Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Prevailing Wisdom-peh!

Posted on | August 2, 2006 | No Comments

I had an opportunity today to get out and about in the Silicon Valley, first as a panelist at a marketing event and later as a presenter at a big PR agency. I enjoy these gigs because sometimes I like to hear the sound of my own voice (as my father used to say) but more importantly for the interaction it inevitably brings.

The first event was hosted by the CMO Council at NASA Ames in Mountain View. Not something I would have sought out, by when my CEO says it’d be nice if I participate, well the answer’s obvious! The two other panelists (Larry Hooper from CRN Online and Dave Stodder from Intelligent Enterprise) and I fielded a lot of traditional questions from the marketers (what mistakes do people make in interacting with editors? How savvy are they about new media? etc.).

The meeting with Porter Novelli in the afternoon was a bit more lively. I presented results from our recent worldwide media usage study. This monster (4200 responses in eight languages) attempts to divine how our engineering audience devours media in different parts of the world. After the presentation and after we talked out the implications of the presentation, we got into the state of our business, which is obviously tied together. Porter’s Managing Director, Anna Leonard, who got into this nutty sector about the same time I did, said their clients simply carry the prevailing wisdom that print is dead.

That’s a hard battle to fight. I can present that study until I’m blue in the face but if our customer base doesn’t want to hear it (it and any other survey I’ve seen in the trade press biz shows readers still really, really, really like print)… well, what’s a boy to do?

It’ll turn; things will settle out and this prevailing wisdom will get a reality check (after all, radio was supposed to kill daily newspapers 80 years ago), but until then I guess I’m going to be blue in the face for a while.

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