One of the best ways to understand a concept is to peel away all the clutter around it so that you’re left with no distractions. So just for the moment, let’s imagine you’re putting together your media toolkit using only tools that were available in 1983 – a year before the World Wide Web appeared.
And just to give us something to talk about, let’s say you’d opened a sandwich shop with a really unique concept – a New York style deli run by a Norwegian immigrant who spent 10 years in Mexico learning to do wonderful things with corned beef and pastrami. Your communications “to do” list might include the following:
- Publicize your menu.
- Tell the story behind the store.
- Get people talking.
- Remind people that you’re there. Signs and billboards would be the natural choice.
Now, let’s look at your challenge in terms of the characteristics we outlined previously in Building your media toolkit: Part 1: Immediacy, Carrying Capacity, Reach, Interactivity, Cognitive Impact and Cost Effectiveness. Remember, we’re dealing only with vintage 1983 media!
The menu might be relatively long, so you’d need something with a decent carrying capacity. Maybe some fliers distributed through neighborhood stores would do the trick. (Remember, this is 1983. No Web!) You might be able to expand your flier into a newsletter and tell your story. If the story is compelling, you could even interest the local newspaper into doing a story on a slow news day. That’d have a lot more reach.
Now, what if you were promoting your Norwegian/Mexican New York Style Deli today? Some of those would still be good choices, but you’d have some alternatives:
- To publish your menu: Web site with story and menu – High carrying capacity, inexpensive (which doesn’t make it cost-effective, but we’ll deal with that later).
- To tell the story behind your store: Use your web site due to its high carrying capacity. However, you’ll need something to attract people to the site, so Twitter, Facebook and permission-based e-mail marketing are worth considering.
- Get people talking: Facebook group with specials. Actually, I stole this idea from a little sandwich shop that’s doing this very well. High immediacy, high carrying capacity, and cost-effective. Plus, Facebook’s a great place to start conversations that can give you a chance to tell your story.
- To remind people that you’re there: Twitter has virtually no capacity, but it’s great at reaching a large audience (if you know how) and pointing to something like your web site that can tell the complete story. Think of it as a sign or a billboard.
The point of this post is simply to begin positioning some Internet-based media in terms of their pre-web counterparts. It obviously gets a lot more complicated than this. One thing at a time.