In the ‘60s, Marshall McLuhan’s “The medium is the message” was game-changing. But today, your audiences drive the message.
McLuhan, a philosopher of communication theory, noted the medium through which a message is delivered (TV, newspaper, radio, magazine and now e-mail, on-line and now social) has a direct influence on the message. Hence, TV is different than newspaper, radio etc.
But today, audiences are what count. It’s easy to think your target audience is “just” people who buy your product/service. After all, new “customers” are the life blood of all entities.
Yet, every business has multiple audiences – more than you might realize. While new prospects are certainly important, other stakeholders must be included in an organization’s outreach:
|Former customers||Business, civic, community leaders|
|Potential customers||Investors / funding sources|
|Vendors / suppliers||Media, analysts, industry|
|Community residents / workers||Elected officials and staff|
All of these groups can impact your success – and their ranking depends on the organization’s specific goals and circumstances.
Furthermore, in this era of highly-segmented audiences (and media), each specific stakeholder has different needs – and “one (message) for all (audiences)” no longer applies.
I contend “the Audience” is now more important than the medium. It’s not what an organization wants to tell it key stakeholders …it’s what each audience needs to know about you based on their specific, prioritized needs. Once that’s accomplished, a conversation can begin – and business success will follow.
Given the explosion of media outlets, the Medium is still the Message. But always remember that today, your Audiences (all of them) Drive Your Message.