Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Do You Get Your News?

I get my news from a lot of places. Every day I watch 3 different newscasts, I listen to 4 news radio shows, and I read more print news in more publications than I can count.

But something has changed over the past several years. I watch, listen to and read the news on my own time, in my own way. I've quietly shifted my media consumption to match my own needs, and I'm not alone.

[photo credit: Pingu1963]

I used to listen to NPR's All Things Considered every morning, but now I download NPR's The Bryant Park Project and WNYC's The Takeaway instead
- not because the information is better or more interesting (although the content is clearly geared towards a younger audience), but because they're delivered as podcasts and I can listen to them on my own time. I used to watch morning and evening national broadcast TV news shows, but now I record them and watch them when I have time - sometimes not even on the day they were broadcast. I used to receive and read a stack of newspapers every morning, now I scan through my RSS reader to check for headlines that are relevant to me from more than 300 different sources.

And, despite all of that, I get most of my breaking news from Twitter and Facebook. At the end of the day (figuratively speaking), I rely on my social network - people who share my interests - to keep me informed as the media and information landscape changes throughout the day.

The reason all this matters is that regular publicity efforts haven't kept pace with all of these changes. Your organization is as likely to make headlines by maintaining a relevant twitter feed as it is by sending out press releases to a list of reporters in Cision. Sending an alert to your organization's Facebook group is as likely to generate attention as scheduling a press conference.

How are your donors and supporters receiving their news and information these days? Has it changed? Are there new ways to reach them that you haven't explored? When was the last time you asked them? When was the last time you asked your own staff how they get their news. You might be surprised by what you hear.

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