Facing extinction, the power of influence offers local media a lifeline

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Public Relations

Local media has been shown to generate more trust in the current political and social landscape, but similar to global media outlets, local journalism has been significantly disrupted by the advent of new digital technologies and behaviors—and nearly 60 percent of global respondents to a new survey from comms giant Ogilvy believe that local media must adapt to a changing environment or face extinction.

Ogilvy announced the findings in the second half of its 2018 Global Media Influence survey.

Consumers have more options than ever before, and whether news is happening next door or across the continent, consumers can be informed with the same ease of access. By leaning in on local news and sharing unique, niche content that cannot be found anywhere else, Ogilvy’s survey found that local media can continue to play a significant role in reporting the news agenda.

“Today, we are living in an earned first world where influence trumps everything else,” said Jennifer Risi, Ogilvy’s worldwide chief communications officer and managing director of Ogilvy’s Media Influence, in a news release. “The lines between global, national and local media are increasingly becoming obsolete as consumers have access to an unprecedented wealth of content at their fingertips. Brands that partner with communications experts who know how to navigate today’s media landscape will be in the pole position to drive their own narrative, and thereby mindshare with their key stakeholders.”

Additional key findings:

Globally, 55 percent of journalists agree media mergers and consolidation will be positive for the industry

However, there is a clear divide between journalists in EMEA and Asia Pacific compared to their North American counterparts who, for the majority, believe that media mergers and consolidation will be bad for the industry overall.

  • North America – 24 percent of surveyed media agree; 76 percent of surveyed media disagree
  • EMEA – 67 percent of surveyed media agree; 33 percent of surveyed media disagree
  • Asia Pacific – 74 percent of surveyed media agree; 26 percent of surveyed media disagree

58.3 percent of global media believe local media needs to change the model

  • North America – local media is more important than ever [42.0 percent], needs to change the model [42.0 percent], is dying [8.7 percent], or other [5.8 percent].
  • EMEA – local media needs to change the model [63.0 percent], is dying [16.0 percent], is more important than ever [15.1 percent], or other [5.9 percent].
  • Asia Pacific – local media needs to change the model [70.0 percent], is more important than ever [21.7 percent], is dying [4.4 percent], or other [3.9 percent].

Globally, 31.4 percent of surveyed reporters from all three regions [North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific] agree that television has been the most successful traditional media platform to adapt in an increasingly digital world.

Looking ahead, streaming services [42.5 percent], or revived television emerged as the new “old” media that will be king in 5 years followed by the feed, (i.e. headlines, newsbytes/newsletters) and podcasts.

Now in its fifth year, Ogilvy’s annual global media survey has become a go-to resource for industry insights from some of the world’s leading journalists on the changing media landscape. These findings further illuminate insights from the first part of Ogilvy’s Media Influence survey, released in June 2017 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which uncovered a significant decline of trust in traditional media as a news source by 22 percent since 2016.

Ogilvy’s Media Influence team fielded a 10-question survey of 363 news media professionals across the North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA regions. The survey assessed new strategies for an increasingly digital world and focused on the sentiments of reporters, editors and producers who cover a vast range of topics, including national news, business and financial news, law and human resources news, as well as consumer trends, technology, entertainment, politics, healthcare, travel and multiethnic communities. The survey was conducted in April 2018 via phone and email by Ogilvy’s Media Influence staff members based in 22 offices across the globe.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter