Media move to provide context in social media savvy world

NEW YORK: Providing context to readers and viewers has become more important to media outlets as consumers access information through a range of digital channels, representatives from top media companies said Tuesday at the PRWeek Next Conference in New York.

NEW YORK: Providing context to readers and viewers has become more important to media outlets as consumers access information through a range of digital channels, representatives from top media companies said Tuesday at the PRWeek Next Conference in New York.

"Why we do so well when there are life-changing events around the world is the context we provide," said Janet Rolle, EVP and CMO of CNN.

She added that the emphasis on being the first outlet with correct information is "an obsession that has become less and less valuable over time."

"Being first doesn't matter unless you're always last," added Terence Samuel, deputy national political editor at The Washington Post.

Michael Calderone, senior media reporter at the Huffington Post, noted that digital media has shrunk the time between when a media outlet runs its initial story and its analysis.

"What used to be a 'second-day story' has become a 'few hours later story,'" he explained.

Panel members also described how their interaction with PR professionals and the public has changed in recent years. CNN has used its iReport consumer story-sharing feature to glean ideas from the public, said Rolle.

"Listening is a competitive advantage in many ways," she added.

However, Samuel noted that his interactions with PR professionals still depend on their understanding of his job and his media outlet.

"It's important for them to understand what I do and what matters to me," he said.

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