Saturday, November 10, 2007

How media uses sensationalism for advantage

This week has been an extraordinary week. At NaviSite, the planned data center migration for customers of a recently acquired company named Alabanza got into unanticipated trouble and as a result thousands of end user web-sites came down. One technical issue led to another and despite round the clock efforts, many sites remained dark. Customers and their customers were obviously distressed.

So, while the focus have been on restoring services as soon as possible and be transparent, the media might have other priorities.

It became clear that in their short coverage of the story, the journalist’s mention of single line quotes without mention of the context or reference to the precise question resulted in sensational headlines that created its own line of stories. In the age of the web2.0 when people can easily link to stories and begin commenting through the blogs such sensationalism probably works to the publisher’s advantage. It generates more traffic to publisher sites along with page views and consumer engagement leading to monetization.

So, the challenge for marketers in the era of new media is how to remain focused on the cause of creating customer value while avoiding the unnecessary diversion by a few vocal ones who might have different goals. What’s your strategy?

Will get in to some solutions in my next post. Stay tuned.