Top Three High Expectations for Media in 2012

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Professional athletes are tremendous at talking about how much more important the present and the future are than the past. Yesterday’s game is over, tomorrow is another opportunity. I’m just going to give it my best shot and God willing, things will work out in the end (thank you, Crash).

In keeping with that sentiment: 2011 is done and dusted, and everything that has passed is prologue to this. The best way to usher in a new era? Set some expectations. And while we’re at it, this being a nice, casual setting, let’s set them early and set them high.

[Note: I limited myself to media-related issues here, but for the record my true #1 expectation is that The Greatest American Hero film goes into production in 2012.  Thus far, TGAH has been a glaring omission from the field of subpar 80s remakes…a travesty.]

Expectation #1: Presidential candidates will master multimedia

In 2008, then-candidate Obama leapt onto the proverbial bucking bronco of social media and rode it into submission. He spoke a new language through all the right channels, creating rallying points through Twitter and Facebook. Where rival candidates literally got lost in Second Life and flailed at other attempts to connect with the online generation, he quite simply hurled new communication tools to the wall and made them stick.

In 2012, look out.

Multimedia is now better described as simul-media, with video, audio, and the written word intertwining to give a much more complete view of subject matter. Candidates should be taking Obama’s social media success and blowing it up to include smart use of the technology at hand.  Hack jobs need not apply.

Expectation #2: Everyone will remember how to read again

There was this great fear that the prominence of Twitter and Facebook would lead us to abandon long form editorial (and visionary thinking) altogether.  Seemed like a rational concern, and still does – but by the end of this year I expect to hear a lot less about that, as an adjustment appears to be underway

Long form will make a comeback, maybe due to tablets and maybe due to a backlash against the failure of icons like Borders (in the “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” category).  Those trends and media we have been most attached to are more and more frequently being reborn into new formats, whether that means streaming classic films in HD or downloading Crime & Punishment to a Kindle.  Old school magazine and news formats will make their comeback through innovative platforms like Flipboard, which turns Twitter and Facebook into what they should be: information streams in both long and short doses.

Expectation #3: Everyone will remember how to write again – or at least will want to

This one follows naturally from #2…the more people read, the more value companies will see in writing.  I concede this is already happening, but there will be more urgency to expand available content as tweets and texts start to leave audiences unfulfilled.

We already see this in a heightened concentration from clients – more high quality content is becoming the standard.  Where updates in content used to be a priority on a quarterly basis, now there is a call for new ideas (and new ways of articulating them) on a much more frequent basis.

Obviously, I hope for interesting things.  And lest we forget, I also hope for the Greatest:

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