Corporations adjust to growing consumer control

NEW YORK: The media landscape is changing, with digital outlets cutting into the market share of mainstream organizations, but many company goals remain the same, Dan Abrams, legal analyst for ABC News and founder of Abrams Media, said Wednesday.

NEW YORK: The media landscape is changing, with digital outlets cutting into the market share of mainstream organizations, but many company goals remain the same, Dan Abrams, legal analyst for ABC News and founder of Abrams Media, said Wednesday.

“The mainstream media doesn't get to dictate what the public sees anymore,” Abrams said in a keynote speech at PRWeek's NEXT Conference in New York. “There are so many additional sources of information, and yet public sentiment is as important as ever.”

Abrams said that although digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter have altered the media landscape, company goals of connecting with consumers, creating brand loyalty, and maintaining investor relationships haven't changed at all. He added that “social media provided new, cost effective tools for achieving these traditional goals.”

With user-generated sites, such as Yelp.com and TripAdvisor.com, Abrams said consumers impact the success or failure of brands, and customers expect their favorite companies to engage them in the digital space.

“You have to treat the Web and social media as an extension of your brand, because that's how consumers view it,” he explained.

Identifying the qualities that represent a brand and making them consistent across all online and offline media channels is a way to successfully define the company message, Abrams said.

“Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are called social networks because they foster relationships,” he said. “Consumers are looking to form connections with brands, but brands that have personalities, and that includes the CEOs.”

Abrams added that a CEO engaging consumers can be “very effective” for brands, but those executives have to ensure their content is both “compelling” and “appropriate” for social networks.

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