Thursday, October 28, 2010

Balance of Power between Main Stream Media and Social Media

Singapore.  (28 Oct 10)

I came across an interesting blog posting titled "Poor online PR" by Ian Tan.  In his 24 Oct 10 posting, Ian cited the "power struggle" between the traditional main stream media (MSM) and the newer Social Media (SM), and suggested that the former still held the upper hand when it comes to influencing the masses.  Ian holds this view as he believes that the majority of people still rely on the MSM for information.

While I agree with Ian that the MSM enjoy greater credibility with stakeholders due to their professional structure, I disagree that they hold the upper hand over SM especially in crisis communication situations. 

As mentioned in my earlier posting titled Perception is Reality, I believe that organisations that can seize the information initiative will be able to shape stakeholder perception by framing the issue in its favour.  This in turn puts the organisation in an advantageous position as the human tendency to selectively filter information to fit the initial perception perpetuates the perception - real or imagined.  Being human, MSM reporters are not immune from this and it is inevitable that some of their reporting will be "biased".  Thus, it is my opinion that in a crisis it is the SM that holds the upper hand and this is where organisations should weight their efforts.

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