With the advent of the internet and the increasingly widespread distribution of content, the relationship between Press Office and Editor has inevitably changed. Thanks to the evolution of the web, the public has moved from a traditionally passive role to a more active one, where it interacts with the news, interprets them, makes them its own, and redistributes them. Those who were initially only and exclusively recipients of information (i.e., the consumers) become prosumers (i.e., producers and consumers of information).
Nowadays, people can get their news from an Editor, but also from personal contacts who republish them on the internet and are perhaps considered to be more reliable, as they may be held in high regard, especially at a time when the traditional information system is being questioned.
The line is no longer the only possible path; nowadays, information is immersed in a reality that can be traveled in countless directions. We are in the presence of information flows that can take potentially infinite paths; such flows can arise from press offices, editors, or users themselves.
To describe this new information model, we can compare it to a network where each node represents a dissemination point. These nodes are held together by bonds, consisting of strong and weak relationships, some more evident in one direction than another. These bonds are redefined and strengthened every day. Knowing beforehand which direction a piece of news will take on the web is almost impossible in this new context. However, it is possible to try to control, at least in part, the direction in which it moves, for example by delimiting the network and inserting it into a specific context.
The node alone is not important, but it becomes increasingly crucial based on the relationships it has with the other nodes, both in terms of quality (i.e., the interaction with nodes that have a certain value) and quantity (i.e., the number of nodes it can influence). Therefore, some nodes are more relevant and represent the appropriate contact for press officers, while others are not able to influence the ecosystem despite the possibility of inputting content into the web.
Those nodes that can bring certain content to the public’s attention and positively or negatively influence their followers are called Gatekeepers. These can be newspapers, editors, but also influencers and bloggers.
Thanks to their popularity and strong following, the latter exercise leadership within the web and can draw attention to a particular topic, promote a specific interpretation, push other nodes to participate in the discussion, make decisions, and so on. Altogether, these strategic nodes create the new information landscape.
Some of these nodes become prominent figures in various industries since they represent the quickest way to discover news and trends. People follow bloggers and influencers for the authority of their content, their ability to detect the audience’s needs and sometimes even analyze them.
Why is it important to get our content promoted also by an authoritative blogger in this new landscape? Their communication strategies are faster, less rigid, and therefore can reach a wider audience.
- Verticality of content. Bloggers don’t have to comply with an editorial line that often covers various topics (as with a magazine that deals with fashion, cooking, beauty, and interior design). As such, they can focus on a single topic and become authoritative critics in that field, thus building a large following in that specific market niche made of people interested in those particular trends. Hence, being promoted by those who have achieved a certain authority in that specific sector becomes key.
- Meeting the audience’s needs. Their purpose is having followers, that’s why they pay much more attention, or shall we say listen, to their readers’ needs. They are continually looking for the latest news and trends not dictated by the economy. When bloggers or influencers decide to talk about a particular thing they’ve become experts in, it’s because they consider it noteworthy.
- Quality and effectiveness of messages. The way they interact encompasses all the social media and technological tools available. They don’t just distribute content through strict and pre-compiled tools to comply with editorial choices; they do so in a way that is right and necessary for that particular piece of news, because what matters is the ability to present the information engagingly, both in terms of content and technology. That content could therefore be proposed again in a way that represents an alternative to traditional editorial publications, thus getting to an audience one would never have thought to reach.
- Sharing with consistency. If they don’t share, they don’t speak, and if they don’t speak, they don’t exist. But the fact that each piece of content is always preceded by another one produces followers, who are always thirsty for news. Complementarity helps, as does the sense of belonging and becoming part of an information network that is always active and has an engaged audience. This increases the chances of visibility. It is the centuries-old concept that regulates the activities all in one place. But now, this place is virtual.
Shares and comments are always positive. And the more visibility, the more contacts.
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