and Reddit (no advertising yet, but a great site for indie products).  And no doubt many more concepts waiting in the wings.

The early 2000s were all about convergence of MSM and online media – an experiment that for the most part didn't work. Today, it's live from New York and everywhere else…the 21st century media moguls crawl out of the tech sludge, stand up and put on a jacket and tie. Did someone say IPO?

What's the face of new media?  
Well, first off, many of the companies have a hard time admitting they're media at all.  
They provide a platform for user-created content they don't pay for – but do use to sell ads.  The programming is as diverse as the users, because well, the creators are the users. It's a bit of a '70s-style me generation experience (except without the wide collars): we consume what we want, when we want and more often than not on the go.  Large, medium and small screens are the new accessories.
How does that impact PR?
It changes us in fundamental ways.  We need to reimagine our offerings to ensure we're forward-thinking and strategic. 
Here are four things we can do:
  1. Act like a publisher. Ask yourself what's the story? Develop and refine it. Create and curate amazing content… (Easier said than done, of course. Content Rules is a great place to start.)
  2. Understand and become adept at navigating social channels. Test, learn, counsel.
  3. Live our name:
    • a) Be public – for goodness sakes, get out of the shadows and be transparent (i.e. no longer that shady figure in the background pulling the proverbial strings).
    • b) Develop relationships – by making connections. Lots of them. Start building trust by getting to know folks online and IRL and being interested in who they are and what they do. And then be a connector who puts people together; you can be the hub to many network spokes.
  4. Reciprocate.  But give first and offer more than you take.  

This is certainly not everything, but it's a good place to start.  What do you think the new media relations will look like?

About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.


Hmm, I haven’t really thought too much about Facebook being an actual media company, but after looking at those advertising numbers, I can’t help but think that it is. PR people do need to focus on grasping social media if they would like to get anywhere with their brand. I think that in today’s world, these new media relations will require a quicker response time on both sides.


It doesn't seem like 'new' media relations to me. But I've been preaching this gospel for seven years now. :-) I love your 'live our name' point. Let that be our mantra from now on.