Michael Schiferl, executive vice president, director of media relations at Weber Shandwick, brought his 20 plus years of knowledge and experience of working with the media to our Seattle office recently, leading a discussion on media trends in the digital age. He provided great insights on the rapidly changing landscape of media relations.

“Media is more powerful now than it’s ever been,” said Schiferl, who is adamant on the belief that the days of “online” and traditional “offline” media strategies are no longer the key to great media campaigns. Rather, it’s about blending the two—bringing traditional, social and digital platforms “inline” with one another for a complete, successful campaign.

And Schiferl would know, as he has been involved with a number of easily recognizable media campaigns across a number of high profile brands, from launching the first Xbox console, sending the first pizza into space for Pizza Hut, managing a national media tour for the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, to celebrating Oreo’s 100th anniversary.

Schiferl sees “inline” campaigns becoming more and more prevalent across top brands, and highlighted three campaigns where the incorporation of traditional, social and digital has really worked, including Weber Shandwick Chicago’s own The Breakfast Project, which took the meaning of a meal to a whole new level, the  PepsiCo Zeitgeist Board, a real-time infographic at the 2012 SXSW Interactive conference that reported the latest conversations, stats and information to attendees, and The Wall Street Journal—a prime example of an outlet blending its traditional reporting with social, video and real-time components.

At the end of the day though, Schiferl believes that it’s all about the story and that PR practitioners are “storytellers at heart. “It’s not just about your client, it’s not just about your pitch, it’s the best story that really counts to get people engaged no matter the medium.”

Image courtesy of palindrome6996.

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