This weekend the Guardian ran a super article on the impact of the internet on advertising. Its relevance is so pertinent to PR in that these are shared methods of communication and as Credit Suisse recently said ‘money follows eyeballs’.
One of the most interesting parts of this discussion focused the concept of user solicited content and how this is enabling the internet to veer away from traditional media’s ‘pay and pray’ approach.
The consumer ability to distinguish between the ad and the editorial contents of the media in another area worth considering in greater detail in the future; enough to say the combine of PR and ads online are enabling great leverage to new entrants – without the infrastructure and cost of building a brand offline.
So where will consumers go in the future for information. Traditional media providers like the newspapers with an online presence will present one of the best routes to connect with a less specific audience which is associated with sites like MySpace and Facebook.
Finally what about justification online? A big aspect holding back the progress is the lack of good audience data. This month marks the first monthly data series specifically for the internet produced by Audit Bureau of Circulation. ABCe will be a welcome addition only if it sets a standard and becomes the currency of preference. Limits could come from a lack of scale to the analysis and over-complicated data streams.