Making Sense of the Media Chaos

Marketing Communications Executives International. My friend and fellow Cougar, Cheri Brennan, was nice enough to invite me a monthly meeting of MCEI at the Seattle Yacht Club. Not only did I get to meet some new marketing colleagues, but I ran into others I already know, such as Joe Barnes (my former news director at KOMO who was also a pioneer in bringing TV news to the web in the mid-90’s) and Mark Woodward. Always good to see familiar faces!

Media Chaos. The featured speaker, Hanson Hosein, is the University of Washington Digital Media Program Director.  He is also president of HRH Media, Inc. (I’m going out on a limb here and guessing it’s his initials, and not ‘His Royal Highness’)), and a storyteller who spent the past 15 years in news reporting with NBC. Hanson believes that “storytelling builds communities” in an age of  advanced online tools from Twitter to Blogs and Websites. “We can’t look at consumers as mass marketers once did,” he has said, “as online tools empower everyone to strike a relationship, to build a community of participants.”

A great case for journalists. Of all stripes. Trained or not. He said it’s really up to the audience to determine what’s authentic, and of course, that’s all part of the chaos — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. Journalism and storytelling, and the current state of the media will evolve. The main thing, as marketers, PR types, big business and/or journalists — according to Hosein, is ‘be transparent.’ If you’re speaking on behalf of a big company — tell your audience. They’ll decide if your story is worthwhile, but tell a story. Storytelling is important. It has a beginning, middle, climax and an end. It connects emotionally. But most of all — be transparent, and that will help build your community.


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