PR & Communications Company news South Africa

Too much information - how does a business reach its defined audience(s)?

Wading through the deluge of information made accessible to us each day is virtually impossible. In the knowledge economy, information is our most valuable commodity but the constant overload is resulting in negative implications.

The multi-tasking environment is dampening our creativity and making us anxious and frazzled. We are ambushed from across all mediums and every time we hear a ping on our phones, a ring from our mails, an anchor for the broadcast bulletin and read a screaming headline, we spiral into a hyperactive rush of crazy as we battle to focus on one narrative.

The information labyrinth is a deep abyss that leads one on a mesmerising journey. What starts out as a simple slice of information leads to a barrage of words, images, articles, tweets, blogs, facts, interviews, radio broadcasts, newsflashes or tabloid headlines. Ten pages on your browser and three hours later you finally have your answer on how to write an article on consumerism and the desire for more.

Anything on the Web is merely a Google click away and inevitably our brains become overburdened. When a person is exposed to more information than the brain can process at one time, information overload occurs.

This leads to indecisiveness, bad decisions and stress. When you are overwhelmed and stimulated by too many choices your brain freezes or even worse, you make hasty decisions and are unable to differentiate between credible and non-credible sources.

Ruthless parameters

To counter this data deluge, consciously consuming information is key strategy. Figure out what you need to find, and be ruthless about sticking to your parameters. Save anything that's interesting but unrelated for another time.

It is a known factor that people cannot consume all formats of news and therefore different segments of the market select different channels for their news sources. For example, a company director may use his Twitter feed for regular news updates while on the move, listen to drive time radio bulletins while commuting, read his delivered copy of the morning business paper for the daily headlines and utilise his weekly subscription to a financial journal for more in-depth reading. He will select his TV viewing and record favourite programmes due to his limited viewing capacity.

A 25-year-old female professional may consume her news online, via her Twitter feeds, get brand updates on FB, and hunt for information on a search engine taking cognisance of what other consumers have to say when it comes to a purchase. She will consume the news while commuting, listening to her favourite radio channel and cross over to mainstream news during her selected evening TV programming.

What's clear is that even though there is a plethora of media platforms in today's world, it's vital to communicate clients' key messaging. Grapevine is therefore continually aware that consumers have to become selective due to overload and time constraints and for many that means making choices.

However, it is understanding those media consumption habits that enables us to tailor a client's messaging for their customers and not distribute communication in one format. Also having those market insights enables us to offer our clients an effective and streamlined PR strategy to break the clutter of an ever-increasing media pool and grasp the attention of the client's core target market.

It is years of experience working with research agencies and media houses that allows us to understand evolving media consumption habits and adjust our communications to adapt to this rapidly changing landscape.

About Marie Yossava

Marie Yossava, founder and owner of Grapevine Communications, embarked on a PR/communications career more than two decades ago. In the past twenty years she has built a solid media relations consultancy, which focuses exclusively on media relations.
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