CO 350: Contemporary Perspectives in Public Relations: Blog Post 11: PR Wired: Context: The Internet Age

Garfield, The Chaos Scenario (mycampus link)

1. p. 10 why are traditional media in a “stage of dire retrenchment”

Answer: According to Garfield, the traditional media are in a stage of dire retrenchment because of three “concurrent, irresistible forces: audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection; obsolete methods and unsustainable costs of distribution; and competition from every computer user in the whole wide world.” In a summary of this particular section, Garfield talks about how the advertising world is taking a change and adapting to these new ways of media to reach the public, especially using the computer platform and the world wide web.  Traditional media such as television, newspapers and magazines are losing advertising revenue to more cost effective strategies online that can reach individual members of society and personalize to the liking of the person’s web browsing history.

 2. Why are the “days of Madison avenue dictating messages to you all but at an end”?

Answer: The reason for the coming to an end where Madison Avenue dictates messages to audience is because that audience is becoming smaller on network television and the time on network television becomes even more valuable. According to Garfield, when the critical mass is gone, marketers will not have a big place, such as network television, to spend their $47 billion dollars a year.  Instead, marketers can make more profit in more cost sustainable ways by advertising in other media, such as online advertising. Garfield describes this rebirth of new media and marketing strategies as an “ice age.” All strategies will be renewed for a new media outlet in the future, in the Digital Age. 

3. pp. 12- 14 how is the Lego corporation an example of the digital revolution

Answer: The Lego corporation is an example of the digital revolution because its own company created the Mindstorms project, which led to the new energetic movement to get loyal customers excited about the new things happening at Lego, and to attract new customers to the product.  The digital revolution is about taking these old products and old services, rethinking a marketing strategy and/or the product, and going out to the loyal publics and new public to try and make a hit again.  In all honesty, this type of work in the digital revolution can be reflected in “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel; everything is reinvented in some way, and occurs in history again, but takes a new path through history.  This reflects the digital age and what Lego did to help get through the digital revolution.

4. p. 15 What does he mean by “listenomics”?

Answer: According to Garfield, “listenomics” refers to a term that is describes as, “the art and science of cultivating relationships with individuals in a connected, increasingly open-source environment.  To break this definition down, Garfield talks of the importance of having a very open relationship with a individuals, especially when it is a stakeholder of an organization. Garfield also states that it is an art and science to stay connected and allow for the cultivating of relationships between the organization and individuals of society.  Therefore, the idea of “listening” in a relationship, whether it is from the organization or individuals in society who do not have much to discuss about, is important to give time and attention to cultivate the best relationship.

5. p. 16+ Why doesn’t the word “audience” quite make sense anymore?

Answer: The word audience does not quite make that much sense anymore because the audience is a body of people that have to listen to what a person and/or organization is telling them about a product, service or special event.  The audience term is being switched with the idea of crowd because individual people are getting together to discuss about a person’s product, or about an organization. Of course, these audiences are not necessarily appearing in front of the television; instead, they are showing up on social media platforms discussing products or services with “likes”, comments, and other uses of getting a message across about products and/or services. The audience does not necessarily listen to the organization; it is the organization listening to the crowd.




Shirky, “Thinking the unthinkable” (mycampus link)

6. What is the “unthinkable” about newspapers

Answer: According to Shirky, the “unthinkable” about newspapers is the idea that newspapers will die out, especially with the emergence of the digital revolution. Shirky discusses how people within the newspaper industry are trying to find innovative ways to save this old industry, but the reality comes when nothing can really be done about this.  In order for the newspaper industry to survive, it has to adapt to digital and do away with being news on several pages of paper.  The death of an industry such as print journalism, would not be to sadden, as the industry of print is slowly dying with the ease and unlimited space of print media and the platforms available in time and space for the newspaper and other print media. 

7. What was the problem with all the plans hatched in the 1990s.

Answer: The problem with all of the plans hatched in the 1990s was the similarity between all of them, which echoed, and denied the idea of giving the newspaper a “digital facelift.”  Several of the ideas wanted to take the newspaper and re-imagine how to make the print copies of the newspaper even more appealing to audiences.  When the Internet arrived, newspapers tried to think of the same plans to revolutionize the old print form, but are now realizing how the arrival of the digital age has left the print media of newspaper to die with the digital revolution.

8. In what sense does Shirky believe we are living in a revolution

Answer: Shriky believes we are living in a revolution because of the increasingly smaller and small crowd that is in denial that the newspaper will die out.  People of print journalism want to keep fighting to save the industry they have known and loved, but others who want the new “digital facelift” to happen want to leave the printing press as soon as possible to transition smoothly in what will become the new reality for “print” media.  Shirky talks about how the old ideas, old ways of newspaper are not functioning in society like they used to, and the digital age is coming on too fast for these repairs to the newspaper and transition into digital media starts to be a waiting game.  The idea of being on edge as print journalism transitions to the digital world is something that points out this movement is a revolution, a digital revolution.

9. Is Shirky against journalism?

Answer: No, Shirky is not against the idea of journalism in this article. Shirky just argues that the profession of journalism needs to become stronger and more impactful in the future.  The profession of journalism will not have the presence of paper to report news to society.  Journalism needs to hammer down on reporters that do not present the best journalistic skills to write a decent story that reaches out to the members in a crowd.  Journalism is in kind of an embarrassment as several citizen journalists are posting content, that does not follow the standards of journalism.  Journalism needs to take on a new face in news reporting, outside the conflict of being print or digital journalism; the foundation needs to be started and built upon for the future of journalism and its members who are in the profession.

10. speculate: given the traditional relationship between PR and the news media, how might this situation affect PR?

Answer: If the print media of the newspaper went away for the sake of the industry, the public relations profession would be just fine, as information can be sent out by an organization to different media outlets, and with a digital newspaper, posted in a matter of minutes to go out and reach certain audience members who relate to the information. Public relations will become even more demanding as the digital age comes more and more into play.  Of course, the only problem with this situation is that the print industry is taking its time to think about fully converting over to digital.  In all honesty, public relations will not be affected, but only improved with the faster timing of the information out to key publics in society.


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