Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 9:28 AM

Television is king...for now

Few things are as ineffective as a scatter shot communications plan. Fortunately, a new report breaks down where consumers get their news and can help you figure out whether your communications strategy is reaching your desired audience.

Americans rely on television for their news more than any other source, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. However, online sources of news continue to surge in popularity with younger, well-educated, and affluent audiences. Newspapers continue to drop significantly as a direct source for daily news. To read the full report, click here.

The Pew report also breaks down consumers into the following groups based on their preferred sources of news.

Integrators: Those who get their news from both tradional (newspapers, network news) and non-traditional news outlets (web-based). Integrators are generally middle-aged, affluent, and make up 23% of the public.

Net-newsers: Those who predominantly get their news online. Net-newsers are well-educated, relatively young, and make up 13% of the population.

Traditionalists: Those who rely heavily on traditional media for news. Traditionalists are generally older, less affluent, and make up 46% of the population.

Disengaged: Those who generally do not get news on a typical day.

So, does your communications strategy reach your desired audience? If you depend on Traditionalists but are focusing on new media, probably not. If you depend on Integrators, you need a holistic approach that encompases print, electronic, and online sources of news. An effective organization always matches its communications plan to its audience.

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