Our society is plagued by many ills. Some conversations we have had for many years and often around the same issues that seem impossible to transcend generational cycles, made worse by the various environmental factors that exist at any given time.
In the past, the channels through which issues could be discussed were limited in both number and reach.
For example, if we looked at lessons passed down during every rite of passage, information was limited to oral transfer to a limited number of recipients, who in turn could only discuss issues confined to their cohort of initiation.
As the years have gone by and technology advanced, more channels have become available but most important; affordable to a growing number of persons. It started with the newspaper run, the transistor radio, on to the TV set, then to the Internet and mobile phone.
Radio and TV made dissemination and consumption a communal affair with the image of a crowd huddled around a unit at prime time to listen in and thereafter be on their merry way more informed and ready to play oracle at the first opportunity more common.
The Internet and mobile phone have driven individual consumption and in my opinion have opened up an avenue for media to spark deep personal reflection that then drives a more balanced discourse between people while also offering a relatively private feedback loop and community.
This is powerful at a time where traditional media houses may be seen as dancing to a certain tune through the tone of their content. Many times this is made obvious in the editorial direction which at times can skew even the most balanced of position pieces and reportage.
My call is to organisations addressing the full spectrum of issues affecting us to develop new strategies that leverage all currently available channels — print, radio, TV and digital to drive and measure conversation and tilt thought to action.
There is a way to stitch user experiences together and maximise the form and function of each channel to optimise results. Attaining trust should be at the core of every media agenda and it is the currency that drives agency and ownership of actions, with consumers now better empowered to get a pulse for authenticity.
At the end of the day, behaviour and culture change is achieved by individual users reflecting and saying: “Maybe I can, maybe I shall,” and finding commonality with others during their interactions, driving movements powered by informed but individualised decisions.