Mobile Media Impacts
The overall influence of mobile media and devices on society has been generally positive although certainly altering. Although mobile devices have completely redefined the way the media interacts with society as well as the way in which it is presented, it has also widened the range of knowledge and availability to individuals. Since mobile devices essential in day to day life they are therefore much more accessible (at least in the United States and most Western countries). Similarly, the amount of platforms in which information can be presented is now almost infinite in terms of outlets and sources people are capable of being exposed to and have utterly transformed the journalism, advertising and public relations industries in how they operate and communicate information. The impacts of mobile media can be evaluated at the general benefit for both the consumer and the producer due to the outreach that is able to occur. Especially with younger generations, mobile media has allowed for businesses and organization to interact with a much younger audience and in turn show, sell, or represent products that they may not have been able to before. The implication that mobile media may have a negative effect on society is certainly valid due to the desensitization it creates and the instant gratification it induces in individuals. However, the overarching benefit of social media can be exemplified within several industries that gain from technological advancement.
Arguably, mobile media has affected the distribution of journalism products to the greatest capacity imaginable. First and foremost, journalists now have a much larger audience due to the expansion mobile media has enabled. News reporters are no longer the gatekeepers of information for the public due to the notion that anyone practically anywhere has the ability to access information about virtually anything. This scope of information is nearly infinite for any individual to access. Similarly, the definition of what determines a “journalist” has been broadened by the works of independent sites and bloggers that can create their own content for the world to subscribe to; sources now are determined to collect data and simply “put it out there” for the world to see which in turn alters the public’s idea of news and journalism. Social media has also played an enormous role as mechanisms for cell phones to be the source of where people get their information. Rather than being reliant upon a newspaper to be thrown on their front lawn, people wake up to an abundance of notifications of news apps, social media apps, or even just text message exchanges. The route in which journalists must acquire their information is under much more scrutiny now that mobile media is much more accessible, particularly in western countries. The general population certainly benefits from the extensiveness that mobile media has allowed for it obtain and for the most part, it seems that mobile media has also benefited the outlets of journalists and outlets themselves. Due to the exceeding amounts of possibilities outlets and journalists are allowed to route through, even with the decline of newspapers sold and the competitiveness of the field, the attention and opportunities that outlets receive seems to be at a greater benefit. It has been a popular argument that with the steady decrease in newspaper sales, print journalism is dying. Yet it is rarely considered the amount of individuals that have subscribed to online versions of news for an assortment of reasons: to be green, easier accessibility, or even sheer laziness of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning because scrolling on a phone is much simpler. Similarly, due to the abundance of information “out there”, outlets and journalists can afford to be more specialized or approach a certain niche because it is understood that people will read what they are interested in, therefore it’s not as seemingly of an all or nothing sort of ordeal. The greatest outcome of mobile media is the range in which journalism can now cover in ways that it previously couldn’t and the extent in which journalists can literally cover the world is astounding thanks to mobile media.
Running off the back of journalism and the changes outlets have endured within the dawning of the new century, advertising has also altered tremendously due to the enhancement of technology. Accessibility is key for advertisers to promote their products and with a vast amount of resources to make that possible, it can be understood how advertising has tremendously increased the profit of sales. One of the greatest examples social media or mobile media has had an effect on advertising is the algorithms Facebook has in place for it’s users. Due to the sheer nature of Facebook, the website knows a tremendous amount of information on an individual based on what they post and share; therefore, the site can highlight key words or terms based on that individual’s information to promote correlating advertising content shaped around that individual’s social media history. The engagement between consumers and producers has heightened at exponential amounts, shrinking the gap between the two. Industries have benefited from the effects of mobile media surely due to the vacuum of possibilities to advertise and “get themselves out there”. Advertising has been highly targeted while maintaining cost-effective for businesses. Brands are now able to advertise all over the web, which allows for consumers to be consciously or subconsciously be exposed to data at all times. This allows for consumers to be actively engaged with producers through several forms of media all at once without any cost to the customer. Since corporations recognize that many individuals may activate ad-blockers or skip ads, producers are now coming up with more creative ways to get their products shown. For example, clothing brands may advertise through a celebrity's social media account since if they have a high follower count. The ways in which media has altered advertising is in subtle ways that has induced enormous effects.
While Public Relations is seemingly harder in a world with greater mobile media, it has increased accessibility for most organizations. While misrepresentation is a high cost of increased media, the greatest benefit is abundant coverage which is a public relations manager’s dream. Hence, PR firms and professionals are now required to monitor everyone in an organization and their presence on social media or general media in case of this sort of misrepresentation. Negative or “bad” press can result in great crisis for a PR firm, therefore increased mobile media has lead to a direct process of keeping an eye on coverage. Similarly, corporative executives are faced with a never-ending list of uncontrollable opportunities with social media and the ways in which it an change at any minute. However, mobile media has also altered the dynamic of public relations because people can now choose to primarily represent themselves in the public’s eye. For example, LinkedIn and Facebook are important individualistic representations in terms of public relations that can lead to employment or engagement. Similarly, in order to drive business results, many public relations professionals understand that mobile or social media can be a make or break factor in determining the success of the organization. In the cases of non-profit organizations that handle their own PR, for instance, social media is a safe haven for awareness of their organization, cause or mission. Opportunities of interacting with the public via media is the greatest possibility for many organizations such as this. However, media has also challenged PR firms when in search of clients because of the sort of self-representation that mobile media has enhanced. Therefore, while PR firms have definitely felt the positive benefits of social media they have also felt the negative costs of them as well.
Finally, the general conclusion can be seen that while mobile media has certainly altered the ways in which industries interact with consumers, it has extensively increased the general benefits each industry has felt since the progression of mobile and social media. The ways in which the journalism, advertising and public relations industries have been positively impact are rather disjointed for the most part but can also be tied together with a simple correlation: interaction with their consumers has been increased. Journalists have a greater opportunity of specialization in order to appeal to particular, possibly even minority, niches that may not have had exposure otherwise; advertisers can personalize their content specifically for potential consumers based off data acquired by most social media sites; and public relations professionals have a broader scope of coverage they can provide for their clients. The key profit that all these industries gain is accessibility and interactivity with their audiences which is the primary goal of most communication industries. The relationship dynamic between consumers and producers has certainly changed a long way from the previous relationship prior to mobile media devices and easy access for the general public.