With the rise of social media and camera-equipped smartphones, an unlimited amount of “channels” in which to reach consumers has resulted.
Not only are there thousands of different television channels globally, but there are now millions of websites and video streaming services. Anyone with a camera can now effectively run their own news organization, creating video content and publishing to a massive audience.
Lately, it seems there’s a never-ending stream of new YouTube channels which gain popularity instantly, and then disappear within weeks.
It’s also no surprise that consumers are reaching out to non-traditional media sources. Over the past decade, there’s been a declining global trust in traditional media sources. The rise of “fake news” has been propelled by technology, and also by a generational shift towards distrusting traditional authority figures.
Highlighted by the global recession following the near-total collapse of global financial institutions, many around the globe have seen how unequal their societies have been. With the rise of new media, others can see what conditions exist around the world, and question why their situation is not as good.
This malaise has unfortunately allowed some forces to manipulate social media for nefarious reasons, leading to further distrust of media. Since social media companies are designed to algorithmically direct content to certain users based on their online habits, it only exacerbates the problem of declining trust of journalism.
These changing media habits, in addition to a declining trust of traditional media sources, is why public relations is more important than ever. With scattered audiences across hundreds of mediums, advertising not only becomes challenging, but costly. For blockchain companies trying to get their message out, it becomes evident how hard this challenge is.
Rather than casting a wide net and hoping to reach all readers, blockchain companies would be wiser to target niche markets. Given the technical knowledge required to understand the nuances of different blockchain companies, such tech has to be told in different ways utilizing new media.
The rise of fake news couldn’t have come at a worse time for the blockchain universe. As a technology that has its origins as a disruptive and clandestine technology, it has been an uphill battle already for blockchain to be taken seriously amongst global financial publications.
Cryptocurrency began in the ashes of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, as a means to decentralize financial transactions. This type of origin, one founded in pseudo-anarchism and disruption, is one reason why it’s taken the financial establishment so long to get on board with the technology. However, the industry has come very far in dispelling its hacktivist origins.
The silver lining of the rise of fake news is that it has forced many consumers to adjust their reading habits, and approach many stories with heightened skepticism. This skepticism can be a positive side effect, though, because it forces the reader to analyze the story more closely.
In an industry with a reputation problem, it’s paramount to reach new users, and develop deeper trust with existing users, using both traditional and new media opportunities.